Peace Parks: Diversity in Nature, Diversity in Culture (Status at July 2003)
Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Maintaining harmony between society, the environment and economic development is a task that presents an acute challenge in this era of globalization. Finding a balance that takes into account the needs of both people and wildlife is the key. The first step is to begin by finding solutions to the basic problems of poverty, political instability and poor environmental protection practices. One such solution is the concept of Peace Parks. These are cross-border wildlife preserves aimed at improving living conditions for people and animals, strengthening economic structures and helping secure peaceful co-existence between neighbouring nations. The Peace Parks idea is based on the principles of sustainable development: protected areas promote the preservation of wildlife and eco-systems; proper resource management and the planned increase in non-disruptive of tourism creates economic opportunity for local inhabitants to thrive and preserve their culture; and the cooperation between neighboring governments promotes dialogue, understanding and peace. Deutsche Bank supports Peace Parks Foundation in this idea, especially in the area of education and knowledge transfer to the local society, i.e. the coordination concerning the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which straddles the borders of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. More information about Deutsche Bank's corporate citizenship activities can be obtained at: http://www.deutsche-bank.de/cca/index.html?contentOverload=http://www.deutsche-bank.de/cca/db_foundation.html (pages 32, 39) and http://www.deutsche-bank.de/ir/index.html?contentOverload=http://www.deutsche-bank.de/ir/1644.shtml (pages 23, 55, 56).Peace Parks Foundation has taken the lead in project design and implementation, while Deutsche Bank?s role, which capitalizes on our financial services expertise and network, is twofold. We directly fund certain activities, such as the training of park personnel for the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, with the goal of enabling them to manage the park in an environmentally and economically sound manner. We also promote the concept of Peace Parks and sustainability wherever possible, including to potential partners.
The year?s highlight happened on 9 December when the three heads of state signed an international treaty to establish the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) in Xai-Xai, Mozambique. Two days later the Ministers for the Environment of Mozambique and South Africa removed part of the fence between the Limpopo and Kruger National Parks to symbolise the creation of what is to become the world?s greatest animal kingdom.
Since the signing in November 2000 of the trilateral international agreement to commence the process of establishing the GLTP, working groups were operational under a technical committee which, in turn, was operational under the ministerial committee. The signing of the GLTP treaty effectively transformed the technical committee into a joint management board and the working groups into management committees. The permanent management committees deal with conservation; safety and security; finance, human resources and legislation; and tourism. Facilitating the process is an international coordinator, who was replaced in November when Mozambique took over from South Africa as coordinating country to develop and implement the GLTP project.
The Mozambican government has mandated PPF to assist in overseeing the development of the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. A project implementation unit (PIU) was subsequently appointed and significant progress in developing this million-hectare park has been made. Implementation by the Limpopo National Park?s PIU takes place according to an annual work plan and the Joint Management Board also works according to an annual action plan, which is implemented by the coordinator for Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The goal is to make the park sustainable by ensuring that there is viable tourism, as well as an integrated management of the park by all parties involved.Funding for the Peace Parks Foundation and its work comes from the German Ministry of Cooperation, through Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), members of the Foundation?s Club 21, who have each donated $1 million, and the Dutch National Post Code Lottery. Private donors include Deutsche Bank, Daimler Chrysler, Cartier, de Beers, Richemont, Vodafone, Philips and many others.The project is in the implementation phase. Results thus far include:
*The various NGOs operating both within and outside the park were structured into a single NGO forum. Together with the PIU, this forum is working jointly on community development. One of the major milestones in this regard was the creation of representative structures in villages, districts and parks. Two focal areas for resolving community concerns have been identified, namely realignment of the National Park boundary along the Limpopo River and the development of a voluntary resettlement and compensation plan. Strategies and action plans have been put in place to address these issues.
*With funding secured by PPF, an area of 35 000 ha inside Limpopo National Park was fenced and more than 1 000 animals, including 48 elephants were relocated from Kruger National Park to this wildlife sanctuary. During the construction of the fence, numerous temporary employment opportunities were created, some of which became permanent, such as fence maintenance.
*The first group of 30 field rangers trained in November 2001 were successfully deployed during this year and six semi-permanent field ranger stations have been established from Pafuri in the north to Massingir in the south. The training of the second group of field rangers, mostly from villages inside the park, commenced in December.
*A certificate recognising that the general landmine survey of the Limpopo National Park has been completed according to international de-mining standards was issued. This information will now serve as the terms of reference when drafting tender documents for the next two phases, i.e. technical survey and physical de-mining.
*A draft concept tourism development plan, which will form part of the management plan for the park, was compiled.
*The first draft of a management plan was completed by the end of November and circulated for comment.
NoneNote: Responsibility for the content of Case Stories and any other public communication related to the Global Compact principles and their implementation lies with participants themselves and not with the UN Global Compact Office.