The Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources of the Republic of Malawi, Hon. Nancy Tembo, on 5 September 2021 launched a Financing Facility to support transboundary conservation actions for Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs).
The SADC TFCA Financing Facility aims to reach a volume of EUR 100 Million in the medium to long term benefitting 18 Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) in 16 countries and covering over 700 000 km2 of shared ecosystems in the SADC region.
Speaking at the launch, Hon. Tembo noted: “The TFCA Financing Facility will complement efforts by governments of Southern Africa to develop sustainable financing mechanisms for conservation of nature which straddles across international boundaries in the region.”
The SADC TFCA Financing Facility is a grant-making mechanism established to support development of TFCAs in the SADC region. The first phase of the financing facility currently funded by the German Government through KfW has an initial budget of €12 million with an overall ambition to reach a target of €100 million
The Director of Food Agriculture and Natural Resources at the SADC Secretariat Mr Domingos Gove emphasized the importance of TFCAs in collaboratively managing shared natural and cultural resources across international boundaries: “The establishment this regional TFCA financing mechanism is a major component of the SADC TFCA programme (2013). This financing facility is a basis for long-term and more sustainable investment in tangible measures that strengthen ecological, economic, cultural and institutional connectivity within SADC TFCAs.”
Also speaking during the high-level event, Director General, of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Dr Bruno Oberle, congratulated the 16 Member States of SADC on the establishment of the SADC TFCAs Financing Facility and emphasised the opportunities for forging strategic partnerships. “IUCN is honoured to host the launch of the financing facility at the World Conservation Congress in Marseille. The operationalisation of this financing facility offers major opportunities for forging strategic partnerships with implementing and development partners, including governments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community- Based Organisations (CBOs) to deliver tangible results for biodiversity conservation and sustainable development,” said Bruno.
In her remarks, Ms. Christiane Laibach of KfW announced that in addition to the current investment of €12million to the Financing Facility, the German government has committed a further €13 million. Ms. Laibach noted the need for the Facility to contribute towards sustainable financing of TFCAs with the overall ambition to reach a target of €100 million, in the medium to long term. In this context, she invited other development partners to come on board and invest in the TFCA Financing Facility to reach this ambitious target.
The SADC TFCA Financing facility will be executed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. IUCN will manage the grant-making process through a dedicated Programme Management Unit.
TFCAs are founded on the realization that natural resources that straddle international boundaries are shared assets with the potential to meaningfully contribute to conservation of biodiversity and the socio-economic development of rural communities. TFCAs provide a means of creating an enabling environment for local participation in decision-making processes, increasing opportunities for investment in income generating activities for communities to improve local economies resulting in poverty reduction. The positive ecological effects of well-managed TFCAs further promotes sustainability of ecosystems and their capacity to provide the necessary goods and services required to support the sustainable development of the region through a unique level of regional cooperation amongst participating countries. Additionally, TFCAs often seek to establish a complementary network of formal and informal protected areas across the landscape, linked through corridors, which ensure the continued existence of migratory wildlife species, which are otherwise becoming increasingly isolated due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
The SADC TFCA Financing Facility provides grants to selected projects in all SADC TFCAs contributing to measurable outcomes, including: Conservation of biodiversity and recovery of flagship species; Newly established or better managed protected areas or networks of conservation areas of regional importance; and improved livelihoods for communities living in TFCAs.