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Cablegate: Kaza Update

R 201018Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY GABORONE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5209
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS GABORONE 000720


DEPT FOR OES/PCI, OES/ETC, OES/FO, OES/ENV
DEPT FOR AF/S, AF/EPS AND EEB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ECON EAID WA ZA BC
SUBJECT: KAZA UPDATE

1. Summary. The U.S. State Department and USAID provide technical
and financial support to the development of a consultation framework
of the 5-nation Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area
(KAZA-TFCA) Initiative. The conceptualization and planning for this
began in 2006 with Botswana, which received the mandate from the
other members to sensitize donors and community-level stakeholders
about KAZA and potential impacts for the region. These efforts
culminated in a practitioner's workshop convened April 2008 in
Botswana with the primary purpose of developing the consultation
framework. In addition, Zambia launched June 18 in Livingstone and
June 20 in Sioma Ngwezi its Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as
part of its preparation for KAZA implementation. Attendees included
senior national and local government officials, NGOS, and the
private sector. A Namibian Tourism official informed REHO that KAZA
implementation faced delays due to the shuffling of the KAZA
portfolio between various departments. The KAZA Tech Committee met
June 3-6 to map a way forward for KAZA implementation, one of its
key responsibilities. Although progress on KAZA has been glacial,
some movement has occurred. End Summary.

Background
----------

2. The five Southern African countries of Angola, Botswana, Namibia,
Zambia and Zimbabwe signed December 7, 2006 at the Victoria Falls
Hotel in Zimbabwe the MOU that formally launched the establishment
of the KAZA TFCA. The proposed KAZA TFCA covers 278,000 square
kilometers (i.e., 107,226 square miles) in a contiguous area of the
five countries and 2.5 million inhabitants. It encompasses fourteen
national parks and game reserves, as well as a large number of
conservancies, game management areas and hunting concessions,
including the Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, the Kafue wetlands,
and considerable tracts of riverine habitats along the Okavango and
Zambezi Rivers and their tributaries. KAZA has the potential to
become one of the greatest tourism developments in Africa. The
creation of a significant new trans-frontier conservation and
tourism development zone will seek to harmonize wildlife
conservation and management, as well as tourism development and
marketing, with major socio-economic development benefits to the
five countries and the people resident in the zone.

Practitioner's Workshop
-----------------------

3. Holding a practitioner's workshop was viewed by most stakeholders
as critical to the process of developing a consultation framework
for KAZA implementation. However, this could not happen before the
KAZA Secretariat and KAZA Technical Committee became operational in
order to obtain endorsement of the initiative by KAZA institutions.
The practitioners advised on key elements of the initiative, drawing
upon their collective expertise. The primary objectives of the
workshop were to: a) identify mechanisms and strategies for
stakeholder consultations at a local level; and b) identify roles
for implementation of a pilot process of conducting consultations
with community level stakeholders. The participants from the five
KAZA countries included practitioners from non-government
organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and
government officials, who were nominated in consultation with the
Technical Committee members on account of their understanding of the
issues and realities on the ground.

4. The Key Outputs of the workshop included: a)a set of principles
that should form the foundation of any consultative process in the
KAZA TFCA; b)a set of uniform messages regarding the KAZA TFCA to be
shared at every site; c)an identification of stakeholders that will
be important to consider throughout the consultation process; d) a
set of activities that inform a consultative exercise throughout the
KAZA TFCA; e)an action plan to be implemented at a pilot site based
on all of the above, which can then be reviewed and improved upon
before being rolled out to other sites within KAZA TFCA ; and f)a
set of practical recommendations for the relevant authorities in
taking this process forward.

5. In order to test the outcome of the workshop, the participants
agreed on a pilot exercise as a follow-on activity, scheduled for
later this year. The practitioners recommended the Mucusso Reserve
in Angola as the pilot site due to: a) The KAZA Feasibility Study
findings of a particular need for information in Angola; and b) The
fact that the USAID-funded IRBM project has ongoing operations
there. If Angola judges that a pilot exercise in Angola is not
appropriate at this stage, the pilot may take place in another
country following discussions with the Technical Committee of the
alternate country and the U.S. State Department as the donor.

