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Germans Expand KAZA's Lifespan

PAULINE DIKUELO VICTORIA MARUMO
Thato Raphaka
Germans through the German Development Bank have signed a financing agreement of €15.5 million for the next five years to develop the third phase of the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) transfrontier conservation area.

The new commitment amounting to €15.5 million is an extension of funding for the KAZA Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) for another five years until end of 2022.

This new commitment builds on previous commitments for phases I and II, which amounted to €20 million.

The commitment further extends the German-SADC development cooperation in the sector of transboundary natural resource management and conservation, which has provided support to nearly 10 projects and programmes of technical and financial cooperation since the year 2000, with a total volume of about €125 million.

The KAZA partnership, which includes Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, started in 2006.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism permanent eecretary, Thato Raphaka this development would go a long way towards operationalising the agreement adding that the projects and initiatives are for the benefit of the communities.

“Some of the poorer communities in our country reside in that area and also some of the very sensitive ecosystems are located within the transfrontier conservation area, all which require strategic intervention for sustainable management of the environment,” he said.

On his part German ambassador to

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Botswana Ralph Breth said that the KAZA Transboundary project is one of the flagship projects in the German cooperation.

 

“In a global sense the project is for the good of the world because we are desperately defending the natural environment, which is being threatened by many developments”.

He added that sometimes the interests of the animals and the population are in conflict as evidenced by media reports, adding that the agreement focuses on bringing these together so that the population is not negatively affected by conservation, but also benefits from it so that at the end there is a win situation.   

KAZA comprises multiple land-use areas including a vast array of protected areas, such as national parks, nature and forest reserves, game and wildlife management areas, community conservancies, major river basins and freshwater resources. It hosts three World Heritage Sites: the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, and Tsodilo Hills. The KAZA TFCA is a world-class tourism destination that attracts local, regional and international tourists and supports a growing tourism industry that provides employment, foreign currency and revenues to the communities, private sector and governments.



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