The completion of the IDP does not signal the completion of all the planning requirements of the Malawi-Zambia TFCAs. Crucial to the attainment of success regarding the TFCA will be the alignment of the individual protected area management plans to the IDP. Each of the management plans for the two Nyika national parks, Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Musalangu GMA and the North Luangwa National Park, as well as the various forest reserves, will require alignment since certain aspects regarding the management of these areas within the context of the TFCA would require amendment, based on review, redrafting and approval, where required.

Additionally, a five year strategic implementation plan, as well as annual business plans would need to be prepared for the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, and progress reviewed and appropriate reports prepared for the various TFCA structures.


For the Malawi-Zambia TFCA to succeed, it is essential that the institutional arrangements regarding the governance and administration framework required for the TFCA be established and becomes fully functional.

The interim institutional framework for the Malawi-Zambia TFCA until the Treaty is signed is set out in Figure 4– the responsibilities of the respective entities are set out in the MoU. Currently, three different levels of institutions are involved in the management of various components of the TFCA. At the bilateral level, two exist, namely the BMC, as well as the BTC, which can establish Specialist Working Groups. An IC is responsible for the coordination and administration of these two committees.

At the national level, each country has a National TFCA Committee consisting of representatives from the conservation agency and other stakeholders.

From a governance perspective it is crucial that the structures as per Treaty be established and become fully functional.

The MoU provides for the current institutional arrangement governing the implementation of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, yet the following institutions will be constituted by the Treaty once in force and shall be responsible for the administration, management and development of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA (refer Figure 5):

a) BMC
b) Committee of Senior Officials
c) Joint Management Committee
d) Secretariat
e) National Committees
f) Local Advisory Committees.

The Partner States may at their discretion, create additional institutions for the attainment of the objectives of the TFCA as may be considered necessary, such as Joint Management Area or Park Management Committees for areas that will be jointly managed.

Each component of the TFCA will, however, retain its own administrative structures. The DNPW, ZAWA and Department of Forestry will continue to administer their own areas as they deem appropriate. This will ensure that the principle of national sovereignty will be upheld.

The establishment of a Secretariat, a legal entity deemed important for the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, will require key steps such as a formal discussion by the various TFCA structures, with the decision recorded. Following this the drafting of the Articles of Association (AoA) or Constitution needs to be undertaken, as well as the signing of these statutory requirements for the Secretariat. The overarching alignment of the Secretariat’s reporting lines, staff and funding must be undertaken, and regular meetings arranged and documented regarding the TFCA development path and the role and function of the Secretariat established on behalf of the two TFCA partner states.


Ensuring that the Malawi-Zambia TFCA is properly financed is essential to attain the objectives of the TFCA as captured within the Treaty. To attain this the TFCA partner countries must prepare a Financial Sustainability Strategy (FSS), which would consist of reviewing best practices regarding financing mechanisms for the Malawi-Zambia

TFCA, deciding on options and preparing a draft FSS, for approval by the relevant TFCA structures.
Once the FSS has been developed and approved an implementation plan needs to be done, which could be tasked to a Specialist Working Group in terms of the Treaty. This Working Group could prepare the Fundraising Strategy based on the FSS and endeavour to secure the funding required.

Establishing Financial Mechanisms to enable the effective financial management of funds secured is essential, as would be training programmes for staff and officials. These mechanisms must be based on the FSS and Implementation Plan.

Crucial to measuring the success of the TFCA, would be the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems that are established and implemented for the FSS, the Implementation Plan, aimed at measuring the efficacy of the Financial Mechanisms that are put into place. Regular reports need to be provided to the various TFCA structures, showing to what degree the financial sustainability of the TFCA is being attained.

The Malawi-Zambia TFCA has been able to mobilise substantial resources from several sources (refer subsection 3.2) including among other GEF and the Norwegian Government/Embassy. Ensuring that this continues requires that the steps highlighted in this KPA and associated KPIs be initiated, implemented, monitored, evaluated and reported on.


