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Improved decision-making processes for the transfrontier conservation areas of southern Africa Malan, Anna Susanna 2015

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IMPROVED DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES FOR THE TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION AREAS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA  by  ANNA SUSANNA MALAN  A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of The Requirements for the Degree of  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in     THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES  (Forestry)     THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)    May 2015     © Anna Susanna Malan, 2015    ii ABSTRACT The focus of this research is environmental governance in Africa, explored through the lens of trans-border conservation initiatives. I used the embedded case study approach to dissect the political, socio-economic and ecosystem management aspects of decision making in the establishment and management of protected areas across national boundaries, focusing on two transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) in southern Africa, the Greater Limpopo and the Greater Mapungubwe transfrontier conservation areas. This is a qualitative study using mixed methods to collect data, including 93 semi-structured interviews with current and potential decision makers from every possible level, 16 questionnaires, ten mental model workshops, several meetings with local municipalities and other decision-making platforms, and an in-depth scrutiny of relevant policies and treaty documents. Interviewees provided inputs into a value system framework based on a compilation of attributes from each of the ecosystem, socio-economic and governance literature, to produce an average score for each of the two case study areas. The results indicated highly disjunctive approaches among countries forming part of the TFCAs, leading to many undesirable feedback loops. The decision-making processes of each country component of the two TFCAs were then analyzed separately, using a “governance” capability maturity model to determine the effectiveness of current management practices. A “collaboration” maturity model was used to identify gaps in the information sharing, decision making and patterns of interaction among the different stakeholders of each of the two TFCAs, indicating institutional and decision-making flaws in the current system. Some recommendations are provided to improve these in order to overcome current failures in the three dimensions of a TFCA.     iii PREFACE This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author, A.S. Malan. The fieldwork reported in Chapters three to seven was approved by the University of British Columbia’s Research Ethics Board (Certificate number H11-02012). Anna Susanna Malan identified the research problem and methodologies, made the field contacts, identified collaborating organizations, collected the data and conducted the data analyses independently. Only the final field trip to Zimbabwe was organized with the assistance of Dr. Clara Bocchino (Animal Health for the Environment and Development (AHEAD) Greater Limpopo TFCA Coordinator); all other field trips were organized by the student.  The mental model workshops described in Chapter four were facilitated by Dr Marisa Coetzee, Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Association and Mr. Harry Biggs, South African National Parks, with Malan assisting with the facilitation of five of these workshops. The outcomes of these workshops were published as an internal report to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, and was officially presented on November 16th, 2012 (Coetzee M., Biggs H.C., and Malan S. Sharing the benefits of biodiversity: a regional action plan to nurture and sustain the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services to livelihoods and resilient economic development within the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere).  The research, or parts of it, was presented at the following scientific conferences: the 10th, 11th and 12th Annual Savannah Scientific Network Meetings in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively; the 11th and 12th AHEAD Working Group Meetings in 2011 and 2014; and the Europe, Middle East and Africa Chapter of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Conference in 2014. The latter’s conference proceedings published the paper written jointly by Malan and Innes (Using systems thinking to inform natural resource governance), awarding the authors with the Ad Sparrius Best Paper trophy. In revising and editing the thesis, the supervisory committee consisting of Dr John L. Innes, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Dr Robert A. Kozak, Professor at the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, and Dr Peter Dauvergne, Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, made valuable contributions that improved the quality of the thesis.       iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ......................................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ......................................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ......................................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ............................................................................................................................................... vii List of Figures ............................................................................................................................................. viii List of Acronyms ............................................................................................................................................ x Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................................... xi 1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 1 1.1. Problem Statement ....................................................................................................................... 2 1.2. Research Question and Objectives ............................................................................................... 2 1.3. Methodology ................................................................................................................................. 4 1.4. Structure of the Thesis .................................................................................................................. 8 1.5. Limitations of the Research .......................................................................................................... 8 1.6. Some Definitions ........................................................................................................................... 9 2. Literature Review ................................................................................................................................ 11 2.1. Resource Governance ................................................................................................................. 11 2.2. Conservation Influences in Africa ............................................................................................... 20 2.2.1. Conservation Paradigms ..................................................................................................... 20 2.2.2. Transfrontier Conservation ................................................................................................. 22 2.2.3. Transfrontier Conservation in Africa ................................................................................... 25 2.2.4. Learning from Transboundary Examples Worldwide: ........................................................ 27 2.3. Community-based Conservation ................................................................................................ 33 2.4. Decision Making in Complex Systems ......................................................................................... 35 3.  Study Area .......................................................................................................................................... 40 3.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 40 3.2. Geographical Location and Biophysical Information .................................................................. 41 3.3. Cultural and Historical Background ............................................................................................ 44   v 3.4. Institutional Arrangements ......................................................................................................... 47 4. Socio-economic Dimension ................................................................................................................. 49 4.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 49 4.2. Methodology ............................................................................................................................... 50 4.3. Results and Discussion According to Attributes ......................................................................... 56 4.3.1. Who are the Stakeholders?................................................................................................. 56 4.3.2. Some Results and Comments Following the Meta-Study of CBNRM Literature ................ 58 4.3.3. The Status of Communities in the Limpopo and Mapungubwe TFCAs ............................... 62 4.4. More General Results and Discussion ......................................................................................... 81 4.4.1. Using Political Rhetoric to Get Buy-In from Stakeholders .................................................. 82 4.4.2. Peace Parks or Cradles of Conflict? ..................................................................................... 83 4.4.3. CAMPFIRE Under Threat? ................................................................................................... 83 4.4.4. A Flawed Socio-Economic Model ........................................................................................ 84 4.4.5. Traditional versus Political Authority: an African Conundrum ........................................... 85 5. Ecosystem Management ..................................................................................................................... 87 5.1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 87 5.2. Methodology ............................................................................................................................... 89 5.3. Who are the Ecosystem Management Decision Makers? .......................................................... 91 5.4. Results ......................................................................................................................................... 93 5.5. Discussion .................................................................................................................................. 106 6. Governance and Policies ................................................................................................................... 108 6.1. Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 108 6.2. Methodology ............................................................................................................................. 110 6.3. Results ....................................................................................................................................... 112 6.4. Discussion .................................................................................................................................. 120 6.4.1. NGOs: Walking a Tightrope or Calling the Shots? ............................................................. 120 6.4.2. The Major Governance Challenges ................................................................................... 124 7. Evaluating the Decision-Making Processes ....................................................................................... 127   vi 7.1. Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 127 7.2. Results: How are Decisions Made, and by Whom .................................................................... 128 7.3. Combined Results ..................................................................................................................... 132 7.4. Discussion .................................................................................................................................. 133 7.4.1. Where There is Pressure There is Flow ............................................................................. 133 7.4.2. Moving from Governance to Implementation .................................................................. 134 7.4.3. Evaluating the Decision-making Processes and Performance of Both Case Studies ........ 137 8. Conclusions and Recommendations ................................................................................................. 148 8.1. Concluding Remarks .................................................................................................................. 148 8.1.1. Decision Making in the Socio-Economic Dimension ......................................................... 148 8.1.2. Decision Making in the Ecosystem Dimension ................................................................. 149 8.1.3. Decision Making in the Governance Dimension ............................................................... 149 8.2. Recommendations .................................................................................................................... 150 8.3. Possible Future Research Directions in the Field Drawing on the Research ............................ 153 References ................................................................................................................................................ 154 Appendix A ................................................................................................................................................ 168 Socio-Economic Scores per Case Study ................................................................................................ 168 Ecosystem Scores .................................................................................................................................. 170 Appendix B: Interview Leading Questions ................................................................................................ 172 Appendix C ................................................................................................................................................ 179 List of Interviews, Questionnaires, Workshops, and Other Meetings .................................................. 179 Appendix D: Detailed Maps ...................................................................................................................... 187    vii LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Definitions for some terms found in this document ..................................................................... 10 Table 2: Expansion of the principles formulated by Dietz et al. (2003). ..................................................... 18 Table 3: Design principles illustrated by long-enduring common-pool resource institutions .................... 19 Table 4: Syndromes of cross-level, scale-dependent interplay .................................................................. 20 Table 5: Summary of the main biophysical components of the two case studies ..................................... 43 Table 6: Case study outcomes of the meta-study were noted according to seven attributes ................... 53 Table 7: Different categories of stakeholders according to tenure and ways of making a living ............... 58 Table 8 Average scores for each country within the two case studies regarding the socio-economic attributes .................................................................................................................................................... 63 Table 9: Overview of ecological management of different land use zones within the TFCAs: .................. 92 Table 10: Average scores for each country within the two case studies regarding the ecosystem management attributes .............................................................................................................................. 93 Table 11: A list of the main fauna species found within the greater TFCA ................................................. 96 Table 12 List of the nine governance attributes ....................................................................................... 111 Table 13: Average governance scores for each country per case study ................................................... 112 Table 14: The system developed by PPF to evaluate the progress made by the different TFCAs ........... 122 Table 15: The average scores of the three dimensions shown at country level per case study. ............. 132 Table 16: Table summarizing the key issues pertinent to the Limpopo TFCA or GLTP ............................ 138 Table 17: Spreadsheet showing the average scores per country for Mapungubwe ................................ 168 Table 18: Spreadsheet showing the average scores per country for Limpopo ........................................ 169 Table 19: Spreadsheet showing the average scores per country for both case studies .......................... 170 Table 20: Socio-economic attributes and related questions .................................................................... 172 Table 21: Ecosystem management attributes and related questions ...................................................... 174 Table 22: Governance attributes and related questions .......................................................................... 176 Table 23: List of interviews and questionnaires ....................................................................................... 179 Table 24: List of Mental Model workshops ............................................................................................... 185 Table 25: List of other meetings and workshops ...................................................................................... 186     viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Diagram of research analysis ......................................................................................................... 4 Figure 2: Outline of the steps followed to develop a value system aimed at evaluating system performance ................................................................................................................................................. 5 Figure 3: Map indicating the location of the two case study areas, as well as other transfrontier conservation areas in the SADC region ......................................................................................................... 7 Figure 4: Thesis outline ................................................................................................................................. 8 Figure 5: A multitier framework of Social Ecosystems (SESs) indicates the complexity embedded in the transboundary governance systems of a transfrontier conservation area ................................................ 12 Figure 6: The pathway to a more complex transboundary governance system ........................................ 13 Figure 7: Transboundary protected areas are usually preceded by either or both of two scenarios. ....... 14 Figure 8: Key institutional linkages facilitating the activities of a transboundary protected area. ............ 16 Figure 9: Principles for robust governance ................................................................................................. 17 Figure 10: Terrestrial ecoregions of the world ........................................................................................... 23 Figure 11: Distribution of TFCAs worldwide ............................................................................................... 24 Figure 12: Location of peace parks around the globe ................................................................................ 24 Figure 13: Proposed 14 TFCAs in Southern Africa ...................................................................................... 26 Figure 14: The four types of knowledge or decision-making domains within social systems .................... 37 Figure 15: a) Walker et al.’s three-dimensional stability landscape with two basins of attraction ........... 38 Figure 16: The process of “making sense” of the complexity of a transboundary protected area. ........... 39 Figure 17: Mapungubwe map and location within Africa and southern Africa .......................................... 41 Figure 18: Limpopo map and location within Africa and southern Africa .................................................. 42 Figure 19: Diagrams showing the institutional arrangements for each of the case studies ...................... 48 Figure 20: Selection of case studies outside Africa ..................................................................................... 51 Figure 21: Distribution of African case studies ........................................................................................... 51 Figure 22: Diagram representing the complex composition of stakeholders in a typical transfrontier conservation area – area size per level represents actual distribution ...................................................... 57 Figure 23: Linkages between the different attributes of communities involved in resource management reported for 105 case studies wordlwide. .................................................................................................. 59 Figure 24: Proportion of case studies (%) that received funding during the project life ........................... 