Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) in SADC are established to improve transborder conservation management and allow the cross-border movement of wildlife. Their establishment is also intended to increase the prospects of rural and typically marginalized communities living in and around them to derive socio-economic benefits from the biodiversity economy, whilst preserving their natural and cultural heritage.
SADC TFCAs are home to renowned tourism destinations like the Victoria Falls, Kruger National Park, and the Okavango Delta. There is also a strong geographical overlap between SADC TFCAs and inscribed World Heritage Sites in the region, meaning many TFCAs offer visitors a diverse range of natural and cultural heritage experiences. The consequent interrelation is that many protected areas in SADC TFCAs depend on income derived from tourism on one hand, while tourism for many SADC countries, on the other hand, is largely dependent on natural capital which includes wildlife, scenery, culture and heritage contained in and around TFCAs.
To boost SADC Secretariat’s tourism policy function whilst supporting coordinated sustainable TFCA tourism market development, the SADC/GIZ Transboundary Use and Protection of Natural Resources (TUPNR) programme, financed by the German Government, added a tourism support component to its programme in February 2019. This component is being implemented by AFC/Gopa Consultants and will run until December 2020.
The tourism component will support SADC Secretariat, Member States and TFCAs to address bottlenecks to intraregional cross-border tourism. It will also develop the supply of TFCA destination tourism offerings and increase demand for these products through targeted public relations interventions and the establishment of new market linkages through strengthened trade relations on national, regional and international scales.