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Media Release: Africa's super park to be formally launched in December

Date: 26th November 2002

The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Mohammed Valli Moosa, has announced that the Treaty to formally establish one of the world's largest transfrontier conservation areas, the Great Limpopo Transfronteir Park (GLTP), will be signed in December this year.

Minister Moosa said South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, Mozambican President Joachim Chissano, and Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe would sign the Treaty on 9 December in Mozambique. 

The date for the signing ceremony was decided at last week's quarterly bilateral meeting between Presidents Mbeki and Chissano. 

The signing ceremony will seal a two-year process of intensive preparations for the establishment of the 35 00 000-hectare Park, which will span over South Africa's Kruger National Park, Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe. 

It will also mark another success story in the establishment of a number of transfontier parks in the Southern African region (i.e. Ai-Ais/Richtersveld with Namibia, Maloti-Drakensberg with Lesotho and Kgalagadi Transfontier with Botswana). 

South Africa has launched a three-year operation to release thousands of wildlife from the Kruger National Park (KNP) to Mozambique's Limpopo National Park (LNP) as part of the development of the Transfronteir Park. 

The first translocation was conducted in October last year when Minister Moosa handed over 40 elephants to the Mozambican Minister of Tourism, Mr Fernando Sumbana. To date, 1 130 animals have been translocated. 

"The Great Limpopo Transfronteir Park is a demonstration of the three governments' commitment to the sustainable development of the African continent through regional co-operation, the cornerstone of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)," said Minister Moosa. 

"The Park will open to the world the biggest ever animal kingdom, increasing foreign investment into the region and creating much-needed jobs for our people, further acting as a symbol of peace and unity for the African people". 

Issued by:
SANParks Communications Office Groenkloof

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