60 Figure 25: Map of the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA indicating the land uses............................................. 88   ix Figure 26: Map of the Greater Limpopo Transboundary Park, indicating the various land uses. .............. 89 Figure 27: Aerial view of the intensive irrigated agriculture sectors next to the Limpopo River ............... 94 Figure 28: Map showing the major river systems within the Mapungubwe TFCA, .................................... 97 Figure 29: Satellite picture of Masingir Velo, one of seven villages within Parque Naçional do Limpopo, .................................................................................................................................................................. 101 Figure 30: Map showing the river catchments and drainage from north-eastern South Africa into Mozambique, ............................................................................................................................................ 103 Figure 31: Map showing the three major river catchments draining through Gonarezhou NP into Mozambique ............................................................................................................................................. 104 Figure 32: Current organizational structure of the Limpopo TFCA ........................................................... 130 Figure 33: Organizational structure of Mapungubwe TFCA ..................................................................... 131 Figure 34: The degree of difficulty experienced in establishing a TFCA as an institutional entity ........... 132 Figure 35: Diagram to show the natural processes within either of the TFCA case studies .................... 133 Figure 36: Diagram showing the distinction between governance at the political level, and implementation of best practices at the operational level. Both are guided by decisions of a different kind............................................................................................................................................................ 134 Figure 37: Diagram outlining the typical policies and management practices aimed for in transboundary protection ................................................................................................................................................. 135 Figure 38: Current decision making mostly exists from the top down, with few joint operational activities .................................................................................................................................................................. 136 Figure 39: Diagram representing optimal joint governance and management of transboundary conservation ............................................................................................................................................. 136 Figure 40: Description of each maturity level according to the Capability Maturity Model of Organizational Performance ..................................................................................................................... 140 Figure 41: Diagram depicting the increased coherence with which the entities within a TFCA can approach systems management ............................................................................................................... 141 Figure 42: The five stages of network enabled capabilities between a collective of entities and its graphical representation ........................................................................................................................... 142 Figure 43: Detailed map of the Greater Limpopo TFCA ............................................................................ 187 Figure 44: The Greater Mapungubwe Concept Development Plan Phase 1 ............................................ 188    x LIST OF ACRONYMS AHEAD Animal Health for the Environment and Development ANAC Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação CAMPFIRE Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources DAFF Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries DEA Department of Environmental Affairs DEDET Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mpumalanga GLTFCA Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area GMTFCA Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area ICMA Incomati Catchment Management Agency K2C Kruger to Canyons KNP Kruger National Park LEDET Limpopo Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MTPA Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency NR Nature Reserve NP National Park PNL Parque Naçional do Limpopo PPF Peace Parks Foundation SAEON South African Environmental Observation Network SANBI South African National Biodiversity Institute  Sanparks South African National Parks SAWC South African Wildlife College TFCA Transfrontier Conservation Area Zimparks Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority        xi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The study described in these pages has been an incredible journey, the enjoyment of which was made possible because of the many people who touched my life throughout the research. My acquaintance with the people and country of Canada has enriched my life and academic background boundlessly. I am compelled to single out: fellow lab members Reem Hajjar and Patrick Waeber; graduate student supervisor and assistant dean Cindy Prescott, associate dean Sue Watts, graduate student advisor Gayle Kosh, and my supervisory committee, John Innes, Rob Kozak and Peter Dauvergne. Being awarded the Paul Heller Fellowship galvanized my completion of the field work and I am grateful to Dr. Irene Bettinger for enabling this, and to the Faculty of Forestry for awarding this to me.  In southern Africa, I am deeply indebted to the many people who agreed to talk to me on and off the record, and I wish to acknowledge in particular Piet Theron, Clara Bocchino, Marisa Coetzee and Harry Biggs, who provided valuable insights, assisted me where possible and tolerated my presence in many meetings and workshops. My three children and my trusted companion and husband have been a tremendous support throughout the four years, the many field trips to remote areas and recurring visits to Canada, always urging me on, patiently waiting for me to come home. Words cannot convey my appreciation adequately. Finally, no step would have been possible without the guidance of Him who created all of the natural resources, and gave man the freedom to govern it. For that I am eternally grateful.   1  1. INTRODUCTION “The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery - not over nature but of ourselves.” - Rachel Carson (1907-1964) When the human race crossed the 7 billion mark in 2011, this served as a reminder of the rate at which humans have increased over the past century, having doubled this figure in 42 years (Keim 2011). Although by far not the most numerous of earth’s species, the alarming factor is that although we represent only 0.00018 percent of earth’s non-marine biomass, roughly 83 percent of the terrestrial biosphere is under direct human influence: our crops cover some 12 percent of the land surface and one third of all available fresh water is diverted to human use, which means we currently use a total of 20 percent of earth’s biomass (Keim 2011). Although the statistics paint a bleak picture, it is the way in which we use or abuse the world’s natural resources that relates to the issue of environmental governance (literally: to govern = to rule, manage, control, oversee [Oxford Dictionary]). The fact is that if all humans were to consume resources at the same rate as a tiny fraction of people currently is, then we would require the resources of 4 more earths. Undoubtedly we need serious adjustments to our current environmental policies, given the fact that our population will grow by another billion in just over a decade.  When considering major issues such as food shortage and poverty levels worldwide, the importance of conservation appears to be a luxury hungry people cannot afford, but when observed through the lens of natural resource management, which directly addresses our impact on the earth’s ability to support the needs of 7 billion people, it becomes a moral obligation. This thesis in no way attempts to address the macro policy questions in the domain of global governance such as how to conserve biodiversity or reduce greenhouse gases. However, it does focus on how the custodians and stakeholders of protected ecosystems that stretch across political boundaries manage to jointly govern valuable natural species for the benefit of both humans and ecosystems. This is found in the integration of management decisions in transfrontier conservation areas of the southern region of the African continent.   2 1.1. PROBLEM STATEMENT Examples of failures in resource governance abound everywhere on this earth; many have been described, crucial deductions regarding the drivers of these failures have been made, and yet, despite a mountain of resource governance literature, the consequences of these disastrous actions persist and are visible all around. It was due to this seeming unending chain of events that Hardin suggested that sustainable resource management is a “tragedy” in the making (Hardin 1968). Fortunately the past forty years have also produced enough evidence of sound environmental governance, with academic disciplines evolving around the research that identify best practices and principles driving resource management. As we live in a global, shared environment, collaboration across political boundaries will be pivotal in the coming decades, and the difficulty of obtaining such joint decision making are most visible in the environmental conventions, including on climate change, biodiversity, desertification, migratory species and pollutants. The focus of this research has been on the difficulties encountered by southern African governments to collaborate in managing vast ecosystems across national borders, while facing the challenges of young democracies, historical conflicts and disadvantages, rural development needs, and a resource-hungry world. This chapter introduces the concept of transfrontier conservation in its African context, where the governments of southern Africa has formally agreed to collaborate in conserving biodiversity, and established the transfrontier conservation areas - also known as “peace parks” - over the last two decades. After developing the theoretical basis derived from conservation and resource governance literature (described in Chapter 2), I used two transfrontier case studies to assess the current status quo, with a particular focus on the decision-making processes of each case (Chapters 3-7). I conclude by proposing recommendations on improving the current decision-making structures and processes (Chapter 8). 1.2. RESEARCH QUESTION AND OBJECTIVES The phenomenon of a transnational conservation area that aims to protect the biodiversity of the ecosystem and is governed by multi-states across international borders, presents a very interesting but complex case study in global environmental governance. The question is: can a system so complex be evaluated and/or improved? Although non-linear interactions produce unpredictability in complex systems (Stirzaker et al. 2010), I attempted to reduce the complexity somewhat by focusing on the three dimensions of policies or governance, socio-economics, and natural ecosystems (Figure 1). The   3 challenge has been to determine which governance and policy options are detrimental to the objectives of the phenomenon, these being to maintain peaceful relations through joint cooperation in conservation efforts across borders whilst stimulating economic development in remote rural areas through ecotourism.  I based the sequence of research steps on the following suppositions: Supposition #1: through systematic literature analysis it will be possible to develop a framework of community conservation management which represents the most important criteria in each of the domains of governance, socio-economic and ecosystems. Supposition #2: the comparison between the theoretical construct and the reality (which constitutes an in-depth critical analysis of the three dimensions in two case studies found within the transfrontier conservation area) will expose weaknesses either in the theory or real case studies. Supposition #3: after immersion in each case study, it will be possible through deduction and analysis to improve the theoretical framework to better reflect reality.  Supposition #4: it will be possible to evaluate the current decision-making processes within each case study and provide recommendations to ensure a more robust management model. Focusing on the processes of decision making in transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa, I asked the following key questions in each of the three dimensions: Who decides, who plans, who implements, who manages, who benefits from the transfrontier conservation area; What do they implement: which policies to address which outcomes, such as tourist needs, community needs;  How are the management decisions arrived at and implemented? How can the current management/decision-making structure be improved?  Finally, the objective is to suggest possible adaptations to the management approaches.    4  Figure 1: Diagram of research analysis 1.3. METHODOLOGY The approach to this interdisciplinary study was qualitative in nature, and attempted to “improve understanding of a problem, with the intent of contributing to the solution of that problem” (Bickman and Rog 2009, p. x), thus rendering it an applied research study. I used the embedded case study approach, and focused on two transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa. In order to build the theoretical foundation, I synthesized the current state of knowledge (including Indigenous Knowledge where available and accessible). Published literature on transboundary conservation, community conservation and forestry practices, global resource governance, and ecosystem management practices enabled me to design three metrics, one for each dimension. I selected a set of attributes based on: 1) a meta-study of community conservation case studies worldwide; 2) recognized ecosystem and management characteristics that describe in part the health of an ecosystem and aspects of its management; and 3) literature of sound transboundary, conservation and natural resource governance principles (Figure 2). Over a period of four years (2011–2014), I conducted 93 semi-structured interviews with individual stakeholders involved in decision-making regarding the mega-parks at a number of different levels, from the local community to the international level (SADC). I attended and helped facilitate five mental model workshops in the buffer zone of the Limpopo TFCA, received 16 completed questionnaires on conservation values, and attended a workshop hosted by one of the municipalities adjacent to Limpopo TFCA. I furthermore gathered valuable information at a number of workshops, meetings and conferences hosted in the region with the topic of TFCAs as focus. Towards the end of the   5 study, I also organized two focus group discussions with high-level decision makers to discuss the performance of the TFCAs.  With the assistance of interviewees I scored the attributes (Figure 2) in either or all of the three dimensions, depending on the position of the stakeholder (local community member, reserve manager, ecologist, provincial employee or a member of the joint management board). Interviews were recorded wherever possible, and using the NVivo software program, which helps to sort and organise transcripts of conversations into a reduced number of researcher designated coded clusters, I analysed the conversations relating to conservation values to identify the values and drivers of decision-making.   Figure 2: Outline of the steps followed to develop a value system aimed at evaluating system performance Additional data collection included spatiotemporal data collated by the existing conservation areas, as well as ecosystem management plans and reports for each of the protected areas within the study areas. Analyses of the different types of evidence collected (site visits, surveys, interviews and document   6 analyses) led to several sets of conclusions which formed the basis of the empirical findings from the case study. Cross-case synthesis was used to develop the case study decision-making framework. Through analytical generalization (Yin 2009), the theory template developed prior to the collection of field data was matched to the empirical results and framework generated during the data collection stage. A logic model was developed that suggests improved decision-making options to the transfrontier conservation model in general. I identified potential drivers of failures within the current governance system and used the outcomes of the research to draw conclusions and make recommendations for improvement. This thesis is largely descriptive in nature, as case studies very often are (Yin 1994), since I had to explain and describe the “complex endeavor” known as a transfrontier conservation area, and the value systems framework and NVivo analysis was used to guide and focus the research to thus sharpen some of the vague boundaries. Countless informal discussions with stakeholders were not recorded physically, but still contributed to inform the research and filling some of the blanks in my own understanding. In attributing my findings anonymously, I assigned codes to the list of interviews and questionnaires, and although I provide a list of participants in Appendix C, this is merely to legitimize the data in terms of participation and position of participants. Study area: Although Chapter 3 provides greater detail regarding the two case studies, their selection, and characteristics, herewith a brief summary. Two of the southern African transfrontier conservation areas have been identified as good examples to serve as embedded case studies within the more encompassing case study concept of African “peace parks”. They are the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) and the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) – the latter has been renamed since the signing of the memorandum of understanding.    7  Figure 3: Map indicating the location of the two case study areas, as well as other transfrontier conservation areas in the SADC region   (Source: Ramutsindela 2007, with permission)  The key features of the two parks are:  Both parks span the borders of three countries and therefore involve three national constitutions and governments  Both parks comprise a combination of land use plans – from communal areas in Zimbabwe and Mozambique to IUCN category 1b (private reserves), II (National Parks), private conservancies as well as commercial enterprises (mines and agriculture).  The two areas differ substantially in size and character:  Limpopo TFCA covers an area of 35,000 km2 and straddles the borders of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, with an ultimate planned size of 100,000 km2. It mainly combines existing national parks: Kruger National Park, Banhine, Zinave, Gonarezhou and Limpopo, including communal areas within Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  Mapungubwe TFCA currently covers an area of 300 km2 and straddles the border of South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, with an ultimate planned size of 5,909 km2. It comprises communal areas, private game farms, mining and agricultural holdings, the Northern Tuli Reserve and the Tuli Circle.  The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in July 2003.   8 1.4. STRUCTURE OF THE THESIS The thesis consists of eight chapters, with the main research discussion of data capture, results and analysis contained in chapters four to seven. The following diagram outlines the structure of the dissertation.   Figure 4: Thesis outline 1.5. LIMITATIONS OF THE RESEARCH There are a number of constraints when doing qualitative research, and this study had plenty! Looking at any case study from a landscape level across several disciplines provides certain advantages, but it also prohibits detailed in-depth analysis of all the different components, potentially coming across as a superficial observation. My own values and conservation biases could easily have intruded in the interpretations of some comments by interviewees. One factor was that I am a South African, and close to the South African components of each case study. The majority of interviewees were therefore South African which certainly affected the research, although not necessarily negatively, as the main drivers for the TFCAs are currently found in South Africa. The communities that I visited were mostly determined by accessibility (some communities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique were too remote with no   9 reliable road access), and where it was deemed unsafe for me to travel I relied on input from members of the district council or municipality to provide insight into the attributes of these remote villages. Funding to travel to all villages was also an important limiting factor, specifically beyond Parque Naçional do Limpopo in Mozambique. Language was never a problem, except that most interviewees expressed themselves not in their mother tongue which might interfere with the meaning they were trying to get across. One aspect which could be considered a limitation or bias, was the fact that I was far more immersed in the Limpopo case study, due to the extent of my engagement through conservation and social workshops, the mental model workshops, the annual Savannah network conference and many acquaintances developed over the study period. However, since this TFCA is ten times larger and more complex than the Mapungubwe case study, it was always going to require far more time and engagement, and I therefore consider it an advantage to have had so many opportunities for getting to know the issues better. Regarding the limitations in methodology and data collection, the meta review posed several issues. Finding case studies online through any web search has the specific limitations of each search engine, such as, in the case of Google Scholar, where the search is never totally random, and the search engine indexes self-created pages and media pages which do not have a neutrality policy. The fact that my French fluency precludes a good grasp of francophone literature resulted in missing a considerable amount of African case studies that could have informed the research. Basing the meta research on the interpretations and reflections of individual authors also comes with the danger of including their personal bias, one which I tried to avoid by including a larger amount of case studies. 