In Dr. Nelson Mandela’s words, “I know of no political movement, no philosophy, and no ideology that does not agree with the peace parks concept as we see it going into fruition today. It is a concept that can be embraced by all. In a world beset by conflict and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future. Peace Parks are building blocks in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world.”
A Peace Park, or Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) as described by the Peace Park Foundation, is as follows:
Peace parks are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs). The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement of 1999 defines a TFCA as “the area or component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries, encompassing one or more protected areas as well as multiple resource use areas”. The Protocol commits the SADC Member States to promote the conservation of shared wildlife resources through the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas.
The TFCAs are areas that straddle two or more international borders and are managed collaboratively. These areas are not just comprised of national parks, but include private and state land and in some cases, large corporations have donated land holdings to be incorporated into the TFCA. In 2002, De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd was instrumental in the consolidation of lands for the Limpopo TFCA, where De Beer property was integrated into the core area.
Currently 10 TFCAs exist in Southern Africa, with more in the formation process. In 2011, five countries, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe signed into agreement a new TFCA called KAZA, which stands for the Kavango and Zambezi rivers which run through the area. It covers a sparsely populated region of 444,000 square kilometers (171,429 square miles; slightly larger than California).