At a ministerial meeting held in Shingwedzi in August 2004, the final step was taken in the ratification of the Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou agreement. According to the GLTP quarterly newsletter, the legal representatives of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe also had to sign the Portugese version of the treaty (including amendments) as this is required under Mozambican law.
The English version was signed on December 9, 2002 in Xai-Xai, Mozambique. The agreement encompasses shared desires to ‘promote ecosystem integrity, biodiversity conservation and sustainable socio-economic development across international boundaries.’
It includes issues such as shared objectives, principles and cooperation, security and borderline control, implementation, the institutional framework and management plans.
ZIMBABWE TO TAKE OVER COORDINATION OF THE GLTP
In terms of the International Treaty, each member state has the opportunity to coordinate the activities of the GLTP Joint Management Board, every two years.
Mozambique took over this role from South Africa in 2003/4. Zimbabwe is preparing to take over this role with Edson Chidziya as national coordinator and Ebbias Manyonganise as manager, corporate services and administration of the National TFCA Coordination Unit.
Under the GLTP Treaty, overall responsibility for the GLTP and Conservation Areas is with the Ministerial Committee comprising the environment and tourism ministers of each country. Day-to-day management of the various areas remains with the respective implementing agencies. In the case of the GLTP in South Africa, this agency is SANParks.
A Joint Management Board (JMB) was established to facilitate the appropriate action and coordination on matters of mutual interest, including policies and procedures, as well as a Joint Management Plan. Four management committees – conservation, safety and security, tourism and finance, human resources and legislation – report to the Joint Management Board.
REMOVAL OF FENCE BETWEEN KNP AND LIMPOPO NATIONAL PARK (LNP) SANCTUARY
Another 20km of fence between Kruger and the Limpopo National Park, has been removed. Another 9,9km will be taken away early this year. Issues like disease control and community impacts are being adhered to by the JMB.
Five rhinos were translocated to the LNP sanctuary from Kruger. Other animals relocated include sable, giraffe, waterbuck, wildebeest, zebras, impalas, warthog and roan. The rhinos will be monitored with the help of satellite radio telemetry and helicopter tracking twice a month.
CROSSING POINT OVER THE LIMPOPO RIVER TO LINK GONAREZHOU NATIONAL PARK AND KRUGER.
Nyeleti Consultants submitted their final report on the various options for a crossing point between the Gonarezhou National Park and Kruger. They identified six river crossing options. Of these three associated road network options were seen as suitable places to erect a bridge. The JMB discussed the results at a meeting in September but the matter was not finalised.
Resettlement in the LNP
A Resettlement Working Group has been established in the LNP to facilitate the resettlement process within the area. The Group works with communities living inside the GLTP. It is hoped to start with resettlement in 2005, subject to adequate funding for the process.