1.6. SOME DEFINITIONS There is substantial confusion in this field regarding the use of some terms. As Tress et al. aptly state, “the lack of common understanding of integrative research concepts is a key barrier to integration in landscape projects and to communication between researchers” (2005:15), and is one of the reasons for the lack of integration. The following table aims to explain the meaning of some terminology as used in this dissertation.     10 Table 1: Definitions for some terms found in this document Term Definition Transboundary Protected Area An area of land and/or sea that straddles one or more boundaries between states, sub-national units, autonomous areas and/or areas beyond the limits of national sovereignty or jurisdiction, whose constituent parts are especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed cooperatively through legal or other effective means. Transboundary Parks Carries the same meaning as the above, more commonly used in Europe Transfrontier Conservation Areas Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) are defined as relatively large areas, straddling frontiers between two or more countries and cover large-scale natural systems encompassing one or more protected areas. Values The context in which the term value is mostly used throughout the dissertation, refers to the internal beliefs us as humans have adopted, usually within a cultural context. When used in the context of “worth” or “cost”, this will either be stated explicitly, or be clear from the context. Peace Parks Also referred to as Parks for Peace, are transboundary protected areas that are formally dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources and to the promotion of peace and cooperation. Since both transboundary protected areas and Parks for Peace are subsets of protected areas, they should always conform to the IUCN definition of a protected area as well as to one or more of the IUCN protected area management categories. For Peace Parks there should be a clear biodiversity objective, a clear peace objective and cooperation between at least two countries or sub-national jurisdictions. Success/failure I tried to steer away from using the terms failure or success when referring to conservation, tourism or community initiatives, since these are such loaded terms and very hard to validate. However, when I use it, it should be taken at face value, meaning no more or less than what the term generally indicates. Community Another vague term loosely referring to a small, homogenous unit – it is beyond the scope of this thesis to debate the problematic confinement of the term – it mainly refers to the society living within the vicinity or within the transfrontier conservation area itself. Protected Area An area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means. The IUCN distinguishes between six management categories according to the level of intervention or access by humans ( Biodiversity Biological diversity or “biodiversity” refers to “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems” (Convention on Biological Diversity, Article 2).The term should be interpreted to include conservation and management of ecosystem functions and services. Socio-economic a term referring to the combined measure of household income, education and occupation – in the dissertation it is loosely used to distinguish between different stakeholder entities     11 2. LITERATURE REVIEW    “Change is the end result of all true learning.” - Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998)  This chapter reviews some of the literature and theories that could guide transboundary resource governance. The research presented a truly interdisciplinary “headache”, with several disciplines intersecting at various points. It was impossible to focus in depth on all the fundamental branches of learning present in such a broad topic, but I shall attempt to include reference to the major theories and previous research that underpin the study. 2.1. RESOURCE GOVERNANCE The protection and management of large tracts of land across national borders represent some of the most complex forms of natural resource governance and are therefore most prone to failure or mismanagement. As Nobel-laureate and common resource academic, Elinor Ostrom, states: “Some of the most difficult challenges concern the management of large-scale resources that depend on international cooperation (Ostrom et al. 1999, p.282). Africa, as a continent, hosts large areas which fall within the “commons” concept, since in many countries private property ownership was introduced by the European colonial powers, and is still uncommon and often unwanted (Neumann 1997). It is for this reason that I felt it necessary to consult the earlier literature on commons theory, and to investigate some of the principles explored by the authors of resource governance such as Ostrom, Dietz, Berkes and Young. The literature cited are most pertinent in the governance discourse on a study of commons usage as found in transboundary conservation. The management of vast transboundary ecosystems as vehicles for rural development whilst doubling as ecotourism centres is the perfect example of Ostrom’s social-ecological systems (SES’s) (Ostrom 2007). In the same breath as describing these SES’s, she also warns against the fallacy of oversimplifying the management and governance of such areas. The danger   12 lies in presenting any simple solution to the complex set of problems that threaten to derail such idealistic cure-all projects. As Holling et al. state: “The answers are not simple because we have just begun to develop the concepts, technology and methods that can address the generic nature of the problems. Characteristically, these problems tend to be systems problems, where aspects of behaviour are complex and unpredictable and where causes, while at times simple (when finally understood), are always multiple. They are non-linear in nature, cross-scale in time and in space, and have an evolutionary character. This is true for both natural and social systems. In fact, they are one system, with critical feedbacks across temporal and spatial scales“(1998: 352). In order to discover which combination of variables might positively influence any given set of governance policies, it is important to understand the nested attributes of a resource system (commons) (Ostrom 2007). Of even greater importance is the willingness to adapt management strategies as part of the learning curve (Janssen 2002). To present the nested attributes of the complexity involved in the governance of the Southern African peace parks, I have adapted the structure proposed by Ostrom (2007) in an attempt to reflect the complex, multivariable, non-linear, cross-scale, and changing character of any one of these peace parks.  Figure 5: A multitier framework of Social Ecosystems (SESs) indicates the complexity embedded in the transboundary governance systems of a transfrontier conservation area S:Social, Economic and Political Settings   ECO: Related Ecosystems   I: Interactions   O: Outcomes RS: Resource system   RU: Resource Units   GS: Governance System   U: User Direct causal link                     Feedback     (Adapted from Ostrom 2007, with permission)                                                                                              13 At each tier the resource system remains the same but governance policies, user and resource units vary and the system becomes more complex to analyze further down. The sizes of the ovals attempt to reflect the increasing complexity of inputs and outcomes. At each level the distinct attributes can be unpacked and further unpacked into multiple conceptual tiers. And as Ostrom clearly states:  “The task of identifying which variations are subcategories of a more general variable is not to identify the relative importance of a variable in a particular setting. Some crucial variables used in the design of successful governance systems are third- and fourth-tier variables that are important in these, but not in all, SESs.” (2007: 5, footnote). Attempts to further develop this framework by showing the increased complexity along a horizontal timeline is shown below (Figure 6).   Figure 6: The pathway to a more complex transboundary governance system  If the sequence of the transition does not follow the proposed roadmap by starting with transformation of relevant policies in the region at the national level, the stability of the eventual system will be compromised. Initial negotiations (before the area is transformed) take place at the national level between the SADC (Southern African Development Community, a Secretariat representing the national leaders of all the countries south of the equator) and facilitated by an NGO in the form of the Peace Parks Foundation. Once this process is in place, the national governments need to initiate the   14 consultation process with the agrarian communities living in/adjacent to the proposed geographic area. The PPF drives this process using consultants familiar with how best to involve communities to ensure a participatory process. It is only after these crucial steps are followed that the ultimate outcome is realized, which is the protection of a transboundary ecosystem. Berkes (2007) further develops the theory of the study of biodiversity conservation in a multilevel world by proposing a pluralistic approach and warning against developing blue-print panaceas. In the case of the African peace parks, there are multiple objectives (rural development whilst protecting ecosystems) which require integrated responses (Brown et al. 2005). These involve networks and partnerships of various levels of government, private sector and civil society. The layers of governance In order to explain the development and transition of governance as related to the peace park regions, I have adapted Berkes’ framework which illustrates the linkages between key institutions involved in community-based resource management. At the outset, before establishment of the transfrontier conservation area, either of two scenarios exists: the area is sparsely/densely populated, it is remote, and inhabitants have a simple agrarian existence far below the poverty line; either this or the area is unpopulated and already exists as a conservation area. This was the case of the Limpopo TFCA which was founded as an amalgamation of five existing wildlife parks – Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and Limpopo, Zinave and Banhine National Parks in Mozambique (Wolmer 2003). Either scenario has at its core a resource, whether it is an agrarian land use system or a protected ecosystem. This would be represented as follows:  Figure 7: Transboundary protected areas are usually preceded by either or both of two scenarios.    15 The governance in these areas would be the responsibility of the respective central government, which in most cases would simply be provision of law and order. Only 4 of the 11 countries which would support a TFCA on their borders are stable and prosperous. The remaining 7 countries are desperately poor and governance especially in the remote areas is either non-existent or negligible. The transformation of these regions into an international tourism attraction would certainly affect the governance of the whole region. Initially, the central government would have to provide some form of infrastructure, and the PPF/politicians would start a process of negotiating with local communities to ensure their commitment and support.  These steps suggest a large financial investment into a previously poor and often depleted resource. In most areas, communities have to forgo indiscriminate or any use of resources such as grazing, firewood or meat (hunting of game).  In some areas, relocation of communities is necessary, although these would probably be kept to the minimum. Once the boundaries of the new peace park has been established and basic infrastructure has been provided, the local communities become involved in educational workshops/training as staff or they participate in entrepreneurial ventures such as camps/lodges in the hospitality industry or providing ecotourism services like safaris. The original commons/resource has now been transformed into a commodity which should become an attractive investment opportunity to the private sector. At this stage a new level of development as well as governance is introduced into our framework. The private sector is less concerned with conservation per se; although it might have some interest in the social development of the area, it is mainly focused on making money. This is where the user, or tourist, becomes involved, and where the final level of interaction is represented in the framework based on Berkes (2007) (Figure 8). In addition to the tourist/park user, the set of international environmental agencies is another player in both the governance and investment arena. Not only have these provided the funding to get this initiative off the ground, they also exert pressure on the SADC governments to govern these areas according to international environmental laws, act as watch dogs to determine violations of international agreements (such as poaching of elephant and rhino for ivory trade), and they provide valuable services such as veterinary assistance with elephant contraception and research by academics. In future these agencies, particularly the PPF, will continue to play a crucial role in monitoring the local governance aspects of both political government structures and management of the parks themselves.   16 Funding will remain a high priority for several years to come, although the ultimate aim is to ensure the independent functioning of all the TFCAs (Child 2004).  Figure 8: Key institutional linkages facilitating the activities of a transboundary protected area.  Arrows show information and financial flows; thicker lines indicate stronger interactions  (Adapted from Berkes 2007, with permission) Berkes also identifies partnerships and deliberative processes as important drivers of successful community-based conservation projects (2004). All of these are represented in the peace parks model, with NGOs being the main drivers behind the concept (PPF and WWF in alliance with political figures and the private sector). A key consideration is to design conservation-development arrangements that involve the local communities as partners. The crucial aspect of the TFCAs from a sustainable enterprise point of view is that they have to provide the user, which includes both the private sector and the tourism sector, with the necessary value for money and proposed benefits.  A TFCA is established by a transition process in the socio-political domain to consolidate an ecosystem under a central management structure through a process mostly facilitated by the PPF.  The governance model likewise transitions from a loosely coupled two-tier structure and few stakeholders to a tightly coupled four-tier structure (with many stakeholders).  The initial steps in the transition are high level agreements between governments (tier 3-national government and 4-SADC), which are then followed by interaction with local communities.  By applying the governance framework proposed by Dietz et al. (2003) to the TFCA transition process it becomes clear that the principles shown on the right in Figure 9 should be applied to the higher tier governance interactions and the principles shown on the left should   17 be applied to lower tier governance aspects.  This application of the Dietz et al. (2003) governance framework is reflected in the figure below and further expanded in Table 2.  Figure 9: Principles for robust governance  Governance requirements form the central column filled with governance principles. Arrows indicate the most likely connections and principles in the right-hand column are most relevant. (Adapted from Dietz T. Ostrom E. and Stern P. 2003. The struggle to govern the Commons. Science Magazine. Vol 302:1907-1912. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.)     18 Table 2: Expansion of the principles formulated by Dietz et al. (2003).  (From Dietz T. Ostrom E. and Stern P. 2003. The struggle to govern the Commons. Science Magazine. Vol 302:1907-1912. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.) TFCA Governance  Before TFCA (Fig 7) Transition to TFCA (Fig 8) Established TFCA (Fig 9) Governance Model 2 tiers: National and Local 3 tiers: Regional (SADC), National and Local (with TFCA as an additional emerging tier). 4 tiers: Regional (SADC), National, TFCA governance facilitated by PPF, Local. Governance Objectives National political stability and economic development  Regional political stability and economic development, natural resource protection, human resource development Regional political stability and economic development, natural resource protection, human resource development Stakeholders Central government, local communities separate for each country NGOs, SADC, national governments, local communities Industry (infrastructure, trade & tourism), local communities, NGOs, SADC, central government  Drivers for Successful Governance  Apply Table 2 and Figure 9 with focus on change management aspects. With reference to Fig 9: Apply right hand 3 blocks to tier 2-4+ (priority to achieve MoU and to implement enabling mechanisms) then apply left hand blocks to tier 1-2. Focus is on links to achieve central bottom block.  Apply Table 2 and Figure 9 with focus on stability and equity. With reference to Fig 9: Apply right hand 3 blocks to tier 2-4+ (enable continued flow of benefits to stakeholders) and apply left hand blocks to tier 1-2. Focus is on all links to satisfy all requirements in central blocks (enable continued flow of benefits to stakeholders). Delivery Low potential Potential based on governance success in achieving change management Potential based on governance success in achieving equity – (improved infrastructure, human resource development, economic development).  Providing a bottom line Although Garrett Hardin paints a bleak picture about the commons, Ostrom argued for decades that the users of the commons can also find ways to organize themselves so as to create rules that specify rights and duties of participants in order to harvest the resource units sustainably (Ostrom and Ostrom 1977). In looking at a commons such as the peace parks, particularly the southern African parks, devising ways to sustain these precious ecosystems and effective governance systems become a “coevolutionary race” (Dietz et al. 2003). Some self-governed common-pool resources have survived and flourished for centuries, while others falter and fail, and some never get organized in the first place. The peace parks initiative would be well served by adapting some of these long-surviving, self-governing principles that characterize robust, long-term institutions. Table 3 provides a summary of these principles (Basurto and Ostrom 2009).   19  Table 3: Design principles illustrated by long-enduring common-pool resource institutions  (Basurto and Ostrom 2009, with permission) Principle Synopsis Clearly Defined Boundaries  Individuals or households with rights to withdraw resource units from the common-pool resource, and the boundaries of the common-pool resource itself, are clearly defined.  Congruence A. The distribution of benefits from appropriation rules is roughly proportionate to the costs imposed by provision rules.  B. Appropriation rules restricting time, place, technology, and quantity of resource units are related to local conditions.  Collective-Choice Arrangements Most individuals affected by operational rules can participate in modifying operational rules.  Monitoring Monitors, who actively audit common-pool resource conditions and user behavior, are accountable to the users or are the users themselves.  Graduated Sanctions Users who violate operational rules are likely to receive graduated sanctions (depending on the seriousness and context of the offense) from other users, from officials accountable to these users, or from both.  Conflict-Resolution Mechanisms Users and their officials have rapid access to low-cost, local arenas to resolve conflict among users or between users and officials.  Minimal Recognition of Rights to Organize The rights of users to devise their own institutions are not challenged by external governmental authorities.  Nested Enterprises (For common-pool resources that are parts of larger systems) Appropriation, provision, monitoring, enforcement, conflict resolution, and governance activities are organized in multiple layers of nested enterprises.   