Transboundary use and protection of natural resources in the SADC region

Project description

Title: Transboundary use and protection of natural resources in the SADC region
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Southern African Development Community (SADC): Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Lead executing agency: SADC Secretariat
Overall term: 2012 to 2018

SDAC. Biodiversity in Chobe National Park, Botswana in the Kavango-Zambezi TFCA. © GIZ


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a region rich in natural resources. More than half the gross domestic product (GDP) of its member states comes from agriculture, forestry and mining. Most of the rural population makes a living from using natural resources.

Natural ecosystems are exposed to mounting pressure from population growth, the expansion of farmland, growing demand for energy, infrastructure development and climate change. The SADC region has the highest deforestation rate in Africa. Poaching has been on the rise again for some time, even in conservation areas.

The SADC supports the establishment and development of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) with the goal of conserving biodiversity.

The programme worked together with the SADC Secretariat to develop guidelines for tourism concessions and transboundary fire management for TFCAs. It assisted with the creation and introduction of course modules on integrated fire management, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), climate change adaptation and transboundary cooperation.

The SADC TFCA Network Portal was set up at the start of 2014 in coordination with SADC member states. More than 200 members now consult this website as a source of technical information and as a platform for sharing information, discussing issues such as poaching, and announcing events.

A number of TFCAs have started to establish transboundary administrative bodies and to launch their first activities.


Local, national and regional actors improve implementation of SADC protocols and strategies for sustainable natural resource management in transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs).

SDAC. Community consultation meeting in the Kasungu district, Zambia (Malawi-Zambia TFCA) in preparation for the GIZ support project. © GIZ


GIZ is contributing towards implementation of the regional TFCA programme (2013) within the context of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2015-2020 (RISDP). The programme works in four components:

  1. Supporting transfrontier conservation areas
    Transboundary measures are to be undertaken as models in three pilot projects. They focus on community-based resource conservation, tourism development, participatory land use planning and creating alternative sources of income. Lessons learned from these pilot projects are to serve as the basis for recommendations for action throughout the SADC. The Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area, Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland) and Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (South Africa and Namibia) have been selected as the pilot regions in coordination with the SADC Secretariat and member state representatives

  2. Improving the national framework for TFCAs
    The programme supports the exchange of experience between stakeholders and decision-makers in order to improve the framework for TFCAs based on practical experience and dialogue between parties at local, national and regional level.

  3. Supporting the SADC TFCA Network
    The SADC-TFCA Network continues to receive support on network and knowledge management. GIZ has commissioned a consortium of local and international consultancies led by a German firm to undertake this work.

  4. Supporting the SADC Secretariat
    The SADC Secretariat's Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate advises member states as they implement jointly agreed policies and strategies. FANR's tasks include forwarding recommendations for decisions to SADC bodies and observing and reporting on the development of TFCAs using monitoring and evaluation systems.


GIZ supports FANR in this work, simultaneously aiming to strengthen the strategy development, networking, monitoring and negotiating skills of staff at the SADC Secretariat. The TFCA Network is increasingly providing content-related input in this regard.


Transboundary Use and Protection of Natural Resources in the SADC-Region (GIZ 2015) Climate Change Adaptation Training for SADC Transfrontier Conservation Areas (GIZ 2015) Transboundary Protection and Use of Natural Resources (GIZ 2012) SADC TFCAs – Transfrontier Conservation Areas in the Southern African Development Community (GIZ 2015) The SADC TFCA NETWORK - Enhancing communication and learning for the development of SADC TFCAs (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Ai/Ais - Richtersveld, South Africa, Namibia (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Chimanimani, Mozambique, Zimbabwe (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Great Limpopo, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Greater Mapungubwe, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Iona-Skeleton Coast, Angola, Namibia (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Kagera, Tanzania, Rwanda (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - KAZA: Kavango-Zambezi, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Kgalagadi, Botswana (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Liuwa Plains-Mussuma, Angola, Zambia (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Lower Zambezi - Mana Pools, Zambia, Zimbabwe (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Lubombo, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Maiombe Forest Transfrontier, Angola, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - MDTFCA / MDTP: Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area, Lesotho (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Nyika, Malawi Zambia (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Mnazi Bay-Quirimbas, Mozambique, Tanzania (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - Niassa-Selous, Mozambique, Tanzania (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area - WIO TFMP: Western Indian Ocean Transfrontier Marine Park (GIZ 2015) Transfrontier Conservation Area ZIMOZA: Zimbabwe-Mozambique-Zambia (GIZ 2015)