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Agreement on the development of the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park

Preamble

The Government of the Republic of Mozambique, the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe (hereinafter jointly referred to as "the Parties" and in the singular as "a Party") Recognising the principle of sovereign equality and territorial integrity of their states; conscious of the benefits to be derived from close co-operation and the maintenance of friendly relations with each other; acknowledging the necessity to conserve the environment for the benefit of all the people of Southern Africa; recalling that the countries promoting the Transfrontier Park (hereinafter also referred to as "the Park") initiative are signatories or Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (Paris, 1994), SADC Wildlife & Law Enforcement Protocol (Maputo, 1999), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) (Washington, 1973); as well as other Conventions and Agreements of relevance, and desiring to promote ecosystem integrity, biodiversity conservation and sustainable socio-economic development across international boundaries; hereby agree as follows:

The establishment of the Transfrontier Park (article 1)

The parties agree to jointly establish and develop a Transfrontier Park which will integrate for conservation and ecotourism purposes the areas detailed below.

It is agreed that the Transfrontier Park will include the areas as follows:

  • In Mozambique, the area known as:
    • Coutada 16
  • In South Africa, the areas known as:
    • Kruger National Park; and
    • The Makuleke Region administered as part of the Kruger National Park.
  • In Zimbabwe, the areas known as:
    • Gonarezhou National Park
    • Malipati Safari Area;
    • Manjinji Pan Sanctuary; and
    • The community areas linking Gonarezhou to the Kruger National Park further south.

It is agreed that an area adjacent to the GKG Transfrontier Park, comprising compatible conservation areas but not lending themselves to integration with the GKG Transfrontier Park, will be managed as the GKG Transfrontier Conservation Area (hereinafter referred to as the "GKG TFCA"). In Mozambique these areas will include the Banhine and Zinave National Parks, the Massingir and Corumana areas, as well as the interlinking regions as reflected in the accompanying map. In South Africa and Zimbabwe it is proposed that areas forming part of the GKG TFCA would include the various private and provincial reserves bordering the GKG Transfrontier Park.

Name of the Transfrontier Park (article 2)

The term "Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Park", hereinafter referred to as "the GKG Transfrontier Park", shall be an interim name to refer to the area under discussion, and a more permanent name shall be arrived at through a process of public participation as jointly determined by the Parties.

Objectives of the Transfrontier Park (article 3)

The objectives of the creation of the GKG Transfrontier Park shall be:

  • To foster transnational collaboration and co-operation among the Parties in implementing ecosystem management through the establishment, development and management of the Transfrontier Park
  • To promote alliances in the management of biological natural resources by encouraging social, economic and other partnerships among the Parties, Private Sector, Local Communities and NGOs
  • To enhance ecosystem integrity and natural ecological processes by harmonising environmental management procedures across international boundaries and striving to remove artificial barriers impeding the natural movement of animals
  • To develop frameworks and strategies whereby local communities can participate in, and tangibly benefit from, the management and sustainable use of natural resources that occur within the Transfrontier Park
  • To facilitate the establishment and maintenance of a sub-regional economic base by way of appropriate development frameworks, strategies and work plans; and
  • To develop trans-border ecotourism as a means for fostering regional socio-economic development

Processes and procedures (article 4)

  • The sovereign rights of each Party shall be respected, and no Party shall impose decisions on another.
  • The process of planning and implementation of the Transfrontier Park shall be done through joint decision-making by accredited country representatives.
  • Each Party shall ensure that full stakeholder participation is engaged in within their respective countries, so that broad social and political acceptance is achieved for the process.
  • The Parties undertake to follow relevant regional treaties and international protocols in the development and management of the Transfrontier Park.

Cooperation (article 5)

  • The Parties undertake to ensure that the various areas committed for Transfrontier Park development within this agreement, shall be managed in accordance with the broad objectives as outlined in article 3 of this agreement, and in particular with the management plan that will jointly be developed and agreed upon between the competent authorities designated by each respective party as defined in article 6.
     
  • The Parties undertake to:
    • Consult, assist and support each other in the implementation of this agreement
    • Promote integrated and coordinated management of the Transfrontier Park for their optimal benefit
    • Use their best endeavours to harmonise legislation and policies to facilitate integrated and complementary conservation and socio-economic development activities
    • Ensure that during development of the Transfrontier Park effective measures are implemented to address issues relating to customs and immigration, security and border control, public health, wildlife diseases and other matters which affect relations between the parties
    • Synchronize where possible related development actions in areas bordering each other; and
    • From time to time, enter into further agreements which may be required to give effect to the spirit and intent of this agreement.

Implementation (article 6)

  • The Competent Authorities responsible for the implementation of this Agreement shall be:
    • on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, the DirecV âo Nacional de Florestas e Fauna Bravia (hereinafter referred to as the "DNFFB"), designated through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
    • on behalf of the Government of the Republic of South Africa the South African National Parks (hereinafter referred to as the "SANP"), designated through the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism; and
    • on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Department of National Parks and Wild Life Management (hereinafter referred to as the "DNPWLM"), designated through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
  • The parties shall delegate such powers and functions to their respective Competent Authorities as are required for the co-ordination of activities leading to the establishment, development and management of the Transfrontier Park.

Institutional framework for international collaboration (article 7)

  • For purposes of executing this Agreement the following bodies are hereby established:
    • The GKG Transfrontier Park Trilateral Ministerial Committee (hereinafter referred to as "the Trilateral Ministerial Committee")
    • The GKG Transfrontier Park Technical Committee (hereinafter referred to as "the Technical Committee")
    • The GKG Transfrontier Park Co-ordinating Party (hereinafter referred to as "the Co-ordinating Party"); and
    • The GKG Transfrontier Park Working Group (hereinafter referred as "the Working Group").
  • Other committees may be established should the need arise.