Oran Young (2006) also provides valuable guidelines about the cross-level, scale-dependent interplay present in projects such as the peace parks. He warns against focusing on only one level of resource regimes, or to assume that higher levels are macrocosms of lower-level arrangements (or vice versa – lower-level arrangements being microcosms of higher-level arrangements). A tendency to avoid cross-level interactions as if it is pathological is common, and the correct response is to make a concerted effort to understand the complexities across scale and level. Understanding the forces that produce different patterns of interplay can play a role in bringing about essential changes required to take the establishment of community-based peace parks forward. The main driving forces and the patterns of interplay they are usually connected with, as well as the outcome mostly associated with them, are shown in Table 4. If the southern African governments are serious about making the peace parks models of co-managed, participatory ecosystem-based   20 communities, they would aim for the outcome of co-management, and focus on limiting authority outside the immediate participating communities through negotiated agreement. Table 4: Syndromes of cross-level, scale-dependent interplay  (Taken from Young 2006, with permission) Driving force Pattern Type Outcome Limited authority Negotiated agreement Co-management Decentralization De facto dominance Hegemony Dueling discourses Separation Competing regimes Cognitive transition Merger Institutional synthesis Blocking coalitions System change Institutional breakdown   2.2. CONSERVATION INFLUENCES IN AFRICA 2.2.1. CONSERVATION PARADIGMS Conservation in the western, developed world began with a focus on specific species preservation because of the recognition that these species might become extinct when harvesting levels were maintained. This was mainly due to the species’ utility value, whether for consumption or for recreational purposes such as hunting during the Victorian period (Redford et al. 2003). The focus then gradually changed to include “charismatic” animal species like tigers and pandas, which introduced a move towards conservation of species for their intrinsic value, exemplified by the introduction of the Red Data List of the IUCN and the US Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Redford et al. 2003). The next shift was to include ecosystems into the conservation basket, less for their intrinsic value than for the value of ecosystem services, such as tropical rain forests. Also included then was scenic beauty as a conservation target (Noss and Cooperrider 1994; DiSilvestro 1993, Runte 1979, Sellars 1989), although Shafer (1999:189) argues that “in addition to natural beauty, biological and geological factors did indeed influence the selection of some early natural area national parks and monuments”. This period introduced the notion of utilizing these scenic parks for recreational purposes, and in developed countries the concept of spending relaxing periods in nature to unwind or exercise grew enormously over the last 60 years. The last three decades saw the dawn of the era of biodiversity protection, largely due to the release of the Brundtland Report in 1987 (WCED, 1987). Although generally vaguely defined, the need for it received widespread recognition in the developed world and it is advocated based both on intrinsic and utilitarian values (Redford et al. 2003). Also during the nineties perspectives on landscape conservation   21 developed, either as targets of conservation within themselves or as mechanisms to accomplish conservation – “stewardship of all of the species on all of the landscape with every activity we undertake as human beings - a task without spatial and temporal boundaries” (Franklin 1993:205). Conservation history in Africa has been tainted by hostilities and conflict between conservation authorities and local communities. This is because conservation for more than a century was an imposed European ideology of scenic African landscapes, forced on the citizens of occupied countries under colonial rule. It often meant forced removal and resettlement of entire communities to make room for preservations with restrictions on customary resource uses and reduced access to ancestral lands. From the perspective of conservationists, the conflict represented livestock trespass, illegal hunting, wood theft and the consequent ecological costs of species extirpation (Neumann 1997). European interest in conserving the wildlife and habitats was often ignorant of the long-established successful ways in which Africans have ensured their own survival and that of the soils and biota to which they owed their existence (Worthington 1958, Darling 1960, Brokensha et al. 1980, Richards 1985). Recent years have seen a change in these attitudes towards the development of a broader discussion linking conservation to the process of rural development and the survival of agrarian societies in Africa. In many areas the concept of participatory conservation or community-based resource management became the panacea that “should” simultaneously conserve species and ensure community development, while offering a range of ecotourism experiences to developed-world tourists from wealthier countries. Different conservation models are currently found on the African continent. There are the typical national reserves spread across the continent, with varying degrees of protection offered, with or without fences, as well as an assortment of tenure arrangements. In many countries these reserves incorporate agrarian communities and even villages. Many private game farms are found especially in the southern African countries, and communal conservation areas are the norm in several countries, mainly as a consequence of the introduction of community-based conservation initiatives. Nonetheless, despite the myriad of conservation models, from formalized IUCN categorized protected areas to informal local conservancies, biological biodiversity continues to dwindle. These models often view the world through course filters and fail to encourage the emergence and spread of fine-grained models adapted to local conditions, whilst often expanding their focus on where and what to conserve, instead of fine-tuning “how to conserve” (Redford et al. 2003). Bawa et al. (2004) call for multiple, specific conservation strategies which include further development of flexibility, multiplicity and locally specific approaches. Inclusion of both local traditions in the adoption of conservation strategies and   22 increased integration of natural and social concerns by explicitly treating ecological and economic systems as a single unit, should also be key. Encouragement of sustained partnerships between large, resource-rich conservation organizations and local, knowledge-rich institutions that aim to support or create an adequate formal and informal institutional framework, are also critical components of a conservation strategy (Western 2003 in Redford et al. 2003) 2.2.2. TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION The IUCN defines the term peace park as an area “formally dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and to the promotion of peace and co-operation.” A Peace Park constitutes one type of transboundary protected area (TBPA), also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCA). A TCFA is defined as: “An area of land and/or sea that straddles one or more boundaries between states, sub-national units such as provinces and regions, autonomous areas and/or areas beyond the limits of national sovereignty or jurisdiction, whose constituent parts are especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed co-operatively through legal or other effective means” (Chester 2008). National borders have always been based on political boundaries, while ecological regions and social systems do not conform to these invisible margins. Ecological entities such as watersheds, shared resources, oceans, rain patterns or geological regions do not abruptly stop at a political borderline. This is clearly visible when looking at maps of the ecoregions of the world and how it differs from the geographical delineation of countries (Figure 10).   23  Figure 10: Terrestrial ecoregions of the world  (Olson et al. 2001, with permission) It is essentially the need to protect large-scale ecosystems that has been the driving force behind the transfrontier conservation concept.  The use of protected areas as a mechanism to stimulate peaceful relations is not a new initiative, and can be dated back as far as 1780 when the King of France and the Prince-Bishop of Basel formed a Treaty of Alliance. The treaty stated that nothing “is more proper for maintaining good relations and peace between two bordering states” than punishing offenses related to forests, hunting, and fishing. It aimed to establish “an equal and uniform jurisprudence” over these issues within their shared border region. (Chester 2008). The drive towards founding international transboundary conservation areas gained momentum after the start of the twentieth century. In Italy, the Gran Paradiso National Park on the border with France was proclaimed in 1922 for the protection of ibex (Capra ibex), to allow free traversing of the border since they preferred to spend the summers in France, but migrated into Italy for protection during the winter months (Thorsell and Harrison in Pasemko 2009). In 1924 the Krakow Protocol signed between Poland and Czechoslovakia was intended to foster international cooperation in the management of their border parks and to resolve boundary disputes after World War I. This treaty finally led to the establishment of peace parks in 1948 and 1967 as a combination of six individual parks into three combined parks, all of which are still managed jointly for research and tourism initiatives (Pasemko 2009). The first official peace park was established in 1934 between Canada and the United States and is known as the Waterton-Glacier National Park. The park   24 was a combination of the Glacier National Park of Montana and the Waterton Lakes National Park of southern Alberta (Parks Canada 2007). The objective was to promote good and peaceful relationships between Canada and the US. The list of transboundary parks continued to grow throughout the twentieth century and was finally categorized by the United Nations Environmental Program World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) into 227 transboundary protected area complexes covering a total area of 4,626,601.85 km2, which included 3,043 individual protected areas or internationally designated sites (UNEP-WCMC 2007). The distribution worldwide is shown in Figure 11 and the location of these parks is shown in Figure 12.  Figure 11: Distribution of TFCAs worldwide  (Pasemko 2009, with permission)  Figure 12: Location of peace parks around the globe  (UNEP-WCMC)   25 2.2.3. TRANSFRONTIER CONSERVATION IN AFRICA Africa has been particularly prone to political division of ecosystems, where a majority of national borders lie along some major river systems, often with conflicting management strategies of these riparian areas on either side of the borders. Conflict in many African countries has exacerbated the degradation of ecological borderlines. As a previous IUCN Director General put it: “Apart from the fact that such lines tend to be a trifle insecure (the navigable channel shifts at flood time) they are a nightmare to ecosystem managers because they split river basins and watersheds precisely down the middle. They are also a nightmare to social scientists and community leaders and government administrators because they tend also to split human groups down the middle... [However], there is little prospect of redrawing such boundaries in the foreseeable future” (McDowell 1997:1). The southern African peace parks initiative was conceived by industrial magnate Dr. Anton Rupert when he approached the president of Mozambique (Joaquim Chessano) in 1990 to discuss the possibilities of amalgamating some protected areas adjoining the borders of Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa. Although this was a particularly vulnerable era in the South African political history, they proceeded with the Mozambique Peace Accord in 1992 and four years later, after the election of Nelson Mandela as South Africa’s president, these discussions were continued. By this time, the idea to market southern Africa as a global ecotourism destination to generate much-needed economic investment was a firm concept. In 1997 Dr. Rupert, HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and President Nelson Mandela jointly founded the Peace Parks Foundation. This body would serve as a non-governmental organization under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund to explore and establish TFCAs south of the equator in Africa (PPF Review 1997-2007)1. The Foundation made its initial goal the cooperation of all heads of state in the region, and the South African Development Community (SADC) drew up the Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement in 1999. SADC commissioned a feasibility study of potential and existing peace parks in the region which was completed in 2002. A total of 22 existing or potential sites were identified and they included major eco-regions which would form the basis for ecological protection and sustainable economic development. These 22 areas have since been reduced to 14 TFCA clusters as being the most                                                           1 Detailed information about the PPF can be found on the website:    26 viable for development, constituting a total of 75 million hectares. Figure 13 indicates the location and proposed names for these 14 parks. The first park, Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Area, was opened by President Festus Mogae of Botswana and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa on 12 May 2000. This was followed a month later by establishment of the Lubombo TFCA, an area straddling the borders of South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland and incorporating 5 distinct projects. Further TFCAs established respectively in 2000, 2001 and 2003 included the Greater Limpopo TFCA (South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe), ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (South Africa and Namibia) and the Maloti-Drakensberg TFCA (South Africa and Lesotho) (PPF Review 1997-2007). TREATY SIGNED 1. |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Namibia/South Africa) 2. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park  (Botswana/South Africa) 4. Greater Limpopo TFCA  (Mozambique/South Africa/Zimbabwe)  MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED 3. Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (Botswana/South Africa/Zimbabwe) 5. Lubombo TFCA  (Mozambique/South Africa/Swaziland) 6. Maloti–Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation & Development Area (Lesotho/South Africa) 7. Iona–Skeleton Coast TFCA (Angola/Namibia) 9. Kavango–Zambezi TFCA (Angola/Botswana/Namibia/Zambia/Zimbabwe) 11. Malawi/Zambia TFCA (Malawi/Zambia) 14. Chimanimani TFCA (Mozambique/Zimbabwe)  CONCEPTUAL PHASE 8. Liuwa Plain–Kameia TFCA (Angola/Zambia) 10. Lower Zambezi–Mana Pools TFCA (Zambia/Zimbabwe) 12. Niassa–Selous TFCA (Mozambique/Tanzania) 13. Mnazi Bay–Quirimbas Transfrontier Conservation and Marine Area (TFCMA) (Mozambique/Tanzania)  Figure 13: Proposed 14 TFCAs in Southern Africa  (PPF Review 2007, with permission) Two of these parks have been identified by PPF as good examples to serve as embedded case studies within the more encompassing case study concept of African peace parks. They are the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) and the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Park (GMTP) – the latter has been   27 renamed since the signing of the memorandum of understanding. These two parks are represented by numbers three and four on the map of the 14 proposed TFCAs (Figure 13). 2.2.4. LEARNING FROM TRANSBOUNDARY EXAMPLES WORLDWIDE: In an effort to provide general guidelines2 towards transboundary protection of natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity, the IUCN suggests the necessity of building on four essential elements or pillars, while warning that no single blueprint exists (Gasana 2010). The four pillars are:   the existence of political will at national and sub-national level; and closely related,    the political vision to address transboundary issues through policies, institutions and management;    including Indigenous Peoples, local communities and authorities through strong stakeholder participation mechanisms, and creating joint structures and synergies with clear mandates at national level and supporting inter-institutional coordination; and finally   a mixture of financing mechanisms which combine support from national  budgets, private, bi-and multilateral donors, and the private sector.  The IUCN further emphasizes the need for future TBCA governance to devolve sufficiently to enable local actors to play a greater role and own an adequate share of power in decision making (Borrini-Feyerabend 2004). To achieve this, strengthening capacity in government institutions and among stakeholders, is critical. The guidelines (supported by many examples from transboundary conservation initiatives around the world) promoted by IUCN include: Identifying and promoting common values: Establishing joint forums to focus on identifying a common vision for a shared resource, or a particularly scarce species, and using this shared resource as a unifying theme has proven successful in several transboundary areas, such as:  The conservation of Indochina’s forest biomes between Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam;    The conservation of the red-crowned and white-naped cranes within the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between South and North Korea; and                                                            2 The synthesis is based on the Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No.7 and is grouped according to some of the guidelines proposed in the series.   28  The protection of mountain gorilla and the afro-montane forest on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. The latter is an example of collaboration between three countries’ protected area authorities and three non-governmental conservation organizations. A decade after the initiative was launched, a significant increase of 10% in the population size of this highly endangered species was reported.  It is also important to host joint events that promote these common values, such as a transboundary work sessions or photographer/writers’ workshops, and hosting meetings for local park residents. Obtaining and maintaining support of decision makers: A very useful approach in establishing and maintaining transboundary initiatives has been to use information about high-level bilateral or multilateral cooperation agreements concerning natural resource management, tourism or economic development to develop local initiatives and influencing the relevant authorities.  In the transboundary protected areas between Costa Rica and Panama, Bi-National Technical Commissions were established and provide a very successful framework for transboundary protected area development initiatives based on international agreements. It is always important to seek the endorsement of officials and authorities, such as in the case of the Korup (Cameroon) and Oban (Nigeria) Transboundary Park where security authorities only gradually accepted the concept of a people-free zone on the border – without this consent the Park would have been doomed to failure. Promoting coordinated and cooperative activities: It is crucial to incorporate the social dimension into building friendly relations with neighbouring colleagues. Such cooperation should occur both at official staff development and commitment level, as well as in collaboration at the ground level.  The protected area administrations of the Podyji National Park on the border between Moravia and Austria, together with the Elbe Sandstones Protected Landscape (Czech Republic) and the Saxonian Switzerland National Park and Protected Landscape (Germany), emphasize the unifying power of having mutual venues, personal invitations, and hosting “evening campfires with beer and roasted pork and jolly good songs” (Cerovský 1996).  Language barriers are addressed through language training courses within the Alpi Marittime and Mercantour Transboundary Protected Area between Italy and France.    29 Another example of successful collaboration across federal borders is the functioning of the Australian Alps Liaison Committee (AALC), which consists of representatives from the National Parks and Wildlife Services of New South Wales, Environment Australian Capital Territory and Parks Victoria, with each member having the capacity to make decisions on behalf of their agency. Working groups are supposed to have effective communication channels and are encouraged to constantly seek input and involvement from local staff.  An example of such unification through information exchange is in Indochina where a compatible transboundary data management programme has been developed between Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.  