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Conservation Services

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Background

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park began with a meeting between President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique and the president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (South Africa) in 1990. In 1991 the Mozambican government used funds made available by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for feasibility studies toward the implementation of a TFCA pilot project. The 1992 Peace Accord in Mozambique and the South African democratic elections of 1994 paved the way for the political processes to proceed towards making this idea a reality. Feasibility studies initiated by the World Bank culminated in a pilot project that was launched with GEF funding in 1996.

This process led to the signing a trilateral agreement in Skukuza, South Africa on 10 November 2000 by Minister Helder Muteia, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Mozambique; Minister Valli Moosa, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in South Africa, and Minister Francisco Nhema, Minister of Environment and Tourism in Zimbabwe. The Skukuza Agreement signalled the three nations’ intent to establish and develop a transfrontier park and surrounding conservation area, at that time called Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou.

Since the signing of the trilateral agreement, working groups operating under a technical committee were established. The technical committee, in turn, would work under the Ministerial Committee.
Finally, on 9 December 2002, the heads of state of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe signed an international treaty at Xai-Xai, Mozambique to establish the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

The signing of the GLTP treaty effectively transformed the technical committee into a joint management board and the working groups into management committees. The thus established permanent management committees which currently deal with conservation, safety and security and tourism.

On 16 August 2006, the Giriyondo Tourist Access Facility between Limpopo and Kruger national parks was opened to allow visitors cross-border access within the perimeters of the park.
Almost 5 000 animals have been translocated from Kruger to Limpopo National Park. This, combined with 50 km of fence being dropped, has encouraged more animals, including over 1 000 elephant and buffalo, to cross the border of their own accord.

The harmonisation and integration of various policies to improve the cooperative management of the Transfrontier Park are under way.

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