How Well Is The TFCA Doing?
The Malawi Zambia TFCA is regarded as a central TFCA within SADC, where the functioning of the ecosystem that supports the resources of two important national parks – Nyika and North Luangwa – transcends international boundaries. The TFCA partner countries believe that through collaboration between the various conservation agencies and authorities the conservation objectives of the area can be attained more effectively and efficiently.
Clear direction regarding and reporting on the efficacy of the various interventions undertaken within the Malawi-Zambia TFCA becomes essential not only for the Governments, but also for international cooperation partners, donors, resource managers, affected communities and investors.
For this reason a TFCA Development approach is followed as the basis for the IDP – both in terms of assessing progress to date as well as planning the actions required to address the specific objectives of the TFCA.
The TFCA Development approach, based on general best practice within other SADC TFCAs, consists of eight Key Performance Areas (KPA), and within each KPA various indicators have been identified to guide the TFCA development
process (refer Figure 3)-
KPA (1)-Joint Planning – ensuring that the collective planning of the entire Malawi-Zambia TFCA, as well as the planning regarding the individual components are aligned.
KPA (2)-Institutional Arrangements – ensuring that the institutional arrangements and structures are functional and representative of all stakeholders and that the legal status of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA is clarified and properly delineated.
KPA (3)-Sustainable Financing – aimed at ensuring that sufficient funding is available, since without these funds it will not be possible to implement many of the actions and attain the envisaged objectives.
KPA (4)-Policy Harmonisation – aimed at establishing a conducive environment by ensuring synergy between operational policies utilised by the partner countries, cognisant of sovereignty.
KPA (5)-Sustaining and Restoring Landscape Dynamics – as a conservation initiative it is critical that the ecosystem integrity of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA is sustained where intact and restored where fragmented.
KPA (6)-Integrated Management – to sustain and restore the ecosystem integrity of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, it is critical that integrated management be undertaken between the partner countries’ conservation agencies.
KPA (7)-Integrated Development -since the objectives of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA extend beyond conservation and include socio-economic development and public enjoyment it is imperative that regional development strategies be jointly implemented
KPA (8)-Benefit Flow Management – aimed at broadening the understanding that conservation is a viable and sustainable land use option that can provide a broad range of benefits to the region and its people, as well as quantifying the benefits and reporting on the impact of the conservation initiatives on the affected communities
The first four KPAs – (1) to (4) are usually the responsibility of senior government officials, while KPAs (5) and (6) are usually addressed by conservation managers within the partner countries. KPA (7) is addressed comprehensively by the TFCA partner countries aimed at creating a conducive environment within which business can unlock the potential within TFCAs. KPA (8) – Benefit Flow Management – is addressed by senior officials based on information gathered by the various sectors – resource management, business and affected communities, and addresses the reporting on the benefits emanating from TFCA development.
Intentionally, TFCA governance, is not defined, and it is deliberately broad so as to capture all of the political, social and economic goods and services that affected communities and stakeholders have the right to expect from the governments regarding conservation development in an economically and socially acceptable manner. It can be summarised into four over-arching dimensions namely, biodiversity and resource management, business development, benefit flow management and governance. Each of these dimensions makes up a crucial component regarding the sustainability of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA, with the pivot being the actions of the two governments.
In popular vernacular the framework for the IDP consists of – resources, business and benefits, and what governments must do to attain the objectives (refer to Figure 2).
The main objective with the use of the TFCA Development approach as the basis of the IDP is thus to:
● Establish the progress in the establishment and development of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA (refer subsection 3.2)
● Identify factors that have retarded progress in establishing and developing the TFCA
● Establish targets to guide actions towards further developing the TFCA.