Examples of collaboration during regular on-the-ground operational activities as well as emergencies are:   The Vanoise National Park and the Gran Paradiso National Park on the border between France and Italy where the ibex population that traverses the border annually, is managed jointly;   In Manas Tiger Reserve (India) and Royal Manas (Bhutan) authorities cooperate in controlling poaching;  Boundary Water Canoe Wilderness Area (USA)and Quetico Wilderness Provincial Park (Canada) operates jointly on fire detection and suppression, and developing fire plans;  In the Big Bend National Park between the US and Mexico, wildland fire fighters from adjacent Mexican villages supplement the park’s fire suppression forces;  In the Qomolangma Nature Preserve (China), Nepalese helicopters based at the Makalu Barun Conservation Project in Nepal, provide rescue services here, as well as in Mount Sagarmatha/Qomolangma Transboundary Protected Area;  Jointly-managed species reintroduction maximizes the chances of success, especially in damaged ecosystems after armed conflict, as shown by reintroduction of bearded vultures in the Alpi Marittime Nature Park (Italy) and Mercantour National Park (France) between Italy and France;  Jointly-managed research activities such as in Costa Rica and Panama are supported through a Border Cooperation Agreement, and similar joint studies have been undertaken in Tatra National Park bordering Slovakia and Poland; and   30  Coordinated attempts to stem illegal activities have a far greater chance of success, as shown in anti-poaching operations in the national parks bordering Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as between Nimule National Park (Sudan) and Uganda, and in the Mount Elgon National Parks between Kenya and Uganda where coordinated conservation law enforcement has stimulated other conservation programmes between the two countries. An important aspect of operational activities is sharing of production of materials concerning the transboundary protected areas such as: developing common logos as in Nyika National Park between Malawi and Zambia; and preparing a single map or visitor’s guide as in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park between Canada and the US, as well as the bilingual material of the Bavarian Forest National Park (Germany) and the Šumava National Park (Czech Republic). The latter has also established a shared visitor information centre which is far more cost-effective. Developing cooperative agreements: All these joint operations can be formalized through treaties to ensure long-term and accountable cooperation, as shown in the Australian Alps National Park’s Memorandum of Understanding, the Waterton Lakes-Glacier Transboundary Park which is bound to mutual aid in the areas of fire control, and search and rescue, and in the Alpi Maritime and Mercantour Transboundary Protected Area between Italy and France, where a representative from each management authority sits on the advisory committee of the other. Working towards funding sustainability: The human and financial implications of transboundary cooperation are crucial elements in the planning stages, and any opportunity to share financial resources or reduce costs should be pursued. In the Australian Alps, a special budget for cooperation receives funding from the three states involved as well as the federal government. In the Elbe Sandstones Protected Landscape (Czech Republic) and the Saxonian Switzerland National Park and Protected Landscape (Germany) a revenue-sharing mechanism for boat trips along the river has been established. It has been shown to be especially important to share revenue across borders when income accrues mainly to one partner because of better access or geographical position.  Another area with potential collaboration is development of joint proposals to leverage funding for projects, such as in Mount Elgon National Parks (Kenya/Uganda) where IUCN funds a complementary programme in each country. Innovative financial mechanisms such as debt-for-nature swaps, payment-for-ecosystem services incentives, trust funds and carbon-sequestration credits can also supplement   31 transboundary protected area’s finances such as occurs with the regional trust fund of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme for the Virunga Volcanoes Transboundary Protected Area. Further examples of cooperation driven by shared resource management: Looking at some examples of transboundary cooperation worldwide, a few aspects are highlighted by the following examples. Most cases that show progress have evolved around the protection of a natural resource, mostly water, while ecosystem or species conservation initiatives often lack the same intensity of focus, political will and collaboration. Another important driver for transboundary cooperation appears to be national security, where land degradation or resource pollution threatens peaceful relations regionally. Many more examples of successful transboundary environmental governance initiatives exist in the world, and the growing number of transboundary areas will increase the lessons and best practices over time. It is critical that such information is captured and exchanged constantly, to ensure that management practices can improve and failures can be avoided.  Transboundary Ground Water Management in North America The study of ground water systems in North America has shown that successful governance of transboundary water management depends on effective scientific, governmental and societal processes individually, with the interface among these elements of even greater importance. Rules were created over a century ago with the signing of the Boundary Waters Treaty (IBWC) in 1909, which led to the creation of the International Joint Commission (IJC) that regulates administrative, arbitral and investigative aspects of conflicts. This represents a mature government process that implies scientific cross-border investigations and stakeholder group involvement in the IJC – however, it has been shown that government processes are often more powerful than scientific and societal processes, and this imbalance is the main reason for failures in governance. Another aspect that cannot be ignored in transboundary water governance is that past issues never fully disappear and often have to be renegotiated, and continuous adaptive management of the water resource is required to deal with constantly emerging issues such as hydroelectric power and water quality. The adaptability of the institutions such as the IBWC and the IJC, and their ability to resolve bilateral disputes and promote cooperation between countries is demonstrated by the voluntary use of these institutions and the successful ad hoc transboundary management with no predetermined process to define the roles of government, science and society. (Based mainly on an article by Michael Campana, Alyssa Neir and Geoffrey Klise – see References)   32      The Baltic Sea: Robust and secure institutional arrangements make the difference The Baltic Region represents one of the most complex environmental governance systems in the world. The countries that have shorelines along the Baltic Sea are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Sweden. Regional environmental cooperation started forty years ago with the 1974 Helsinki Convention to limit marine pollution from land and sea-based sources, and centres around the Baltic Marine Environmental Protection Commission, known as the Helsinki Commission or HELCOM. HELCOM functions around an extensive cooperative network between states and international organizations, as well as subnational, private sector and NGO actors. The regional environmental policy networks focus on issues addressed by HELCOM, ranging from broad cleaning-up strategies to discussions about ports, coastal development, pollution from ships, techniques for modernizing water and waste water treatment, and many more. The Baltic region represents a “robust environmental cooperation regime and an unusually mature set of policy networks” encompassing efforts to clean up and protect the Baltic Sea and its surrounding environment (Van Deveer 2011: 37). This is largely due to the efficiency of HELCOM, which functions as a secretariat to administer and implement the convention, with three permanent committees and numerous working groups supporting this function. Costs are shared equally among parties, and HELCOM issues non-binding environmental policy recommendations based on relevant scientific, technical and legal expertise provided by the committees. It also coordinates environmental monitoring and national pollutant discharge reporting. Some of the reasons for HELCOM’s success include:  The broad involvement of  international and domestic organizations, interest groups and the public – not just “top-down” but pressures from “all around”;  Implementation mostly takes place indirectly through secondary institutions such as many standards that have been agreed to like MARPOL (a collection of international agreements regulating many kinds of marine pollution from shipping);  The regional environmental body has expanded beyond its scientific and technological focus, and now play a prominent role also in political, economic, and development discourses, as well as becoming a transnational regime that formulate and implement a regional set of principles and policy norms within states around the sea; and  The principles and policy norms of HELCOM are sufficiently flexible and at times vague enough to allow for their incorporation into different foreign policies and domestic legal and administrative systems. (Synthesis of two articles by Stacy Van Deveer – see References)   33  2.3. COMMUNITY-BASED CONSERVATION The past three decades have seen a deluge of research papers on community-based natural resource management across the world. An important driver behind this movement was Hardin’s grim description of the tragedy of the commons (1968) in which he predicted depletion of a resource whenever it is used by many individuals. Twenty years later however, Elinor Ostrom replied with proof that the commons can be governed sustainably given a set of key principles (1990). This stirred great interest among policymakers and environmentalists alike, and caused a flood of academic literature on the topic of resource governance by communities. Around the same time, Africa was evolving from the colonial ages of fortress conservation. In Zimbabwe a very interesting phenomenon emerged that was linked to commons theory. Before the 1980s, conservation in Africa was still mainly based on excluding people from conservation areas, with the objective of preserving nature in its pristine untouched state. The Communal Areas Management Programme For Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Zimbabwe became a prelude to a different conservation narrative: that of resource management controlled by the communities adjacent to, or amidst the natural ecosystems under protection (Hulme and Murphree 2001). The Indus Basin and Ganges River: Regional cooperation supersedes international collaboration  Despite high population growth rates, low per capita income rates and growing subsistence needs, as well as decades of instability and unrest, the countries in the Southern Asian region still cooperate in combating environmental problems, in particular water scarcity, through several subregional initiatives. India and Pakistan have been sharing the Indus River System for decades, India and Bangladesh have signed a long-term treaty to cooperate using the Ganges River, India cooperates with Nepal and Bhutan over common water resources and India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan have a subregional group to promote water projects and energy development. This increase in bilateral and multilateral initiatives at non-governmental level shows great promise that concern for the local environment can drive environmental policy changes at state level. Growing interaction among the region’s environmental pressure groups has generated several regional environmental initiatives, and suggests that environmental scarcity does not necessarily lead to conflict, but can also engender regional cooperation, even in remote areas and inhospitable terrain. (Synthesis of article by Ashok Swain – see References)   34 In the international arena the interest of large development bodies such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was sparked by the CAMPFIRE project. They had been grappling with Africa’s conservation problems since 1961 with the launch of the African Special Project (Fitter and Scott 1978). Calls for focusing on the social impacts of protected areas were heard at the World Parks Congress in 1982 in Bali, and were repeated in the Brundtland Report. The latter acknowledged the importance of natural resources to human economic welfare and the very real threat of species extinction, but urged new approaches to conservation. The Report argued that the traditional park-centered approach should be replaced by a strategy that combined conservation and development. Indeed, governments should consider ‘‘parks for development” (WCED, 1987:159). The Report hailed sustainable development as a win-win concept, thus reframing conservation as an activity essential to economic development, particularly for the poor (Miller et al. 2011). New initiatives that approached protected area management through integrating the needs of local people while conserving natural resources (Integrated Conservation-Development Projects or ICDPs) were launched by the World Bank, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), amongst others. The common objective of ICDPs was to link biodiversity protection of protected areas with local socio-economic development (Western et al. 1994, Alpert 1996, McShane and Wells 2004, Wells and Brandon 1992). By the 1990s, the concept was well-established and at the Rio Convention in 1992 sustainable resource use and biodiversity conservation became focal points on the international stage. This worldwide movement demonstrated the new conservation paradigm towards people-centred conservation (Fabricious and Koch 2004). The following two decades saw the emergence of hundreds of projects focusing on the development of collaborative partnerships between governments and local communities. The different projects included ways of sustainably harvesting timber from forests, wildlife harvesting from protected and communal areas, fishing from aquatic environments, or collecting firewood for household use. Other sustainable local practices such as beekeeping and ecotourism were introduced and explored. Many of these projects were initiated or driven by large non-government organizations (NGOs), the World Bank or in some cases by governments themselves.  At the heart of this drive lay the fear of realising Hardin’s predictions, coupled with ineffective management of natural resources by developing world governments, a shift towards more anthropocentric resource use, and the new awareness of the effects of climate change, as well as the importance of the natural environment and its biodiversity. The conundrum was the need for   35 development by poor countries, but where the already developed countries “had expanded blithely without regard for depletion of natural resources,” this rate of progress now had to be checked, and careful planning and strategies had to be developed lest the commons be exploited beyond repair. It seemed almost as if community-based resource management could be the solution. A more sustainable, low impact resource use such as ecotourism, or managed resource use like hunting could double as drivers of rural development whilst providing incentives to communities to protect their natural environment. There have however been many publications calling the validity of these “romantic” views in question (Goldman 2003, Igoe 2001, Ribot 1999). 2.4. DECISION MAKING IN COMPLEX SYSTEMS Although each of the topics of decision making, complexity and resilience could each fill several dissertations, time and space forced me to briefly address the theory behind each in this literature review, and it mainly informed chapters 6 and 7, where governance and decision-making processes in the transfrontier conservation areas are analysed and discussed.  The theory behind decision-making analysis was pioneered by Nobel Prize winner, Herbert Simon, one of the first scientists to realize the need for interdisciplinary approaches (Simon 1959), and who did his PhD on decision making through the mail during the early years of World War II. His original fields of study included behavioral psychology, economics, political science, advanced mathematics and mathematical statistics, and physics (Simon 1992). The field where decision making seemed most at home for several decades turned out to be economics and business design, although the field of engineering also produced many publications on decision making. The concept of systems dynamics (with Lotka 1920-1956 regarded as the father of systems theory – Hurford 2010) drove the theory behind complexity, and also contributed to research in decision making. As Hurford points out, the oldest recorded remark on systems theory could possibly be that of Aristotle: “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” (2010). While many people regard complexity as a factor of the number of components or possible states in a system, the complexity is found more in determining the best solutions to given situations out of many possibilities (Sterman 2006). The phenomenon of transboundary protected areas undoubtedly represents one of the most complex systems around, since it not only consists of uncertain, complex social systems, but also involves decision making regarding highly uncertain complex natural systems. This indeed constitutes a “wicked problem”, as many complexity theorists refer to such social systems (Rittel 1972, Buchanan 1992).   36 Although I do not intend to delve too deeply into the theory of complexity, the Cynefin model developed by Dave Snowden warrants mention, as it was regarded particularly useful in the domain of decision-making processes and knowledge management, with the former being a central theme of this dissertation. The Welsh word cynefin literally means habitat or place, but was chosen to describe the evolutionary nature of complex systems, including their inherent uncertainty, and the name serves as a reminder that all human interactions are strongly influenced and frequently determined by our experiences and value systems (Snowden 2002). In his own words:  ” complex adaptive systems theory is used to create a sense-making model that utilizes the self-organizing capabilities of informal communities and identifies a natural flow model of knowledge creation, disruption and utilization” (Snowden 2002: 100). The framework was developed based on action research into the use of narrative and complexity theory in organizational knowledge exchange, decision making, strategy, and policy making. Dividing systems (or spaces of departure) into four types (Figure 14), the main difference between them is the causal predictability of each. Of these four, only the simple system can be governed by rules or “best practices” of which the outcomes can be predicted with certainty (Snowden and Kurz 2003). The fifth domain is also identified by Snowden, a focal area called the domain of disorder and the space where society mostly finds itself.   37  Figure 14: The four types of knowledge or decision-making domains within social systems  (Snowden 2002, with permission from Emerald Group Publishing)  Of crucial importance for the purposes of studying decision making in a complex system such as a transfrontier conservation area, is the following: - Characteristics such as its non-linearity, dynamic nature, linkages to history, and self-organization (Sterman 2001) should be expected. The fact that systems surprise us with “unanticipated events” should rather be regarded as expected consequences due to our inability to foresee the feedbacks to our own decisions, and the limitations of our own mental models (Sterman 2002). Our responses to these feedbacks are too often focused on the symptoms that we register (Sterman 2002), rather than the underlying problems, and this forces us back into the chaotic domain or “crisis management” mode. - Actors should expect to find themselves making decisions either in the complex domain (where decisions should be intuitive and innovative) or in the complicated (with a great reliance on expert advice and solid data based on a history of monitoring).  - Although tempting, actors should never aim to prescribe “best practices” or rules to simplify the system or its operations. - Beware of the area of complacency within the system’s areas of bureaucracy (Figure 14) – this is often the most dangerous area, where actors have prescribed for their own benefit sets of   38 regulations to simplify the system, and yet the slightest crisis could send the whole system crashing. - Policy resistance in particular, arises from dynamic complexity or the “counterintuitive behavior of complex systems that arises from the interactions of the agents over time” (Sterman 2006, on Forrester 1971:506). A third theme that I will focus on briefly is that of system resilience, or the ability of social (or natural) systems to absorb shocks and external drivers, or management interventions. Holling (1973) terms ecological resilience a measure of how far the system could be perturbed without shifting to a different regime, while Gunderson and Pritchard (2002) focused on ecological state changes resulting from human actions. Berkes et al. (2003) studied human adaptations to ecosystem changes across a wide range of cultural systems, and found that these affect the resilience of the social-ecological systems in different ways.  Walker et al. (2004) emphasized that the introduction of resilience theory changed the focus from seeking optimal states in ecology and the determinants of maximum sustainable yield (the MSY paradigm), to resilience analysis, adaptive resource management, and adaptive governance (Walker et al. 2004). Most systems tend to alternate between stable states, where the state space represents the three-dimensional space of all the combinations of its intrinsic variables, and where movement through this space is seen as dynamic processes (Resilience Alliance Workbook 2007). Walker et al. (2004) further identify the concept of “basins of attraction”, leaning towards the theory of stability landscape dynamics in ecology (Beisner et al. 2003), where the basins of attraction represents conditions that will drive towards the equilibrium state. Figure 15(a) and (b) shows the ability of socio-ecological systems to move between different basins of attraction, due to exogenous (climate change) or endogenous drivers (management practices).  