Zimbabwe and Zambia sign historic collaborative agreement to conserve Mana Pools and surrounding areas

May 29, 2023
The MOU for LOZAMAP TFCA between Zambia and Zimbabwe is signed

Hon Ministers from Zambia and Zimbabwe sign MOU for the Lower Zambezi and Mana Pools (LOZAMAP TFCA)

On Friday 26th of May, an MOU on the Lower Zambezi and Mana Pools Transfrontier Conservation Area, commonly referred to as the LOZAMAP TFCA was signed by Hon Ministers from Zambia and Zimbabwe. The agreement has been under consideration for a long time and discussions started already in 2010. Since 2018, UNDP and GEF together with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry through the Zambezi Valley Biodiversity Project, have been supporting the establishment of the co-management agreement to the tune of 300 000 USD. 

A Trans-frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) is a region that straddles the borders of two or more countries, where natural and cultural resources are managed collaboratively by the governments and/or authorities involved. As a conservation concept, TFCAs arose in response to the management challenges posed by fragmented ecosystems clustered along international boundaries and disrupted traditional migration routes caused by arbitrary political boundaries. 

The governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia are promoting a regional approach to biodiversity conservation and tourism development by entering into the LOZAMAP TFCA agreement. LOZAMAP is located within the Zambezi Valley and encompasses Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia and Mana Pools National Park and the surrounding safari areas in Zimbabwe.

Hippos in Mana Pools

Hippos in Mana Pools, a UNESCO heritage site bordering both Zimbabwe and Zambia

The Zimbabwe Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Hon N M Ndlovu,  said that although the process has taken long, the future ahead looks bright. He noted that the agreement will build upon the already existing cooperation between the two governments, NGOs and local communities and added that the MOU will “ensure that all the stakeholders are strategically positioned for equitable sharing of timely benefits”

Hon Minister R M Sikumba, the Zambian Minister of Tourism, recognised the time and resources committed by all parties and partners which have paved way for the signing of the agreement. He underscored that “this achievement today will inevitably promote peace and stability, ensure the sustainable utilisation of natural resources, provide economic development opportunities through nature-based tourism, as well as address food and nutrition security.”

UNDP Zimbabwe is proud to have supported the formalisation of the MOU and looks forward to seeing how the collaborative effort will lead to more sustainable land use and coordinated conservation activities in the LOZAMAP. Other partners include Peace Parks Foundation, who also supported the process.