Mozambique, Zambia & Zimbabwe Agree On Conservation Area

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    Oct 1, 2007
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    Mozambique, Zambia & Zimbabwe Agree On Conservation Area

    Maputo - Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia have agreed that the three countries will jointly manage the natural resources in their cross border conservation areas.

    The announcement was made in Maputo on Tuesday by Afonso Madope, of the Cross-border Conservation Areas Unit in the Mozambican Tourism Ministry. He was speaking to reporters shortly after the start of a meeting between the tourism authorities of the three countries.

    "Our proposal is that the agreement be formalized in a period of not more than two months", said Madope.

    The preparation of this cross-border conservation area, to be known as ZIMOZA, has dragged on for more than seven years. The document before Tuesday's meeting is the minutes of a meeting from 2002, and the idea of joint management was first raised by a Zimbabwean deputy minister in 1999.

    After Tuesday's meeting, the document from the tourism ministries must be submitted to the justice authorities in each country, to ensure that it is in conformity with their legal systems, and only then will it be formally signed.

    The joint management will cover such matters as fishing, hunting, access to water and the conservation of local cultural heritage. The model used will prioritize community participation.

    The area concerned is where the borders of the three countries all meet. On the Mozambican side, the districts of Magoe and Zumbo, in Tete province, and much of Cahora Bassa lake are within the conservation area.

    Madope thought that this initiative will be useful for mobilizing investment in tourism facilities in the conservation area. "Investors go where they know that there is a legal base and a good political environment for investments", he said. "When this agreement is signed, all the conditions will exist for investments in the area".

    This will be the second cross-border conservation agreement Mozambique has signed. In August 2006, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe inaugurated the Greater Limpopo Trans-frontier Park, the largest conservation area of its kind in the world.

    Source: AllAfrica

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