Social Environment – Key Features and Issues
The land use within the Malawi-Zambia TFCA is largely compatible, with wildlife and ecotourism making up the bulk of the regional economy, built off a base existing of the Nyika national parks and NLNP, as well as Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve. The intervening area, mainly consisting of the Musalangu GMA is where the most diversified economy exists, with aspects such as livestock farming, agriculture, fishing, bee-keeping, timber, safari hunting and tourism all being utilised as income streams.
The communities situated within the GMA have largely relied on income from safari hunting, rather than diversifying income streams, and the recent changes to the wildlife management policies within Zambia have affected this income stream. Poverty is prevalent, often exacerbated by drought, with few viable options other than ecotourism to truly influence the regional economy.
However, the potential of many resources, such as the springs, some of which are hot, such as those at Kalunguvu – Sitwe; Chipyuzi – Mphyahakunda; Kamimbili – Katangalika (Tembwe), and Kapisha – Chilubanama remainsuntapped due to deforestation, the lack of management anddevelopment. Heritage sites, such as the graves at Lenshina – Chama Day School; Kalimatundu – Thembwe, and Soyo Burial – Kambombo / Mphundu, suffer similarly, and are being impacted on by insensitive development.
Traditional ceremonies, such as the Kwenje – Senga (Vimbuza / Luzamba); and the Zimphungu are not utilised to the benefit of the region, due to a lack of support from influential local people, and a lack of awareness and marketing of the ceremonies to tourists. This might be as a result of the perception that these ceremonies encourage wildlife utilisation, which could be seen as poaching.
Map 14 illustrates the degree of human influence over the area, evaluated in terms of population, travel routes, land use, and lights. The areas of greater impact lie largely within Malawi with lesser impacts within the Zambian component.
Issues that have been raised by stakeholders regarding communal needs include:
● The need for diversification of income streams to include ecotourism as a way of offsetting reliance solely on safari hunting.
● Establishment of community structures to enable benefit flow management from tourism and related activities.
● Proper land use planning and implementation to ensure that no conflicting land use occurs in key tourism areas.
● Reductions in incidences of encroachment by development in sensitive areas.
● Access to resources such as thatching grass; firewood, mushrooms, fish, and wildlife for protein.
● Upgraded roads within the broader area to enable access to markets and services such as electricity and clean water, as well as schools and clinics.
● Reduced park entrance fees to enable local access to these national assets for both recreational and educational purposes, as well as ceremonial events.
● Support for traditional ceremonies.
Governance Environment – Key Features and Issues
A key feature of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA is the presence of national and bilateral institutional structures. Both countries have district level committees consisting of traditional leaders, councillors, politicians and government officials, enabling the addressing of issues at the lowest level possible within each country. This approach truly allows implementation of projects to happen in a decentralised manner.
Issues that have been raised by stakeholders from this group include:
● Animal identification
● Illegal mining
● Livelihood and welfare of local people
● Lack of adequate resources for various government operations
● Land use plans not implemented
● Disease outbreaks including zoonotic diseases
● Slow implementation of decentralisation policies
● Ineffective law enforcement processes, often based on insufficient evidence.
The international and regional background to the obligations and responsibilities that must be exercised and demonstrated in the management of the Malawi-Zambia TFCA are contained in the following instruments, recognising that both Partner Countries are signatories to these:
At an International Level-
● The African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Algiers, 1968)
● UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (1970)
● The Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar 1971)
● The World Heritage Convention (Paris, 1972)
● The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Washington, 1973)
● Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, 1992)
● The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (New York 1992)
● The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Paris,1994).
At a Regional Level-
● The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Treaty (1992)
● SADC Wildlife Policy and Development Strategy (1997)
● SADC Environment and Sustainable Development Policy and Strategy (1998)
● SADC Protocol on Trade (1996)
● SADC Protocol on the Development of Tourism (1998)
● SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement (1999)
● The revised SADC Protocol on Shared Water Courses (2000), and the SADC Protocol on Forestry (2002).
While Malawi and Zambia are a party to most of the above instruments the extent to which their tenets have been absorbed in domestic legislation and practice may vary.
National instruments in Zambia and Malawi are set out in Table 3.