The development and implementation of TFCAs are guided and formalised by International Agreements, MoU, and International Treaties, which in turn are influenced by international protocols and other relevant international conventions and legislation.

Management of TFCAs is however, largely directed by the national legislation of governments as applicable to the various component parts and chiefly those governing national parks, wildlife reserves, GMAs and forest reserves, in the instance of this TFCA (refer subsection 2.2.4, Table 3).

It is crucial to recognise that not all the policies will be aligned or harmonised simultaneously. Once the TFCA structures have identified the specific management interventions that would require policy harmonisation, as well as the level at which this must be undertaken, the relevant procedures can be initiated.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) based on current legislation and regulations would often provide the various TFCA structures, Specialist Working Groups, and JMA or Park Management Committees sufficient opportunity to undertake key interventions within the TFCA. To develop these SOPs the various policies as well as empowering legislation would require review, followed by the drafting of new or amended SOPs addressing the key interventions.

Training programmes for staff and personnel would then require implementation to ensure that the staff know and understand the SOPs, policies and procedures.

At pre-determined intervals each SOP can be reviewed and amended, based on the efficacy and relevance of the specific procedure within the context of attaining the objectives of the TFCA.

Initial focus areas for policy harmonisation could include aspects such as:

● Tourism movement – people, goods and services
● Gate Hours and fees
● The use of undesignated ports of entry
● Law enforcement – patrols, firearms, equipment
● Intelligence and sharing of information
● Research protocols
● Community engagement, support and monitoring.

These focus areas should be clustered to ensure that the Specialist Working Group responsible for this can engage the relevant stakeholders appropriately regarding the levels of harmonisation that must take place, and prepare the details for each accordingly.

Rather than attempting full-scale law reform, the ideal would be to focus on the development of SOPs for the specific component being addressed, and having the relevant officials provide the details for this. If certain legislative restrictions prevent this from happening, it would require discussion and amendment accordingly.


As part of this IDP a desk top Geographic Information Systems (or GIS)survey was done to ascertain the landscape dynamics regarding the key features of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA. This included an analysis of the main encumbrances that influence the effective functioning of the ecosystem (refer subsection 2.2.1).

The following highlight a few of the key factors regarding the region from a catchment and habitat perspective. The key environmental drivers seem to be:

● Fire (refer Map 11)
● Available water (refer Map 9)
● Presence of people (refer Map 14).

The priorities for biodiversity conservation in the TFCA are:

● Growing wildlife numbers
● Forest rehabilitation
● Catchment management
● Fire management
● Alien invasives management
● Sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

It is essential that a Specialist Working Group be established to prepare and implement a Joint Conservation Management Plan (JCMP) concept developed as part of this IDP, aimed at sustaining and restoring the landscape dynamics of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA. This plan should be a practical guide based on discussions between experts in conservation management on how the conservation objectives contained in the treaty will be attained.

Once the Specialist Working Group has prepared a draft JCMP it can be submitted to the various TFCA structures for approval and implementation, through the development of joint programmes and projects coordinated and aligned with the management plans for the individual components and protected areas within the TFCA.

The Specialist Working Group must include within the JCMP strategies to measure, monitor and evaluate the ecosystem health, habitat integrity and effective functioning of the TFCA, and prepare reports for the various TFCA structures.


In Malawi, the DNPW, of the Ministryof Forestry and Natural Resources, is responsible for the management of the Nyika NP and Vwaza Marsh WR. Direct management is carried out by senior staff based within the protected areas under the supervision of the divisional office at Thazima in the Nyika NP.

In Zambia, North Luangwa National Park, Nyika NP and Musalangu GMA fall under the jurisdiction of ZAWA, a parastatal institution under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts. Direct management is carried out by the East Luangwa Area Management Unit based at Chipata, and the West Luangwa Area Management Unit, both under the supervision of the

Division office based at Mfuwe, which is in turn supervised by ZAWA Head Quarters based at Chilanga.