Terrestrial Ministerial Committee (article 8)

  • The Trilateral Ministerial Committee shall consist of the Ministers designated and mandated by the respective parties.
  • The Trilateral Ministerial Committee shall:
    • be responsible for overall policy guidance in the development of the Transfrontier Park
    • be chaired on a rotational basis
    • meet at least once a year; and
    • monitor progress in the implementation of the action plans for the Transfrontier Park.
  • The decisions of the Trilateral Ministerial Committee shall be by consensus.

The technical committee (article 9)

  • The Technical Committee shall consist of senior representatives of the Competent Authorities and/or their respective Ministries from Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
  • The Technical Committee shall be responsible for:
    • interpreting the political directives of the Trilateral Ministerial Committee into a set of operational guidelines and policies
    • approving action plans for the development and management of the Transfrontier Park
    • harmonising the expectations and aims of the Parties with respect to the establishment, development and management of the Transfrontier Park
    • monitoring the implementation process of the establishment, development and management of the Transfrontier Park; and
    • preparing reports and other appropriate documentation for the Trilateral Ministerial Committee.
  • The Technical Committee shall:
    • be chaired on a rotational basis; and
    • meet at least twice a year, or more frequently, depending on the urgency of the issues tabled for discussion.
  • Decisions of the Technical Committee shall be by consensus.

The coordinating party (article 10)

  • It is hereby agreed that a specific Party be designated on a rotational basis as Coordinating Party in order to promote accountability and sustained momentum in the Transfrontier Park implementation process.
  • The Co-ordinating Party shall be appointed for a period of two years, and will commence upon Tri-nation ministerial signature of this Agreement.
  • A Party may elect to forfeit its designation as Co-ordinating Party depending on circumstance, in which event the function will rotate to the next Party eligible.
  • The Co-ordinating Party shall be recommended by the Technical Committee, but final designation shall be by the Trilateral Ministerial Committee.
  • The Co-ordinating Party shall:
    • Coordinate the activities associated with the planning and implementation of the GKG Transfrontier Park
    • Ensure that an effective Working Group is established, with full representation by all the Parties and that a working programme focussed on achieving the objectives of the GKG Transfrontier Park is sustained
    • Coordinate the drafting and implementation of an effective Action Plan for achieving the objectives of the GKG Transfrontier Park, with full participation of relevant stakeholders
    • Promote appropriate processes and procedures which are in accordance with relevant regional treaties and international protocols, during the planning and implementation of the GKG Transfrontier Park
    • Prepare reports on key resolutions and directives emanating from the Trilateral Ministerial and Technical Committees
    • Facilitate the convening of various Committee meetings; and
    • Liaise with all the Parties in identifying joint activities that require funding and identify sources for funding.

The working group (article 11)

  • The Working Group shall be composed of representatives appointed by the Competent Authorities of the Parties and/or representatives delegated by the relevant Ministries of the Parties.
  • The Working Group shall:
    • Be responsible for implementation of the Action Plan as developed and guided by the Technical Committee
    • Ensure full participation by all appropriate stakeholders in the preparation of policy recommendations, resource management plans, and other relevant documents relating to the GKG Transfrontier Park
    • Liaise and collaborate with other relevant regional initiatives, such as the Maputo Development Corridor, in the establishment, development and management of the Transfrontier Park; and
    • Provide feedback and progress reports to the Technical Committee.
  • The Working Group shall have no decision-making authority, but shall make recommendations to and receive guidance and supervision from the Technical Committee regarding its activities.

Financing committees (article 12)

  • The Technical Committee shall be responsible for identifying financial needs and sourcing such funds as are required to achieve the objectives of this Agreement. Such sourcing of funds will be done either directly or indirectly from the Competent Authorities of each Party, donor agencies, aid agencies, or other means approved by prior consent of the Ministers or their approved delegates forming part of the Trilateral Ministerial Committee.
  • As a general principal the Technical Committee will not become involved in the direct administration of funds, but will leave such matters either to the donor agencies or aid agencies themselves, or the Financial Departments or equivalent structures within each of the Competent Authorities of the three Parties. However, this arrangement is in no way meant to detract from the ability of the Technical Committee to decide and prioritize on financial needs, and decision-making regarding expenditure required for purposes aimed at achieving the objectives of the Agreement.

Settlements of disputes (article 13)

  • In the event of any dispute arising between the Parties as to the interpretation, application or performance of this Agreement including its existence, validity or termination, such dispute shall be settled amicably through consultation and negotiation between the Parties, or be referred for mediation.
  • Should the dispute not be resolved in the manner referred to above, any Party may submit the dispute to final and binding arbitration in accordance with the Permanent Court of Arbitration Optional Rules for Arbitrating Between Two States, as in effect on the date of signature of this Agreement.
  • The appointing authority shall be the Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Entry into force (article 14)

  • This Agreement shall enter into force on the date on which each Party has notified one another in writing, through the diplomatic channel, of its compliance with the constitutional requirements necessary for the implementation of this Agreement. The date of entry into force shall be the date of the last notification.
  • In the event of any one Party not signing this Agreement, the remaining signatory Parties shall remain bound by the intent and spirit of this Agreement.

Amendments of agreement (article 15)

  • This agreement may be amended by mutual consent of the parties through an exchange of notes between the parties through diplomatic channel.
  • Any amendment to this agreement shall be in writing and signed by all parties.

Termination of agreement (article 16)

This agreement shall remain in force until terminated by any of the parties giving one year's written notice in advance to the other Parties through diplomatic channels.

Final draft 18 October 2000 - Master copy resides with GKG coordinator Leo Braack