a)  b) Figure 15: a) Walker et al.’s three-dimensional stability landscape with two basins of attraction  showing, in one basin, the current position of the system and three aspects of resilience, L = latitude, R = resistance, Pr = precariousness.  b) Changes in the stability landscape have resulted in a contraction of the basin the system was in and an expansion of the alternate basin. Without itself changing, the system has changed basins (Walker et al. 2004, with permission)   39  What can be summarized at this point about transboundary governance of ecosystems or protected areas is that while these are enormously complex systems with a high degree of unpredictability, I maintain that there is also a large degree of improvement possible when applying some of the “good practices”, particularly to the social components of the system. Savory (1988) refers to the possibility of finding some missing elements through careful analysis of a system, or sometimes “shifting a gear a minute fraction” to allow major advances in the functioning of the social system, and in this dissertation I have attempted to make sense, through the analysis of two transfrontier case studies, of the seemingly chaotic jumble of social systems, governance and policy options, and stochastic natural events that make up a TFCA. To aid me in the endeavor I had to consult with many publications, to produce some recommendations and draw conclusions about some of the vital elements that are missing from the current decision-making processes of the southern African transfrontier conservation areas (Figure 16).  Figure 16: The process of “making sense” of the complexity of a transboundary protected area. To quote Elinor Ostrom (1999: 530): “we need to recognize that governance is frequently an adaptive process involving multiple actors at diverse levels. Such systems look terribly messy and are hard to understand. The scholar’s love of tidiness must be resisted. Instead, we need to develop better theories of complex adaptive systems, particularly those that have proved themselves able to utilize renewable natural resources sustainably over time.”    40 3.  STUDY AREA   "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."    -  Mark Twain (1835-1910)  3.1. INTRODUCTION This chapter will briefly provide background information regarding the two case studies selected for the research, including the geographical location, different land components included in each TFCA, biophysical features, brief historical and cultural context, and the institutional arrangements of each case study. For brevity I shall refer to the case studies as Limpopo (short for Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area) and Mapungubwe (short for Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area). The main reasons for selecting these two cases were:  Both transfrontier conservation areas are operational as TFCAs, although Mapungubwe is a rather new addition, and still struggling with institutional teething problems.  While Limpopo consists of two longstanding national parks (Kruger NP – 1898, and Gonarezhou NP - 1975), which is important for its history of ecosystem and species conservation, Mapungubwe is an established United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site due to its ancient archeological remains, and thus of cultural importance to the region.  Limpopo is considered one of the largest conservation areas in the world, while Mapungubwe covers a fraction of that area – this makes for interesting contrasts in management challenges.  While Limpopo’s Treaty was signed in 2002, and as TFCA exists more than a decade, Mapungubwe’s Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2006, with the signing of the Treaty foreseen in the near future. Much information could be gathered regarding a case study after signing of the Treaty, and one in the process of leading up to this point.    41 3.2. GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND BIOPHYSICAL INFORMATION Mapungubwe is a TFCA consisting of:  the Mapungubwe National Park in northern South Africa and the adjacent Vhembi biosphere;   the Northern Tuli Game Reserves (NOTUGRE) area in western Botswana, with some communal land to the south of NOTUGRE;  the Tuli Circle, a combination of communal areas, and three private game ranches in southwest Zimbabwe: Sentinel Ranch, Nottingham Estate and River Ranch (Figure 17, and a more detailed map in Appendix D, Figure 44)  Figure 17: Mapungubwe map and location within Africa and southern Africa  (Source: PPF, with permission) Limpopo is a TFCA consisting of:  the Kruger National Park (KNP) and adjacent private game reserves in eastern South Africa;  Gonarezhou National Park and surrounding communal areas in southeastern Zimbabwe;   42  Limpopo National Park (LNP), Zinave National Park, Banhine National Park (Portuguese names: Parque Naçional do Limpopo (PNL), Parque Naçional do Zinave, and Parque Naçional do Banhine) and intervening communal areas in southwest  Mozambique (Figure 18, and a more detailed map in Appendix D, Figure 43) A very important development during the study period is that the greater boundaries of neither case study had been formalized, or received treaty status, and currently remain vaguely designated zones, without definite boundaries. The formal areas included according to the MoU (Mapungubwe) and treaty (Limpopo) are the core protected areas listed above, and in some cases, the communal areas (in Zimbabwe the communal WMAs).  Figure 18: Limpopo map and location within Africa and southern Africa  (Source: PPF, with permission) Table 5 provides a brief summary of the two cases studies in terms of climatic zone, geological substrate, major vegetation types, climate and rainfall, and elevation.     43 Table 5: Summary of the main biophysical components of the two case studies  (Main sources: IDPs of both TFCAs) Feature Mapungubwe Limpopo Climate Semi-arid zone, high evaporation rates, summer temperatures up to 45˚C. Extended periods of below average rainfall are common. Varied climate from semi-arid regions to more moist; in parts sub-tropical (south) with warm wet summers and mild winters seldom experiencing frost. Temperatures often soaring to above 38 °C. Average rainfall 350-400 mm per annum in summer only Varies greatly between drought periods and wet cycles: ±750 mm in the south and ±350 in the north Size 5,909 km2 of which 300 km2 comprises core protected area 37 572km² of protected area. This forms the core of the second-phase TFCA, measuring almost 100,000km² Vegetation South: Mopani Woodland dominates,  East: large area covered by Jubernardia Woodland between the Limpopo and Umzingwani Rivers.  North: Guibourtia Mixed Woodland is found on the Basalt  Along the river valleys: tall Riparian Woodland and Acacia/Hyphaene Shrubland Since the area is so vast, only the major vegetation communities are identified: Mopane woodland and shrubveld: dominated by Colophospermum mopane, with minimal Combretum apiculatum, Spirostachys africana, Adansonia digitata (baobab) and Commiphora species. Mixed Bushveld: Dominated by Acacia nigrescens, Combretum paniculatum, Combretum imberbe, Sclerocarya birrea, and Dichrostachys cinerea. Sandveld: Mainly Bapphia massaiensis, Afzelia quanzensis, Strychnos spp., Terminalia sericea, Albizia spp. Riverine woodland: Tall species of Trichilia emetica, Ficus sycomorus, Xanthocercis zambesiaca, Diospyros mespiliformis, Acacia robusta, Acacia xanthophloea, Kigelia africana and the palms species Phoenix reclinata and Hyphaene natalensis found usually within 150 m of river banks. Geology and soils North: Igneous rocks (mainly Basalt) Middle: Sedimentary (Siliciclastic rock or Sandstone) South: Metamorphic rocks (primarily Granulites interspersed by Granite Gneiss) Siliciclastic Rock or Sandstone belt and ridges running from east to west is also the source of coal and diamonds in the region. Large areas characterized by sandy, lime-rich soils – generally low agricultural potential, high mineral content. River valleys contain rich, wet luvisols, high in organic content. Major geological features: Aeolian and Colluvial deposits –typical of the ancient coastal plain along the east coast of Africa; igneous rocks associated with the Bushveld Igneous Complex – granites and gneiss; basalt and rhyolites associated with the Lebombo mountain range; and the unconsolidated fluvial deposits along the Limpopo (primary), Levuvhu, Elephants, Nuanetsi and Shingwedzi (secondary) rivers. Elevation Relatively flat area, with the lowest the Limpopo and Shashe River valleys = 389 m; highest 1,053 m above sea level to the northern boundary. Mostly fairly flat, apart from the Lebombo Mountains. Altitude varies between 200 m and 840 m above sea level.     44 3.3. CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL BACKGROUND MAPUNGUBWE The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003, due to the significant archeological remains of the Mapungubwe Kingdom (circa 900 to 1300 AD), which archeologists believe had been the first and largest on the sub-continent (GMTFCA Integrated Development Plan 2010). According to the criteria of UNESCO, “the remains of this famous kingdom, when viewed against the present day fauna and flora, and the geo-morphological formations of the Limpopo/Shashe confluence, create an impressive cultural landscape of universal significance”3. Many artifacts have been uncovered that indicate trade relations with Arabia, Egypt, India and China3. The most intact gold artifact under safekeeping at the Pretoria University is the small golden figurine of a rhino. On the South African side of the TFCA, just after the beginning of the 20th century, the recognition of the cultural and natural significance of the area led to proclamation of nine farms as a botanical reserve. The University of Pretoria bought the farm Greefswald in 1933 and secured an option and contract for archeological excavation rights, as well as postponement of prospecting, mining and related activities on the property. In 1947 the area was declared a wildlife sanctuary, only to be repealed in 1948 due to a change in government. Renewed lobbying for park status started again in the 1960s, and the archeological sites known as K2 and Mapungubwe Hill were declared national monuments in 1983 and 1984 respectively (SANParks Management Plan for Mapungubwe, 2013). During the years between 1975 and 1990, the area became the site of intense military surveillance due to hostilities between the South African apartheid government and the Zimbabwean government. In 1995, the South African National Parks (SANParks) signed an agreement with the local provincial government of the time to develop a new national park called the Vhembi (since it was part of the Vhembi biosphere at the time)/Dongola National Park, with the objective of including the park as major component in the recently-conceived transfrontier park with Botswana and Zimbabwe. A Memorandum of Understanding establishing the Shashe/Limpopo Transfrontier Park was then signed between the three governments in June 2006. The name was changed to Greater Mapungubwe TFCA in 2009 after a proposal by the TFCA’s Trilateral Technical Committee.                                                            3 Source:UNESCO website:   45 In Botswana, the historical background of the Northern Tuli Game Reserve (NOTUGRE) is also unusual4. While originally part of the hunting and grazing grounds of the Mapungubwe Kingdom, after 1600, European explorers and missionaries used the area for hunting, trade and mission work among the local indigenous tribes. Towards the end of the 19th century, the Bangwato (Botswana) and Matabele (Zimbabwean) tribes of the area engaged in territorial clashes, with Chief Khama of the Bangwato gaining control of the area in 1895. However, five years prior to this event, Cecil John Rhodes sent a group of men known as the “Pioneer Column” to annex Matabeleland and Mashonaland (modern-day Zimbabwe) for the British Crown. This group established Fort Tuli (situated in Zimbabwe), as part of a plan to realize Rhodes’ vision of building a railway line between Cape Town and Cairo. When Rhodes tried to transfer the Bechuanaland Protectorate (modern-day Botswana) to his British South African Company, the three local Tswana chiefs travelled to England to plead their case before the British monarch. She intervened to stop the transfer with the proviso that only the Tuli Block should be given to the British South African Company to build their railway. Although the Tuli Block was later divided into farms to protect the Bangwato and Botswana from the northern expanding Boers5, this area remains as the only privately owned land in Botswana. Today the area consists of 36 freehold properties whose owners have established NOTUGRE as a landowners’ association with the aim of conserving the natural ecosystems and species within. Several luxury game lodges operate from the area where owners have dropped all fences on the 712 km2 reserve. The Tuli Circle in the Zimbabwean part of Mapungubwe is a 10 mile “circle” (Figure 17), the southern half of which lies to the south of the Shashe River. The circle was the result of an agreement by early pioneers with local tribesman as an exclusive grazing area for the benefit of local cattle, in order to prevent rinderpest spreading to the oxen used for pulling wagons. Tuli village, which formed the centre of the Tuli Circle, originally grew around the Tuli Fort, established by the “Pioneer Column” as a river crossing point into Matabeleland. The “circle” was determined by firing cannon balls from the Tuli Fort in a round circle6. During the 1950s it was used for controlled hunting, until 1975, when the Zimbabwe Parks Authority proclaimed the Thuli Safari Area as part of the Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land. It now forms the core of the conservation area that Zimbabwe contributed towards the TFCA. The remaining TFCA areas consist mainly of communal lands where subsistence farming has been practiced for                                                           4 Source: Botswana’s Best Kept Secret: The Northern Tuli Game Reserve. Botswana’s Tourism Board publication 5 Southern African term alluding to the Dutch farmers of South Africa 6   46 decades, and have recently been assigned Wildlife Management Area-status (WMAs - Halisupi, Hwali, Maramani, and Machuchuta). It also includes three wildlife ranches previously owned by white farmers (Sentinel Ranch, Nottingham Estate and River Ranch), and later redistributed to war veterans of President Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Party. LIMPOPO The Greater Limpopo TFCA consists mainly of three large protected areas, several smaller wildlife reserves, and large areas of intervening communal land. The Environmental Ministers from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique originally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards the establishment of the TFCA on 10 November 2000. Within a year 25 elephants were translocated to the Parque Naçional do Limpopo (PNL) from Kruger NP, which supported large elephant populations. Subsequently some 4600 animals had been moved into PNL to ease some of the pressure on the Kruger ecosystem and populate the newly established PNL. The treaty confirming the TFCA was signed on 9 December 2002 by Presidents Chissano, Mbeki and Mugabe. The Gonarezhou National Park7 in Zimbabwe was established in 1975 on 5,053 km² of previous hunting land and the tsetse fly control corridor in the southeast corner of the country. It is situated in the driest and hottest part of the country, and is bordered to the north by the Save-Runde River Junction, south by the Limpopo River, east by Mozambique, and west by the Malipati Safari area. Gonarezhou is an historic wildlife complex that was inhabited prior to 1968 by the Hlengwe people, who have language and family connections with the Tsonga people from south-west Mozambique and northern South Africa. Other people who also inhabited the area previously are the Shona and Ndebele, and the area still supports the three different ethnic groups. At the end of 2007, the Frankfurt Zoological Society signed a 10-year agreement with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to assist with the management of the park. The Parque Naçional do Limpopo8 in Mozambique is an 11,233 km2 protected area that was previously a hunting zone (coutada), and was established as a national park in November 2001 as a direct consequence of the MoU signed between the three countries in 2000. Many preparations had to be made to transform the area into a protected area. These included clearing all suspected land mine                                                           7 Information available at:  8 Information available at:    47 areas, a remnant of the South African-Mozambican war (between 1970 and 1990) and establishing a resettlement working committee to assist with relocating seven communities living within remote areas inside the park (this process is still underway). In order to boost the species composition, several species were translocated from Kruger to PNL. Physical structures had to be erected, including park headquarters, staff housing, and tourism facilities, as well as the Giriyondo Access Facility at the border between Kruger NP and PNL in 2006. The Parque Naçional do Banhine and Parque Naçional do Zinave are also intended as part of the Greater Limpopo TFCA, but development of this initiative is currently still in progress. The Kruger National Park9 in South Africa is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Africa and covers an area of 19,633 km². The park is named after the president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger, who proclaimed the area a protected area in 1898 under the name of the Sabie Game Reserve, setting aside the area between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers for restricted hunting. James Stevenson-Hamilton was appointed the park’s first warden in 1902, and in 1926 the Sabie and Shingwedzi Game Reserves were merged into the Kruger National Park, with the first motorists visiting the park in 1927 for a fee of one pound. Apart from its wildlife protection history, the area also contains ample sites of human historic value, including: 254 known cultural heritage sites; 130 recorded rock art sites; Stone Age cultural artifacts; many historic accounts of Nguni people and European explorers and settlers in the area; and significant archaeological ruins at Thulamela and Masorini. 3.4. INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS The main political difference between the Mapungubwe and Limpopo TFCAs lies in how far the process has advanced, with Mapungubwe still in the MoU phase, and moving towards treaty status, while Limpopo’s treaty was signed more than a decade ago. Figure 19 provides a diagram of the institutional set-up currently in place for each of the two TFCAs. It should be noted that only the international coordinator and perhaps one person within each country’s department of environmental affairs would be appointed for the sole purpose of administrating the TFCA; all other people serving on committees or working groups have full-time jobs. The international coordinators in both of the case studies are funded by the PPF, but report to the implementing agency, which would be either Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority (Zimparks), South African National Parks Board (SANParks), or the National Administration                                                           9 Information available at:    48 of Conservation Areas (ANAC), depending on the country or implementing agency. Decision-making powers only reside with the tri-lateral ministerial committee (TMC) and the joint management board (JMB) or the tri-lateral technical committee (TTC); all other working groups and committees only serve in an advisory capacity.   Figure 19: Diagrams showing the institutional arrangements for each of the case studies The International Treaty of Limpopo TFCA objectives are to: a. Foster transnational collaboration and cooperation among the parties which will facilitate effective ecosystem management in the area comprising the GLTP b. Promote alliances in the management of biological natural resources by encouraging social, economic, and other partnerships among the parties including private sector, local communities and Non-government Organisations c. Enhance ecosystem integrity and natural ecological processes by harmonising environmental management procedures across international boundaries and striving to remove artificial barriers impeding the natural movement of wildlife d. Facilitate the establishment and maintenance of a sustainable sub-regional economic base through appropriate development frameworks, strategies and work plans e. Develop trans-border ecotourism as a means of fostering regional socio-economic development f. Establish mechanisms to facilitate the exchange of technical, scientific and legal information for the joint management of the ecosystem.   49 4. SOCIO-ECONOMIC DIMENSION     "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."    -  Douglas Adams  In this chapter, the focus is on the social component of the transfrontier conservation areas of southern Africa, and the impacts on the economic welfare of the stakeholders living in, and around these areas. The chapter provides the basis of the socio-economic attributes used in the value system framework, which was derived from a meta-study. I also present some interesting results from this meta-study. The chapter furthermore describes the composition of the stakeholders in the case studies, and provides the resulting scores in the value system metric. This is followed by a discussion of the score results. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the main issues that influence the decision-making processes, including the use of political rhetoric along the process, the potential for peace or conflict in the TFCAs, the CAMPFIRE concept, constraints of the socio-economic model, and the role of traditional authorities in resource governance. 4.1. INTRODUCTION The current tendency in nature conservation to approach the environment no longer as a separate entity apart from human systems which should be preserved in isolation, but as a matrix of different societies and activities which need to function in harmony, displays a few important characteristics. These include: ecosystems impacted by humans (also termed social-ecological systems or SESs) are open and highly complex in nature (Ulanowicz 1986); understanding and management of natural ecosystems need to be approached holistically (Savory 1988); and decisions made by humans impact these systems at various stages of the life cycle. It also “recognizes circular causation, where a variable is both the cause and the effect of another and recognizes the primacy of interrelationships and non-linear and organic thinking — a way of thinking where the primacy of the whole is acknowledged” (INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook 2007: 21).   50 The concept of socio-ecological systems thus recognizes the explicitly inter-dependent nature of human and natural systems, with events from either system affecting the other at multiple scales (Strickland-Munroe et al. 2010, Folke et al. 2005). While it is already complex to grasp how such a system is defined and functions, evaluating the “success” of what we intend the system to achieve is even more elusive.  An important component of governance and management decisions regarding conservation areas is the conflicting values that always accompany decision making in the natural resource realm. Due to the intangible nature of many of the values in conservation, as opposed to the monetary value of most other land uses, conflicts often arise when making critical decisions in favour of less tangible values (Tranel and Hall 2003). This feature formed an integral part of the decision-making study, and was guided by developing a value systems framework composed of different attributes (refer to Chapter 1, Figure 2). Value models are essentially used in the field of engineering to compare one design to another, or a design situated in one environment with a design situated in another (Collopy 2009). A value model can thus be thought of as a process for ranking things in accordance with preference. The main role of the value system framework was to rank participants’ perceptions of some attribute. It provided structure to studying a very complex entity, and thus enabled me to qualitatively correlate the countries’ approaches to the TFCA initiatives, and identify some of the drivers behind decisions.  4.2. METHODOLOGY Determining which attributes to select: In order to develop the theoretical metric (part of the value systems framework) against which to evaluate the socio-economic status of societies found within the greater transfrontier conservation areas of the two case studies, I did a meta-review of 105 community conservation and community forestry case studies. The selection of case studies was determined through an initial search of Google Scholar and Web of Knowledge, using the key phrases: participatory conservation, community-based conservation, community-based natural resource management, collaborative conservation, community forestry, environmental policy, environmental governance, decentralization, ecosystem management, holistic resource management. Two levels of screening were used: the first involved screening of abstracts and headings, and articles not suitable because of non-specificity, poor outcome definitions or weak scientific bases were excluded. The second level involved screening of bibliographies of articles selected during the first level to ensure inclusion of non-electronic databases. I aimed at including all geographic regions although greater representation was given to studies from Africa, since these might provide greater similarities to the two case studies in terms of   51 conditions and characteristics. 105 case studies were selected from 35 countries (Figure 20), and of these 65 case studies were from 20 countries in Africa (Figure 21).   Figure 20: Selection of case studies outside Africa   Figure 21: Distribution of African case studies     52 For each case study the following was recorded: lessons learned/conclusions of the author(s); keys to success/failure as identified by the author(s); whether the project/community received funding from its own government, an international institution or none at all. Each case study was entered into a data basis with its lessons/conclusions. The lessons/conclusions were narrowed down to 18 main categories. All lessons/keys to success received a score of 1 in one of the categories and were colour-coded accordingly. Scores in each category were added and a binary matrix was compiled to determine inter-relations between attributes. A total of 576 distinct lessons learned and concluding statements by authors were recorded for the 105 case studies. In many cases there were duplications and similarities. Once all these were recorded, I was able to broadly define 7 categories that had a binary possibility (Table 6). These included that either tenure/ownership for the community was secure (+) or non-existent (-), attitudes to conservation had improved (+) or deteriorated (-), or the community benefited from conservation activities in their vicinity (+) or they had suffered because of conservation costs (-), either through forced removal or loss of access to resources like firewood.      53 Table 6: Case study outcomes of the meta-study were noted according to seven attributes  – colour coding was used to ease analysis/distinction  Attribute (+) Attribute (-) Tenure Land tenure/ ownership/ protected in constitution/ security Communal property but insecure, not enshrined, or else state-owned Authority Traditional/local committee authority (chiefs/spiritual), empowered Authority from government, top-down in reality, marginalization of leaders  Ecosystem Ecosystem conservation / biodiversity protection improvement Deterioration, depletion of resources, illegal logging/ poaching Attitude Expectations fulfilled, improvement in attitude, relationships improved Discontent, disappointment, attitudes deteriorated, unrealized expectations about perceived/promised benefits Benefits Benefits: cash, infrastructure, schools, household benefits, non-tangible assets Costs: lack of infrastructure, animal damage, loss of resource access/property, forced removal Migration Autochthonous community, stable, no forced removal Mainly migrated communities through own design or forced removal External/ Internal External factors like war/ conflict/ poverty/ corruption Internal factors like ethnic conflict/ intra-community conflict, elite dominance Other factors noted in each case study Governance issues: corruption and elite take-over, benefits intercepted by government; lack of interest from government; weak/ineffective governance Present or not present Some principle that contributes to success according to the author(s) Some principle that contributes to failure according to the author(s) Funding: identify whether project/community receives funding from external NGO, government or none at all  The actual case study research methodology: The metric developed through the meta-study formed the basis against which I evaluated the socio-economic dimensions of each of the case studies. However, I adjusted the meta-study metric to allow for degrees of comparison to score the attributes in the actual research of the case studies. Although Table 6 above presents the simple metric used to score the meta-study case studies, Table 20 contained in Appendix B represents the attributes, range of values, and leading questions used to score each attribute during the interviews.  As the unit of analysis I used the relevant district/larger community unit according to political boundaries in the respective countries. In the case of Mozambique, these were the villages within the park boundaries. For Zimbabwe, district councils formed the unit of analysis, while for South Africa, these were local municipalities. Botswana, comprised of the two main components – villages within the local district municipality, and the Northern Tuli Game Reserves Block. The differences reflected the different demarcation terms between countries, as well as the unique landscape patterns among   54 countries. As unit of observation I combined information gleaned from individual interviews, workshops, council meetings, and personal visits and conversations with community members and tribal leaders. I was thus able to draw conclusions on community attributes, scoring these according to the metric developed in the meta study, and then determining an average per analysis unit, as well as per country, to produce a single score at country level in order to evaluate the state of the socio-economic dimension of each case study. Other attributes which further informed the research were population density, average household income and livelihood practices. The reason for scoring the dimensions at country-level was mainly due to differences between the countries in terms of demarcation definition, numbers and sizes of communities and the complexity of land uses. The communities that I visited were mostly determined by accessibility (some communities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique were too remote with no reliable road access), and where it was deemed unsafe for me to travel there, I relied on input from members of the district council or municipality to provide insight into the attributes of these remote villages. Funding to travel to all villages was also an important limiting factor specifically beyond Parque Naçional do Limpopo in Mozambique. Scores allocated to each attribute are defined in greater detail in Table 20, but all scores were given between 1 and 7, where 1 generally indicates none, or very little, and 7 the highest possible/best value for any given attribute.  For both case studies, a combination of methods was used to gather information on the societies living either within the greater transfrontier conservation area, or within buffer zones adjacent to these areas. These methods included:   a desktop study to obtain all relevant geographical data, population statistics, livelihood strategies, land use practices, annual municipality reports and economic welfare;  reports were provided by the Peace Parks Foundation of various stakeholder meetings held in the Mapungubwe buffer zone during the period 2004 to 2011;  A total of 93 semi-structured interviews were held with stakeholders living within the perimeters or directly adjacent to the two case studies (see Appendix B for the core questions asked during most interviews). Most interviews were conducted individually, although interviews with rural councils were often with two or three stakeholders present. With the exception of a few interviews, most were recorded electronically, and others were recorded in notes or with voice notes afterwards (see Appendix C for a list of interviews). It should be noted that the total amount of interviews include cross-linking interviews with government officials   55 and policy makers, which were either used for the environmental dimension or for the governance dimension;  recording personal observations regarding general economic welfare, challenges such as access to water and electricity, basic amenities, presence and distance of/to markets, formal and informal businesses, agricultural practices, domestic animals, hostile attitudes towards outsiders,  and development initiatives;  in the buffer zone adjacent to Kruger National Park I was invited to observe the establishment of a biosphere stakeholder network, and I attended and assisted with the facilitation of ten mental model workshops (Du Toit et al. 2011). I also conducted a survey of stakeholders’ conservation values and awareness through a written questionnaire with 16 stakeholders (see Appendix C).  I attended workshops with community leaders on two occasions, and assisted in facilitating these workshops – the first workshop took place on 6 July 2012 in Bushbuckridge municipality, South Africa, with 24 members from the local communities within the area, mostly councilors and members of the management team, as well as other interested stakeholders. On 17 July 2014, a workshop was held with the leadership and community leaders of the Avulani Community on ways to establish a community conservation project in the buffer zone of the Kruger National Park. I furthermore gathered valuable information at a number of workshops, meetings and conferences hosted in the region with the topic of TFCAs as focus, or as part of the programme (see Appendix C) Using the NVivo software program, which helps to sort and organise transcripts of conversations into a reduced number of researcher designated coded clusters, I analysed the conversations relating to conservation values to identify the values and drivers of decision-making. Although at the outset of the study, my intention was to use NVivo exclusively to analyse the interviews and questionnaires, this changed when I developed the value framework. NVivo therefore became a secondary means of evaluating the contents of each interview, in addition to allocating scores to each attribute, which formed part of the value systems framework development. I mainly used the functions of classifying responses to interview questions that investigate conservation values, work relationships, decision-making patterns, and attitudes toward TFCAs. Since it only represents a fraction of what NVivo is capable of doing, further analysis can be undertaken in the future when time allows for it.     56 There was a natural overlap with interview data used for the evaluation of governance, since many of the interviewees were also community leaders or government officials and thus formed part of the governance dimension. 4.3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ACCORDING TO ATTRIBUTES 4.3.1. WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS?  Each of southern Africa’s transfrontier conservation areas is made up of a mosaic of societies living either within the boundaries, or in close vicinity of these mega parks. The distinct broad categories of land use present in both cases are:   The core area consists of national protected areas: Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park (South Africa); Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe); Parque Naçional do Limpopo, Parque Naçional do Banhine, and Parque Naçional do Zinave (Mozambique);  Private nature reserves, conservancies, and biosphere regions  Communal land on which stakeholders generally live in villages and village clusters  Private land owners – mostly wildlife farms and some agriculture; some property owned by mines; a few densely populated towns consisting either of privately owned land (South Africa) or communal property (such as Massingir in Mozambique; and Giyani, Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit, Bushbuckridge and Mbombela in South Africa; and Beitbridge and Chiredzi in Zimbabwe)  The following diagram presents the categories I identified between different types of stakeholders, reflecting the average representation per group (Group 1 I considered to be the ”ground level” stakeholders, mostly people living close to/within the core conservation areas; Group 2 consisted of all park staff; Group 3 included the many NGOs and researchers involved; Group 4 consisted of local and provincial decision makers with Group 5 reflecting national and international or SADC decision makers; and Group 6 represented the stakeholder/public at large – the tourists visiting the parks, and the relevant members of civil society concerned with the TFCAs) :   57  Figure 22: Diagram representing the complex composition of stakeholders in a typical transfrontier conservation area – area size per level represents actual distribution          58 Table 7: Different categories of stakeholders according to tenure and ways of making a living Stakeholder Tenure Livelihood strategy Local villager Communal land Subsistence farmer Local migrant villager (works in cities elsewhere) Communal land, often owning/renting property elsewhere Migrant worker Local business owner Communal land Formal/informal business within local communities Local inhabitant Private landowner Farmer/regular/professional occupation Local inhabitant Private landowner Wildlife business Local business operator Tenant Runs some form of eco-tourism or hunting business Local leader (indigenous authority) Communal land Subsistence farmer Local leader (political authority) Communal land Government employee Provincial/district leader/manager Municipal/provincial government Government employee Park manager National park – state-owned Government employee  Private wildlife reserve Employee of reserve board Park staff National park – state-owned Government employee  Private wildlife reserve Employee of reserve board National park management National government Government employee Non-government official Non-government organization Consultant/NGO employee Researcher Academic and other institutions Academic institution employee/independent researcher or consultant  National department of environmental affairs/tourism National government Government employee South African Development Council International political forum Government employee Tourist (national and international) Transit Any citizen Members in large private concerns Owner/stakeholder Private business employee/any citizen Civil society members Any Any citizen  Appendix C contains a list of stakeholders interviewed personally or who responded via questionnaire, together with the category, land ownership, and occupation/connection to the TFCA case study. 4.3.2. SOME RESULTS AND COMMENTS FOLLOWING THE META-STUDY OF CBNRM LITERATURE Apart from the development of a metric against which to evaluate the status of TFCA communities, some principles emerged which confirm several studies in the disciplines of anthropology and resource management. To determine the associations between the seven attributes most prominent among the 105 case studies, I compiled an NxN matrix of attribute prevalence as noted by authors. Figure 23   59 depicts the nine strongest associations between the different attributes, with lack of authority/power of decision-making showing the strongest association in cases where external factors such as conflict, government instability and poverty are most prevalent. Two other very strong associations were between high conservation costs to a community and deterioration of ecosystem condition (in other words, an increase in illegal harvesting/poaching). On the other hand, where the attitude towards conservation improved, it was strongly related to an improvement in the condition of the ecosystem/resource management.  Figure 23: Linkages between the different attributes of communities involved in resource management reported for 105 case studies wordlwide. The case studies were selected from literature spanning almost two decades of implementation, from 1992 to 2010. There was a clear distinction in focus between the two decades. During the first ten years there was far greater focus on the importance of tenure or ownership by the community, whereas during the last eight years authors have emphasized effective management or lack thereof in their reports. On the whole there appears to have been an increase in property rights for most communities. Another clear distinction between many of the case studies was between an anthropocentric approach where human needs were the explicit focus of the author(s), and a natural environmental approach where ecosystem health was the focal point. Few authors appeared to cross the boundaries of disciplines when exploring what is a very interdisciplinary field of study, although more recent studies have started to focus on interdisciplinary approaches to community conservation initiatives (Timko 2008; Roe et al. 2013; Dudley and Stolton 2009).   60 Apart from investigating linkages between the attributes, the prevalence of aid in most cases was also noteworthy. Four different categories were noted in all cases: 1) communities received funding from an international donor such as WWF, USAID etc.; 2) the national government enabled communities through financial and infrastructure aid; 3) international agencies such as the World Bank collaborates with the national government to assist local communities in establishing participatory conservation efforts; or 4) conservation communities received no funding, or a local NGO participated actively through funds or technical assistance. The total percentage of funded communities was 82.85% (Figure 24).  