The national forests and forest reserves fall under the administration of the Forestry Department. In the case of Lundazi FR, this is the Provincial Office for the Eastern Province in Chipata as well as the Lundazi and Chama District Offices. The Mitenge FR, Makutu FR and several other smaller forest reserves that are within the Musalangu GMA fall under the jurisdiction of the Northern Province office of the Department of Forestry based in Isoka. There are no resident departmental staff members in any of the forest reserves.

Realigning the management of the various protected areas and conservation programmes within the Malawi-Zambia TFCA will contribute significantly to improving the current situation. Integrating the conservation management within the Malawi-Zambia TFCA will be an effective way to attain the objectives of the TFCA. Rather than having separate management structures addressing key interventions identified as crucial to the success of the TFCA, combining efforts within identified and functional ecological management units can contribute to the attainment of the objectives of the TFCA in an effective and efficient manner. The joint interventions that have already been undertaken within the Malawi-Zambia TFCA have become recognised as best practice within the region. Based on these successes the joint management initiatives can be expanded and further developed.

It is recommended that the TFCA structures of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA formally decide on Integrated Management opportunities within the TFCA, based on the concepts contained in the IDP.

Functional areas where jointly managed initiatives can be undertaken include:

• Policy harmonisation
• Fundraising
• Community outreach and engagement
• Benefit flow management and reporting
• Tourism development
• Marketing and awareness regarding the Malawi-Zambia TFCA.

Specialist Working Groups can be established and tasked with the responsibility to undertake these activities in an integrated and aligned manner, based on Joint Operational Strategies guided by the JCMP. These strategies should be approved by the TFCA structures.

The key geographical areas where joint management activities can be integrated include, inter alia:

• Nyika Plateau
• Greater Vwaza Marsh area
• Escarpment area south of Vwaza Marsh.

As introduced to in subsection 4.3, it is recommended that JMA0r Park Management Committees be established for these areas, and that these plan, implement, monitor and evaluate, as well as report on joint activities to the TFCA structures, which should include joint law enforcement, patrols, research, HWC management and mitigation, community engagement and awareness and sensitisation programme implementation.

Whether to support the joint or collaborating initiatives of the TFCA regarding integrated management, it is recommended that Joint Operational Centres (JOCs) be established for each of these areas. The key geographical JOCs will be at Nyika and the Greater Vwaza Marsh area, which can also oversee the escarpment area, while JOCs for the other activities can be discussed and established as and when required to address the specific functional area being addressed. The JOCs can be temporal in nature, as opposed to the permanent nature of the two JOCs for the jointly managed protected area components.

To further attain the conservation objectives of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, certain activities will be undertaken separately, yet on the same standard, within a single country. It is crucial that these activities be co-ordinated and aligned, so that the reports regarding the conservation objectives of the TFCA can collectively be prepared for submission to the TFCA structures. These collaborative activities, aligned with certain standards, and guided by Standard Operational Procedures for the activities, will enable this to happen.

Typically, activities within the following geographical areas would be implemented as collaborative conservation initiatives, rather than jointly undertaken activities:

• North Luangwa National Park
• Musalangu GMA.

Once joint or collaborative activities are undertaken, reports must be prepared for the TFCA structures showing the impact of such joint activities. The basis of these reports should be on the regular monitoring and evaluation that is done by the JMA Committees or by the individual park management structures or by the Specialist Working Groups established for this.


For the Malawi-Zambia TFCA to truly attain its objectives it is crucial that an environment conducive for integrated development is established. To enable this, the TFCA structures must build forth on the platform established by this IDP, incorporating a regional development strategy collectively shared by the countries.

The TFCA Tourism Product Development Strategy conceptually developed and included in the IDP requires funding to be secured and implementation to be undertaken, so that potential inherent within the TFCA can be unlocked. This will include seamless tourism access to key areas, such as the Nyika Plateau and the Greater Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, by developing Standard Operating Procedures for the movement of people, goods and services within these core areas, and ensuring appropriate Ports of Entry within the TFCA to enable legal movement of tourists between the countries where necessary.

