Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

Case Study by: Mike Eklund Many of the case studies for Nature Needs Half have involved an area within a defined political jurisdiction at the national, provincial or city level.  It is important to note however, that nature crosses borders and that an ecological region is often spread amongst many different political jurisdictions.  This is the case with NNH case studies  including the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area, the South Caucasus Eco-Region, and the Silk Road.  The most ambitious and the largest transfrontier conservation area in the world, however, is known as the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Area.  The Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) is situated in Southern Africa on the borders of five sovereign nation-states:  Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  The process of the creation of this territory has evolved from two initiatives (the Okavango Upper Zambezi International Tourism Initiative and the “Four Corners” Transboundary Natural Resource Management Initiative) into the current Memorandum of Understanding signed by the five countries on December 7th, 2006.  The area is situated on the Okavango and Zambezi river basins and is the world’s largest TFCA, spanning an area of approximately 287,132km2 (110,862mi2), which is almost the size of Italy (300,979km2 or 116,208mi2) according to the KAZA TFCA Website.  The area includes 36 national parks, game management areas, game reserves, and community conservancies.  The most notable of these include Victoria Falls, the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and the Caprivi Strip.  The area is one of the most ecologically rich places on the planet with an extremely high level of biodiversity.  It is home to the largest contiguous population of elephants on the African...
The Kayapo Indigenous Territories

The Kayapo Indigenous Territories

Case Study by: Austin Perez In one of the world’s most intense deforestation zones, the southeastern Amazon, nearly 11 million hectares of rainforest survives within the Kayapo indigenous territories. The Kayapo are an indigenous group of Brazil with a population of approximately 7,000 people whom occupy five contiguous and legally ratified indigenous territories in the Xingu River Basin. Despite intensifying external pressure from outsiders seeking access to their land and natural resources in a region that has otherwise been cleared for ranching, roads and towns, the Kayapo have managed to protect and maintain nearly all the forest encompassed within their territories. The Kayapo are granted permanent and exclusive usufruct rights to their lands under the category of “indigenous territory’ by the Brazilian constitution. They fight to defend their land and forest because it is the basis of their livelihood and society. Their legally ratified territories comprise the largest block of intact tropical forest under some form of protection in the world. The warrior ancestors of today’s Kayapo who inhabit the block of five contiguous Kayapo territories in the south of Para and north of Mato Grosso states were contacted in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Government officials and missionaries managed to approach them during the 1960’s by introducing prized items from the outside such as metal tools and pots. Soon the Kayapo’s desire for such items and many others including guns, fishing gear, radios and boats overcame their tendency to make war on all outsiders and among themselves. They also needed medical care to treat introduced diseases that were decimating them. The Kayapo, therefore, became “pacified”. However, they continued to...
Dehcho First Nations

Dehcho First Nations

A plan to protect at least half The Dehcho is an area of 220,000 sq km located in the Northwest Territories of Canada on the Mackenzie (Deh Cho) River, an area of boreal forest and mountains that are larger than many countries. The Dehcho First Nations are Dene people who have occupied their homeland for time immemorial. Some elders were born on the land and our Slavey language is still spoken. Traditional harvesting activity remains an important economic and cultural pursuit. There is great pressure for industrial development including a major gas pipeline and mining activity. The land is of paramount importance to our people. We have rights protected under section 35 of Canada’s Constitution Act and are engaged in a process with the Government of Canada that addresses the future of our land that will result in a Treaty. Our wilderness conservation efforts began with a traditional areas mapping exercise in which we consulted our people on the areas that were important to their traditional use. We then had that material digitized using western science. The resulting map showed core areas and connecting corridors which we wish to conserve for our people’s traditional use and the protection of the land. We then negotiated with Canada for that area to be withdrawn from further industrial dispositions during our process. We are looking at a variety of legal instruments for permanent protection including working with Parks Canada to have the entire South Nahanni watershed and Ram Plateau (an area of 36,000 sq km.) protected as an expanded national park under Canada’s National Parks Act which we would jointly manage. This...
Peel River Watershed – Canada

Peel River Watershed – Canada

Conservation Groups & First Nations aim for more than HALF! Canada’s Peel River Watershed, encompassing 14% of the Yukon Territory, is one of the largest and most beautiful intact natural ecosystems left in North America. However, industrial development (particularly in the form of roads and exploration for minerals, oil, and gas) threatens to fragment this stunning landscape and harm its delicate ecological balance.  Protect the Peel is working to ensure the long-term protection of this magnificent landscape. Located at the northern end of the Rocky and Mackenzie Mountains chain, this spectacular region is defined by a constellation of wild rivers: the Peel, Ogilvie, Blackstone, Hart, Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume. One of Canada’s most striking mountain river watersheds, the Peel is the heart of a great boreal and sub-arctic ecosystem with a long cultural history, free-ranging wildlife and a rugged northern beauty. It is a global benchmark of predator-prey ecosystems within a vast primeval wilderness. Sprawling over 43,000 square miles, the Peel Watershed dwarfs many famous landscapes– such as Banff and Yellowstone national parks – in size, unspoiled splendour, and ecological integrity. The World Wildlife Fund ranked the Peel among the top 200 conservation priorities in the world, and it is part of the Canadian Boreal Initiative campaign to protect at least 50% of the North American boreal forest. The watershed is the northern anchor of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a broad-based international project to protect ecosystem connections for wildlife. Wildlife includes a host of high-profile species, such as grizzly bears, wolverines, wolves, Dall’s sheep and caribou that are at risk elsewhere. Extensive wetlands are essential as...