Mozambique, through the Ministry of Land and Environment, which oversees the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), will in January, 2023, for a period of two years, take over from Zimbabwe, in the context of its rotating presidency, the coordination of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA).
A ceremony to this effect took place last Tuesday, December 6, in Maputo.
Spanning around 100,000 square kilometres, this cross-border area includes the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, the Kruger National Park in South Africa and the Gonarezhou National Park, the Swamp Sanctuary and the Malipati Game Area and Sengwe Communal Land in Zimbabwe.
In South Africa, two community-owned areas, including Makuleke, form part of the Kruger National Park. In Mozambique, in addition to the Limpopo National Park, there is the Banhine National Park, the Licoturismo region and a group of farms along the border with Zimbabwe in the districts of Massangena and Chicualacuala, Gaza province.
The international treaty establishing the Great Limpopo Transfrontier National Park (GLTNP) was signed by the presidents of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe in December, 2002. About 35% of the area is made up of state-protected areas and the remainder is farmland, wildland and community lands.
Wildlife abounds in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, with a total of 147 mammal species, 116 reptile species, 49 fish species, 34 frog species, 500 or more bird species, plus at least 2,000 plant species. All of Africa’s iconic fauna, such as elephants, black and white rhino, lion, leopard, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and many species of antelope, are there to see.
Importantly, it is in this cross-border landscape that the Kruger National Park is currently home to one of the last significant and viable populations of African wild dogs and rhinos.
The passage of 20 years since the signing of the Great Limpopo TFCA agreement marks a very important era for the Zinave National Park, with the introduction of rhinos there.
Since its establishment, the Greater Limpopo TFCA has been pivotal to the functioning of the institutional arrangement and in the establishment of synergies that have resulted in the construction of administrative and tourist infrastructure in all participating states, the development of community programs, the conduct of research on biodiversity and geodiversity and the enhancement of local culture.