Shifeta calls for good governance in Kaza

Pohamba Shifeta

Good governance is critical for the existence of the Kavango Zambezi (Kaza) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) initiative.

This was said by the minister of environment, forestry and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, when he addressed a ministerial meeting at the Kaza Summit in Livingstone, Zambia, on Tuesday.

The summit is aimed at “Leveraging Kaza’s natural capital and cultural heritage resources as catalysts for inclusive socio-economic development of the eco-region”.

Shifeta said through good governance the rights of the communities living in Kaza can be respected within the framework of biodiversity conservation and human rights.

“Good governance in a transboundary programme like this one of ours provides opportunities for win-win solutions for conservation,” the minister said.

Shifeta said to strengthen Kaza governance and development, member countries should continue to provide political leadership in all matters related to the development and management of the Kaza-TFCA and ensure that the ownership and control of the TFCA remains with member countries.

The minister said Kaza should continue to foster transnational collaboration and cooperation in implementing ecosystems and cultural resource management.

The ecosystem integrity and natural ecological processes will be enhanced by harmonising natural resource management approaches and tourism development across members’ international boundaries.

“We are all aware that the biological resources of the Kaza-TFCA incorporate the largest elephant population on the African continent.

“The area is endowed with an abundance and diversity of wildlife species that are of considerable economic and ecological value to us all.

“The plant life is equally phenomenal, some of which are endemic to the southern African savannahs, woodlands and wetlands,” Shifeta said.

The minister said it is imperative that any programme to promote the conservation of biodiversity must have a positive impact on the standard of living of members’ rural communities.

“It is on the basis of the potential presented by the vast wildlife, tourism, and cultural resources in the region that the five member countries of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe should continue to derive equitable returns and significant socio-economic benefits, provided we harmonise our conservation policies and practices, and use our shared natural resources prudently,” Shifeta said.
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