Trans-frontier conservation areas are essential for the conservation of wildlife in the region; however, the illegal killing and trade of wildlife is a threat to their success.
SADC supports the establishment of 17 trans-frontier conservation areas in order to aid in sustainable management of wildlife resources over large ecological regions. For example, the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, launched in March 2012, is among the world’s largest conservation areas spanning five countries; Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Under the Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement Member States must cooperate with other Member States to manage shared wildlife resources and any trans-frontier impacts within their jurisdiction or control. Member States are also responsible for the prevention of damage to wildlife resources (excluding forestry and fisheries resources) in other States and will ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife within their own State.
Specific Objectives of the Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement include:
- To promote the sustainable use of wildlife
- To facilitate the harmonisation of the legal instruments governing wildlife use and conservation
- To promote the enforcement of wildlife laws within, between and among State Parties
- To facilitate the exchange of information concerning wildlife management, utilisation and the enforcement of wildlife laws
- To assist in the building of national and regional capacity for wildlife management, conservation and enforcement of wildlife laws
- To promote the conservation of shared wildlife resources through the establishment of trans-frontier conservation areas
- To facilitate community-based natural resources management practices for management of wildlife resources