Nature reserve in Southern Africa

KAZA – Transfrontier nature conservation

One of the world's largest nature conservation areas has been created in Southern Africa. 36 conservation areas and national parks in Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia have been linked to form the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA).

With its approximately 520,000 square kilometres, the conservation area is larger than Spain (506,000 square kilometres). Apart from biodiversity conservation, its main purpose is the sustainable development of tourism and sustainable economic development in the participating countries.

In August 2011, the five countries' heads of state signed an agreement getting the scheme under way. The ambitious project was officially launched in March 2012.

Constructive cooperation between the governments of the KAZA countries cannot be taken for granted, as, in the past, armed clashes and diplomatic disputes between them were not uncommon.

The BMZ is supporting the development of KAZA through KfW Development Bank; KfW is the largest donor and is contributing 35.5 million euros.

It works closely with other supporting countries, such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States, and with non-governmental organisations including the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) and the Peace Parks Foundation.

From poachers to gamekeepers

One aspect of the KAZA project is the establishment of community protection areas. This involves the central government turning over land to a community, which is then allowed to use it for economic benefit, but must simultaneously assume responsibility for nature conservation. For example, the community may rent a parcel of land to a lodge operator. The lodge creates jobs and buys food from local farmers, thus generating additional income for local people. As the guests of the lodge come for the wildlife, it now becomes more attractive to protect wild animals than to hunt them. KfW Development Bank therefore also supports efforts to train former poachers to become gamekeepers.

Project data

German contribution: 35.5 million euros

Envisaged duration: 2010 to 2021