Southern Africa: Protected areas

Southern Africa: Establishing transboundary protected areas

Southern Africa's natural resources and cultural heritage attract visitors from all over the world. The number of international tourist arrivals in the region in 2017 was about 25 million, and it is expected that it will rise to more than 40 million over the next ten years. Preservation and sustainable use of the region's natural and cultural heritage are key prerequisites for continued good development of tourism in the region.

Sustainable management of protected areas

However, local ecosystems are under threat because of population growth and the resulting increased need for agricultural land. The deforestation rate in the region is the highest in all of Africa. Poaching has increased again for some time, including in protected areas.

In order to conserve biodiversity, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) supports the establishment of transboundary protected areas and helps develop programmes and strategies for their sustainable management. Germany is supporting this process through its programme for the transboundary protection and use of natural resources.

Germany is working with the SADC Secretariat to improve the marketing of the protected areas and to develop tourism programmes together with international and regional tour operators. Since 2017, technical and financial support has also been provided to Southern Africa in order to enable it to take part in international tourism fairs such as ITB in Berlin.

Including local people in tourism value chains

The programmes are intended to ensure that local people will benefit from the protected areas. Transboundary tourism programmes help to create jobs. One example is the Desert Kayak Trail, which tourists can follow in order to explore the ǀAi-ǀAis Richtersveld Transfrontier park between Namibia and South Africa by water and by land. Here, local people can work as river guides and provide lodging and food for tourists.

Project data

Envisaged duration: June 2015 to December 2020

Financial volume: 12.5 million euros