President Peter Mutharika and his Zambian counterpart Edgar Lungu on Tuesday signed a treaty that formally establishes the Malawi-Zambia Trans-frontier Conservation Area (TFCA) to collaborate efforts towards conservation and sustainable livelihoods.
Speaking at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre after signing the treaty, Mutharika said the development was of mutual socio-economic benefits to both countries and their people, particularly those living adjacent to the TFCA which measures 31 792 square kilometres and comprises the Nyika-North Luangwa and Kasungu-Lukusuzi component.
The President said proper conservation and management of the resources would significantly boost tourism revenues for border communities and the two nations.
On his part, Lungu expressed hope that TFCA will deliver benefits to the people living in the regions covered and that it will allow the two countries sit and talk about the challenges faced in the conservation of the area and how to deal with them.
He said given the cooperation Malawi and Zambia enjoys, he also has hope that they will be a role model of how parks and habitats of other wildlife ought to be conserved and preserved here in Africa and beyond.
Also present at the signing ceremony was former president of Mozambique Joachim Chissano who is also deputy chairperson of the Peace Parks Foundation Board that facilitated the ceremony.
In his remarks, Chissano, who alluded that Africa is losing about 3 000 elephants and 1 200 rhinos annually due to organised criminals and syndicates, said nationals in Africa and worldwide must cooperate to make it harder for organised criminals and syndicates to deplete natural resources.
German charge d’affaire Anne-Kaftrin Pfeirffer said the German Government has provided 20 million euro (about K10 billion) to support Malawi’s and Zambia’s cooperation through Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) and it is planning to commit another 10 million Euros (about K5 billion) to complement the regional project with bilateral funding on the Malawian side.