The concept of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) is formalised in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Wildlife, Conservation and Law Enforcement.
A TFCA is defined as“an 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 in which the participating countries decide to co-operate in managing shared natural resources”.
Malawi and Zambia are both signatories to this Protocol.
The process followed towards deciding to establish the Malawi-Zambia TFCA entailed-
● Identification of TFCAs in SADC through a process facilitated by Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) and Development Bank of Southern Africa in 2003
● Consultations meetings between the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) of Malawi and Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), facilitated by PPF since 2003
● Appointment of an International Coordinator (IC)in 2004 by the two Governments
● Agreeing on an institutional framework and mandates for consultations and negotiations
● Preparation of various TFCA support documents
● Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards the establishment of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA by the Governments of Malawi and Zambia in August 2004.
Since the signing of the MoU several meetings of the institutional structures have taken place allowing for interactions between stakeholders, various documents providing a framework for TFCA activities were prepared including fundraising for implementation .