6. The workshop participants made recommendation that there be
established community working groups under KAZA. Potential
appropriate members of the community working group were identified
through the process of selecting workshop participants. Involvement
of some of the workshop participants in the community working group
will allow for continuity. A role for the community working group
was identified in the process of developing a consultative
framework. This exercise can provide an opportunity for the
community working group to focus on a task and to become actively
involved in pertinent actions immediately.

7. As a way forward, the workshop agreed that, upon approval from
the pilot country, and agreement on the roles and responsibilities
relevant stakeholders, a six-month process will be initiated which
would entail: a) meetings with a planning and implementation team;
b) identification and analysis of stakeholders and institutional
structures at the pilot site; c) development of information products
for use in consultations; d)consultation with stakeholders);
e)reporting on consultative products and processes; and f)review of
the exercise and lessons learned to inform the roll-out to other
sites.

Zambia's Integrated Development Plan
------------------------------------

8. The Zambian Minster of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources
(MTENR) Mr. Michael Kaiunga launched June 18 at the Royal
Livingstone Golf Club in Livingstone and June 20 in Sioma Ngwezi its
Integrated Development Plan (IDP) as part of its preparation for
KAZA implementation. Among the attendees District Commissioners of
Livingstone and Kazungula, Livingstone's Mayor, the Permanent
Secretary for the Southern Province, the Director General of the
Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Dr. Saiwana, the Chairman of ZAWA
Mr. Lisulo, Chief Sepute, Senior Chief Mukuni, the Chairman of the
Zambian Tourist Board, the Chairman of the National Heritage
Foundation, Chairman of the Environmental Council of Botswana, NGOS,
including the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Peace Park
Foundation (PPF), the private sector (e.g., tour operators), the
KAZA TFCA Coordinator and REHO.

Speeches
--------

9. Reading the remarks of the Minister of the Province, its
Permanent Secretary (PS) reported that ZAWA had held many meetings
since the December 2006 KAZA MOU signing at Victoria Falls with a
view to designing a Zambian plan for KAZA implementation. He
elaborated that meetings took place in the western and southern
provinces with a wide array of stakeholders to seek their input in
developing the plan. The PS marveled at the continuing growth in
the building of infrastructure in the region, especially for the
tourist industry. He concluded by observing the plan's launch
represented the beginning of the Zambian component of KAZA.

10. In his speech, ZAWA's Director General Dr. Saiwana echoed the
PS's remarks regarding ZAWA's multiplicity of meetings, especially
with chairpersons and heads of various organizations, including
NGOs. He revealed that ZAWA had worked on KAZA issues with the PPF.
(Note: PPF not only prepared the KAZA Pre-feasibility Study for the
KAZA members but also helped the Zambian Government develop its IDP.
It also funds the KAZA Coordinator position in Botswana, currently
held by Sedia Modise, who attended the IDP launch in Sioma Ngwezi.
End Note). Saiwana said his organization did a lot of
"sensitization" on the IDP in local communities because of their
conviction that a people-centered approach to wildlife management
and tourism is important. Moreover, this allowed ZAWA to inform the
government of the people's needs and concerns.

11. Saiwana noted that in preparing the IDP, ZAWA worked with all
levels of government to ensure compliance with Zambia's fifth
National Development Plan. The IDP's three main focus areas are: i)
reducing human-animal conflict; ii) enhancing income generation
activities (e.g., bee keeping and tourism) and conservation; and
iii) demonstrating the value of conservation as a viable land use
option that is equitable. He stressed that the IDP represents the
voice of the people reflecting on issues that matter to them.
Saiwana then took the opportunity to reveal ZAWA's ongoing
development plans for Sioma Ngwezi National Park, where six blocks
will be put up for concessions. He thanked the PPF, the WWF, the
German government (KFW) and other donors for their support of ZAWA,
concluding as he accepted the IDP from PPF's Professor Van Riet that
he was convinced that resources would be unlocked within the IDP
area. This, he said, would mark step one in developing the region
sustainably.

12. Chief Mukuni lauded ZAWA's participatory approach in developing
the IDP, which he opined is a better document because of stakeholder
input, especially during the ZAWA-sponsored National Experts
Workshop. The Chief stressed that all partners, NGOS, donors,
business, Community Trusts were responsible for the success of the
IDP process. In closing, he opined that if the IDP were adhered to,
the livelihood of communities would improve.