Improving both road and aerial access to the Malawi-Zambia TFCA would be hugely beneficial to the region and its people, and this would entail upgrades of key routes such as:

• Aerial access between the core components would include airstrips at:
• The Malawi-Zambia TFCA has a strong story line regarding wildlife, based on the number of endemic species such as Blue swallow and orchids, as well as presence of iconic species, such as lion, elephant, buffalo, roan, sable and rhino. This nature based attraction is supported by a strong underlying cultural element in the region.

Numerous natural resources are also regarded as cultural attractions and include, inter alia:

• Springs, some of which are hot including those at Kalunguvu (Sitwe); Chipyuzi (Mphyahakunda); Kamimbili (Katangalika, Thembwe), and Kapisha (Chilubanama)
• Heritage sites, such as the graves at Lenshina, Chama; Kalimatundu (Thembwe), and Soyo Burial (Kambombo / Mphundu)
• Two rock features – Fingila Rock and Ng’Anjo Rock (furnaces)
• Museba and Mboloma in NLNP
• Traditional ceremonies such as the Kwenje – Senga (Vimbuza / Luzamba) and the Zimphungu.

From a tourism development perspective, the TFCA can be divided into several development blocks, with subsequent concession areas. These include, inter alia:

• Nyika Plateau – 5 (refer Map 15)
• Vwaza Marsh – 3 (refer Map 16 )
• Musalangu GMA – 5 (refer Map 17)
• North Luangwa –5 existing with an additional Rhino Sanctuary and new Zoning sites (refer Map 18).

Based on these features, the Malawi-Zambia TFCA could develop tourism routes and products utilising themes such as:

• Cultural Heritage
• Luangwa – ‘From Source to Zi’–the Zambezi
• Special Interest – North Luangwa Black Rhino Rescue
• Special Interest –Nyika Orchids; Blue Swallow; other endemics
• Wilderness and Wildlife
• Adventure Hiking
• Horse Trails.

To improve access within the TFCA, efforts will need to be made to improve access to information as well. For this the TFCA structures must establish a Malawi-Zambia TFCA website, which can serve as a portal for information pertaining to the region, its attractions, the people and the tourism products offered, and should include a bookings service for visitors. This should also form part of the marketing strategy for the TFCA, which should be aligned with the tourism marketing campaigns of both countries.


To ensure that conservation is recognised as a viable and sustainable land use option it is critical that the understanding regarding the range of benefits emanating from conservation to the region and its people is broadened. These benefits should be quantified and the results reported on to both the TFCA structures and the communities affected by conservation initiatives. These benefits should include aspects such as, inter alia:

• Biodiversity
• Ecosystem Services
• Access to and use of natural and cultural resources by local communities
• Research opportunities
• Human resource development and training
• Direct Foreign Investment
• Community equity in ecotourism and related investments
• Broadening of the Tax Base
• Awareness and sensitisation
• Employment, skills development and training opportunities.

Critical actions that the TFCA structures need to undertake include a Benefit Flow Benchmarking exercise, aimed at identifying measurable criteria, conducting a survey to ascertain current benefit flow levels and preparing a report for future reference, as well as the preparation of Beneficiation Action Plans (BAPs) for the TFCA. These BAPs are based on specific strategies for addressing benefits to stakeholders, through consultation and discussion with the stakeholders, that are converted into BAPs that are approved and supported by the TFCA structures through various TFCA programmes and projects, the securing of funding and implementation initiatives.

These initiatives must be monitored and evaluated against the baseline criteria identified during the first steps of the KPA, and reports prepared for the structures showing the benefits of the TFCA for the region.

  • Malawi Zambia TFCA

    Kenyatta Road | Capital City| Lilongwe | Directions | PO Box 30131 | Munif House| Lilongwe | Republic of Malawi

    Tel: + 265 (0) 1755528
    Mobile: +265 (0) 888852648
    Fax: + 265 (0) 755528

  • About TFCA

    The project supports transboundary biodiversity conservation through planning, institution building, fundraising and capacity building for protected area management within three management blocks belonging to Nyika TFCA.