13. Minister Kaiunga began his remarks by revealing that the
Ministers of Tourism for the five KAZA nations had held May 10 in
South Africa an Indaba to promote KAZA. He also mentioned receiving
a letter from the Botswanan Tourism Minister three days ago
enquiring about Zambia's progress on KAZA. Becoming a bit somber,
the Minister noted a rising concern about the effect the Zimbabwean
situation could have on the progress of KAZA. He was thus "thankful
for the IDP launch today." Kaiunga added that he was honored to
have received the IDP, which reflects the voice of the people and
provides the government a clear vision of development in line with
Zambia's fifth National Development Plan. The IDP would thus help
the government achieve its socioeconomic goals. He said the 2006
KAZA MOU signing reflected Zambia's commitment to regional
integration.

14. Kaiunga also echoed Chief's Mukuni's extreme satisfaction with
the stakeholder consultations that informed the IDP. He noted that
the Kafue, Sioma Ngwezi and Mosi O Tunya National Parks are all
included in the IDP assessment. He also commended the traditional
leaders (i.e., chiefs) in the affected areas for their support and
input, which are all reflected in the Plan. Kaiunga reiterated
Saiwana's conviction that conservation would be proved to be a
viable land-use option. He warned, however, that the IDP would not
become a reality without the involvement of the private sector.
This explains the government's policy of offering block concessions
to develop ecotourism, which is predicated on public-private
partnerships and a fair market value for any given endeavor.

15. Kaiunga used the opportunity to indicate the government's
inability to properly manage Kafue National Park, which he said
equals the size of Switzerland. So Zambia needs partners to
co-manage Kafue. He also admitted that government need forge new
policies to make Zambia competitive, which in turn will allow for
the increased diversification of land use in its national parks.
The Minister also alluded to complaints of local communities about
human-animal conflicts and requests for solutions, all of which will
fortunately be addressed in the IDP. He said communities will be
taught how to live with wildlife and generate income such as bee
keeping without destroying trees. Kaiunga also observed that the
IDP would especially focus on intensive agriculture that would be
irrigated by shared water resources. Finally, in signing and
formally launching the IDP, the Minister thanked the donors,
business and other stakeholders for attending this important event.


Namibia's KAZA Preparations
---------------------------

16. In a June 13 meeting in Windhoek with the Ministry of
Environment and Tourism's (MET) Merro Thaniseb from the Directorate
of Tourism, REHO and CONOFF learned that Namibia's KAZA preparations
have slowed considerably. Thaniseb explained that a key reason for
this lay in the constant shuffling of KAZA responsibility from one
department to the next. With distressing candor, Thaniseb admitted
that since his office lost the KAZA portfolio, he did not know which
Directorate (i.e., Scientific Services, or Parks and Wildlife
Management) now handled KAZA issues. He mentioned that the KAZA
Technical Committee held in Victoria falls (see below), where
participants agreed that KAZA members should incorporate funding for
KAZA in their nation budgets. Thansibeb intimated that Namibia is
apparently the only one to have already done so.

KAZA Technical Committee Meeting
--------------------------------

17. The KAZA Technical Committee (TC) met June 3-6 to map a way
forward for KAZA implementation, one of its key responsibilities.
This, according to KAZA TFCA Coordinator Sedia Modise, who provided
June 25 to REHO and USAID's Regional Water and Biodiversity Field
Office an update on the Secretariat's activities. The TC discussed,
inter alia, a financial sustainability strategy, Terms of Reference
(TOR) for a Tourism Development Plan and IDPs, guidelines for
Working Groups that are to be established to help the TC, a revised
logo for KAZA, pledged and hoped-for donor support, and staffing for
the Secretariat.

Comment
-------

18. It is fair to say that since the KAZA MOU signing in 2006 and
the KAZA donor meeting in 2007, progress has been glacially slow.
Nonetheless, there has indeed been some movement. The KAZA
Secretariat and Technical Committee are now in operation (the former
is still a one-person operation though) and can thus address KAZA
issues that need to be brought to the attention of the Ministers of
the member nations. The KAZA Technical Committee did meet earlier
this month in Victoria Falls to discuss a way forward, and as noted
above, Zambia launched its KAZA IDP. As the Pre-feasibility Study
made clear and some Ministers echoed, KAZA implementation would be a
long, complicated and painfully slow process. So far, they have
been proven right.

Drouin

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