Figure 24: Proportion of case studies (%) that received funding during the project life Funding is of course a very important component, since funding for many of the cases has terminated or declined substantially over the last five years, mainly due to economic constraints in developed countries where the main funding agencies are based. This leaves these projects very vulnerable to financial market trends. Another issue mentioned by several authors is an increase in donor fatigue and impatience with the slow rate of change in community behaviour. Whenever authors mentioned any particular aspect or action that contributed positively to a beneficial outcome for both community and ecosystem, I recorded these as keys to success. I also recorded the possible drivers of failure as identified by the author(s). The most important keys to success appear to be:  During the 1990s authors regarded participation and ownership as vital – after 2000 this focus changed to a serious commitment from governments to act equitably. This can be seen as a direct consequence of many governments adopting the UN Millennium Declaration in 2000 which resulted in the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals, and the World   61 Summit on Sustainable Development or Rio+10 meeting in 2002 which resulted in a strong focus on the social aspects of ecosystem management.  Extensive socio-economic surveys are pre-requisites for community conservation projects as they provide understanding and knowledge of communities  Funding remains a very complex issue - it should be matched by input from communities  Excellent leadership/well established institutions combined with dedicated facilitators  = success  Education and capacity building are the key drivers of attitude changes  Government commitment towards institutional building and organizational reform:  supportive government = success  A clear set of measurements should be established collaboratively and effectiveness should be monitored  Health of the communities should be evaluated constantly and there should be sustained commitment to conflict resolution and adaptive management On the other hand, the drivers of failure, as identified by many authors, were:  Limited capacity of governments, instability and weak governance  Short-term external donor support; differences in donor policies; donor’s own agendas; aid leads to dependency, which is unsustainable as donors run out of funds and patience or develop new priorities  Intra-community and inter-community conflicts and distrust  Underlying assumptions that economic benefits would automatically translate into improved wildlife management is flawed  Not all members of a community are as committed to development and entering the market economy as those who promote such initiatives  Lack of resources to implement monitoring and complete inventories After studying the conclusions and advice of the authors of 105 case studies, I can make a few observations. In many of the communities where the research took place, individual people played the key role in either driving successful ventures, or caused failures because of their personality or agenda. These individuals were either members of the community (such as leaders) or members from a stakeholder group such as tour operators, hunting concession operators or government officials.   62 In most of the case studies described as having achieved a level of success in terms of sustainably managing natural resources, a facilitator from outside or inside the community was present to keep the collaborative process moving. In some cases, where NGOs were very involved in arranging workshops or participatory meetings, authors reported a positive change in the attitude of community members toward the conservation project at hand. Many authors reported the positive effects of a process of involvement, whether facilitated by an NGO or government. However, the opposite was also reported: where NGOs or government ceased involvement, this caused a negative change in attitude towards a conservation project. Abrupt ending of project support due to a collapse in funding was one of the most common factors reported to cause deterioration in resource management. There was clear evidence across the range of case studies that the evaluation of communities’ well-being should receive as much attention as the evaluation of ecosystem health, as the two are inextricably linked.  Another important issue that requires attention is the valuation of ecosystem services, which after a few decades of resource economics is still not captured effectively. While many of the benefits of nature remain highly intangible, and costing these benefits remains elusive, conservation practitioners and society in general should aim at increasing qualitative benefits to the societies who bear the costs of conservation.  A serious limitation with any qualitative/quantitative analysis of case study descriptions is of course that it assumes authors of published case studies are objective with no hidden agenda. One official at a conference actually made the comment that his NGO does not encourage reports containing “negative” outcomes. However, all the case studies reported negative as well as positive aspects of community involvement in decision-making, and these comments formed the basis of this meta-study. The number of case studies included in the meta study also aided in eliminating biased assertions somewhat. 4.3.3. THE STATUS OF COMMUNITIES IN THE LIMPOPO AND MAPUNGUBWE TFCAS A table of the average scores per local municipality/district council found either within the perimeter of the transboundary parks (Mozambique) or within the greater transfrontier conservation areas (as currently delineated), together with each score according to the metric attributes is supplied in Appendix A. Table 8 below presents the scores for each case study at country level.     63 Table 8 Average scores for each country within the two case studies regarding the socio-economic attributes Country Tenure Authority Ecosystem Benefits Attitude Stability Conflict Score Mapungubwe SA 4.833 5.417 3.500 3.500 3.333 5.083 5.000 4.381 Zim 2.333 4.500 4.278 4.944 5.778 5.167 2.222 4.175 Bot 2.875 6.000 1.833 2.000 2.917 5.417 3.750 3.542 Limpopo Moz 1.444 1.667 3.500 -1.929 1.222 3.500 1.900 1.615 Zim 1.714 4.341 4.771 3.760 4.357 6.125 1.821 3.841 SA 3.850 5.300 4.063 4.071 4.857 3.700 3.000 4.120  Communities within the buffer zone outside the Limpopo, Zinave and Banhine National Parks in Mozambique were not included in the results, as there was a sudden escalation in hostilities between the Mozambican government and Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO), the political conservative opposition party10. During the field visits, my safety within these areas was compromised and I could only focus on the communities living within the Limpopo NP. Since these communities live with the most significant impacts of the Transfrontier Park, I trust I was able to draw valid conclusions about the socio-economic dimension of the Mozambican side of the Limpopo case study.  MAPUNGUBWE  Tenure: In Botswana, ownership of land was reported to be the biggest separator between stakeholders living within and around the TFCA area in Botswana (most interviews in GMTFCA). Here the distinction lies between the landowners of NOTUGRE and the inhabitants of the communal area (interview 39). This correlates with conservation values (landowners placing a high value on conserving the ecosystems and biodiversity (interview 40)), benefits derived from mainly ecotourism and some hunting (benefiting mainly the NOTUGRE stakeholders (interview 71)), and general socio-economic welfare, with some of the landowners having shares in top ecotourism lodges within South Africa (such as the Rattray family, owners of world renowned Mala Mala Private Game Reserve). The history behind the division in tenure is described in Chapter 3.3.                                                            10 Hostilities resumed during the middle of 2013, and into 2014 – many references in the general press:    64 In South Africa, tenure is divided between private land (mainly wildlife farmers with some commercial farming concerns, and the De Beers mining company, which owns a rich diamond mine, the Venetia Mine); the core protected area of Mapungubwe, which is state-owned and run as a national park; and a few small sections of communal farming land which had been repossessed as part of the land claims settlement policy of South Africa (interviews 80, 39). Although tenure seems secure for all stakeholders, there is substantial unease among owners of private game ranches, who fear that their properties might also be reclaimed by members of the communities who had lived there over a century ago (interview 67).  In Zimbabwe, similar uncertainty was reported to some extent by the operators of ecotourism ventures on Sentinel Ranch and Nottingham Estate, two large wildlife and hunting sanctuaries bordering the Limpopo River (interview 41). River Ranch has been redistributed to military veterans of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence (interview 39). Other stakeholders in Zimbabwe are the communities living on communal land in the Hwali Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Machuchuta WMA and Maramani WMA. The Thuli Parks and Wildlife Land forms the core protected area of the transfrontier conservation area on the Zimbabwean side, and comprises the Thuli Safari Area and three small botanical reserves, the Pioneer Botanical Reserve (0.38 km2), South Camp Botanical Reserve (0.26 km2), and the Tolo River Botanical Reserve (0.44 km2) – this area is state-owned and administered by the National Parks and Wildlife authority office on the east bank of the Shashe River (interview 68). Authority: In Botswana, traditional leaders play an important role in the governance of an area, unlike many other countries in the region, where the modern democratic political structures often ridicule or oppose traditional systems (interviews 87, 88, 91). The communal area that forms part of the study area lies in the eastern corner of the Bobirwa sub-district, and comprises some ten villages. The Babirwa people represent one ethnic majority in the region, with the other being the Sekoba people. Although they are also originally Babirwa, they had been living at the confluence of Motloutse and Limpopo Rivers until the early 1900s. The Member of Parliament, Shaw Kgathi11, is reported to be a good leader, and the last three years have seen major infrastructural improvements in the area, with service delivery centres built in Tsetsebjwe, Mathathane and Gobojango, although there was discontent among members from                                                           11 Onalenna Modikwa, Staff Writer, Massive infrastructural projects underway in Bobirwa:    65 Semolale because they felt that Gobojango already has service centres including police barracks, the Mmamabaka border post and a doctor (interview 74). The tribal authority seated in Bobonong has however been a matter of intense dispute, with the tension being traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, when, according to community members, the Sekoba people under Kgosi12 Malema, were removed forcibly from the Limpopo Valley to Bobonong, and their chief was appointed as deputy to the Babirwa leader, Kgosi Modisaotsile (interview 39). Most of the major surrounding villages of Molalatau, Mathathane, Gobojango, Semolale, Mabolwe and Tsetsejwe were ruled by Babirwa headmen who were more or less loyal to Kgosi Malema (interviews 40, 41). It is also felt by community members that in the appointment of the Bobonong chief, the Botswana government did not follow the tribal regulations contained in the Bogosi Act, or Act of Chieftainship13. The current chief of Bobonong is said to be positive towards the development of the transfrontier conservation area, with community members saying that this would stimulate economic growth in the Bobirwa district (interview 41). The landowners association in the Northern Tuli Game Reserves of the Tuli Block operates on the basis of a business organization, with a board and executive officer at the helm. It has been running smoothly for several decades after its initial start in 1964 as the Limpopo Game Protection Association, a conservation effort spear-headed by ardent conservationist landowners of the 36 freehold properties, covering an area of approximately 71,173 ha (interviews 39, 40). The South African buffer zone, adjacent to Mapungubwe National Park, forms part of the Vhembi Biosphere Region, and falls within the Blouberg and Musina Local Municipalities, a semi-arid, sparsely populated region. Game and commercial farmers from the region reported little trust in the government and local political leaders based in Musina (interview 34). The biosphere hosts a strong network of conservation-minded landowners, and they played a major role in the opposition to the establishment of the Vele Coal Mine adjacent to Mapungubwe National Park (interview 39). This was a political embarrassment in which the South African Minister of Mineral Affairs approved the mineral license application by the mining company Coal of Africa to operate an open cast coal mine within five kilometers of the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site, an act against the considerations of a world heritage site, and without consultation with the Minister of Environmental Affairs. An interesting side-                                                          12 The term “kgosi” means tribal leader, and is enshrined in the Bogosi Act of 2000, to replace the word “chief” which was considered by minority groups as a derogatory term. 13 Abel Modimo Mmapetla, Bobonong, The Bobirwa Chieftanship: The Broken Mirror Image: 19-11-2012   66 effect was that the civil outcry following this approval culminated in the development of a strong network among the South African and some of the Zimbabwean stakeholders living in Mapungubwe’s buffer zone (interview 41). Many stakeholders regarded this development as a positive outcome, since they “united” against the “threat”, and discovered previously unknown common concerns (interviews 73, 66, 40). They furthermore reported discovering the power of civil protest, and that some parts of the private sector were quite willing to fund such environmental protests (interview 80). This boosted morale among many interviewees in spite of their lack of trust in the decision-making processes of the South African government. The ill-fated coal mine has since suffered several economic setbacks, and is currently temporarily closed pending infrastructural changes that would increase the quality of the coal production14.  In the Zimbabwean part of the transfrontier conservation area, the Chief of Makado is hailed as a very good leader by community members and other stakeholders alike (interview 91). The Beitbridge Rural District Council forms the administrative centre of the region, and is responsible for administrating the proceeds from the various wildlife management units or CAMPFIRE projects within its boundaries. Although willing, the RDC reports lack of capacity to fulfill all its obligations toward the CAMPFIRE communities, these including monitoring the ecosystems and wildlife, determining the take-off quotas for each hunting season, and managing the proceeds from hunting expeditions (interviews 91, 68, 8). Ecosystem status: The Botswana part of the transfrontier conservation area is currently significantly degraded, and is reported to have deteriorated for many decades (interviews 80, 39, 68). According to a report from the Botswana College of Agriculture (2004), this degradation has been noted consistently since 1970. The degradation is caused mainly by intensive agricultural activities, human population increase and associated movement of people (interview 67). Communities also actively believes in grass clearing against snakes and bugs (interviews 18, 23). Other factors contributing to the degradation is overharvesting of fire wood and the culture of keeping small domestic animals (mostly goats) and donkeys in the vicinities of human settlements (interview 74). In the NOTUGRE area, a steady increase in elephant numbers over the past four decades have resulted in large degraded areas. This is compounded by the CITES regulation against elephant culling, and a major driver behind the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas which holds the promise of enlarged ecosystems to ease the pressure of growing elephant populations (interview 80). Very little ecosystem improvement                                                           14    67 due to the existence of the Limpopo corridor is currently visible, and from the communities there is little awareness that improved ecosystem management practices could translate into a healthier transfrontier conservation area, especially given the fact that most households exist at a very basic subsistence farming level (interviews 72, 76, 39, 8). On the South African side of the border, there is a substantial improvement in ecosystem condition, and also a greater awareness of the importance of conserving biodiversity (interview 67). Since this is a semi-arid area with annual rainfall averaging between 200 and 400 mm, the carrying capacity of large mammals is fairly low, and most wildlife farmers in the buffer zone expressed their concern about the constant possibility of drought, and the risks of overstocking the natural grazing areas (interviews 34, 67). In Zimbabwe, apart from the three wildlife reserves of Sentinel Ranch, Nottingham Estate and River Ranch, the communal wildlife management units exhibit some of the same characteristics as that of Botswana’s communal areas, with extensive trampling around villages and degradation caused by goats and donkeys (interview 68). Along the Shashe and Limpopo Rivers, intensively irrigated crop patches have replaced natural vegetation, with elephant raids on these being a regular occurrence (interview 41). Attitude: Due to considerable effort in the four years after 2000, especially from the Peace Parks Foundation, in the form of awareness-building workshops, most stakeholders on all sides of the borders are well aware of the existence and potential benefits of the transfrontier conservation area (interview 40). With no history of forced removal, attitudes are generally positive, although many stakeholders expressed impatience with the slow pace of development from the South African government in particular, since improvement and accessibility of the Pontdrift border post has been lagging due to lack of resources and investment. Again, the opposition of the Vele Coal Mine has united particularly South African stakeholders, and thus transformed previous negative attitudes towards the World Heritage Site (interviews 67, 34). Stakeholders from the local government structures in Bobonong, as well as higher governmental levels in Gaborone have expressed impatience, again with the South African government’s “reluctance” to resolve the land dispute with the community living “inside” the core protected area of the Mapungubwe National Park (interviews 27, 76, 77). This is land that has been reclaimed by a previously relocated community during the 1990s, and the government has been negotiating for some time to compensate this community and find alternative land for them to live. The   68 issue is reported to be “complicated” and a “political prickly pear”, although officials in the Musina municipality expressed hope to resolve this in the near future (interviews 8, 68, 34). Negotiations have been ongoing for some time. Another stakeholder with uneasy relations at times with the South African government is the De Beers Company, owners of the Venetia diamond mine south of Mapungubwe National Park, and an integral part of the buffer zone. Apart from the few hectares comprising the open cast diamond mine, the remainder of the property is a wildlife reserve under ecological management, which would potentially connect unfenced with the National Park in the future. At the heart of the sometimes negative attitudes is again distrust in the South African government’s ability to “stick to its promises”. Benefits: In scoring the attribute of how the transfrontier conservation area has benefitted the communities living within the buffer zones, interviewees were asked about direct and indirect benefits. Direct benefits included payment of levies from park revenue to the local municipalities/councils, or infrastructures provided by the parks, such as road improvements, clinics or schools. In Botswana, most communities have not directly benefitted from the transfrontier conservation area per se, but NOTUGRE does have an educational outreach programme called Children in the Wilderness - Limpopo Valley (CITW Limpopo Valley), which aims to establish a programme to bridge the divide between the rural communities and conservation areas in and around the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA) (interviews 41, 68). There is however, a fair amount of expectation that communities should receive some form of direct benefit from any tourism revenue, although no one is clear on how this should be achieved. Since most tourists fly into, or cross the border from South Africa and hence do not necessarily traverse the communal areas, there is also almost no evidence to the stakeholders of any indirect benefits from Mapungubwe (interviews 34, 67, 80). In Zimbabwe, a very similar situation exists, although through the CAMPFIRE programme, communities have benefitted from the Tuli Safari area, as well as in their own Wildlife Management Areas, mainly through revenue from hunting safaris (interviews 8, 68). A main complaint however from stakeholders is the fact that the Rural District Councils currently withhold up to 50% of the revenue (interview 8), which according to one of the original forefathers of CAMPFIRE, is totally against the spirit of CAMPFIRE, and could directly lead to its demise should the situation persist (Clive Stockil, personal comment). On the South African side, a significant number of interviewees report medium to positive benefits derived through indirect revenue from tourists visiting the area and contributing to the local economy (interviews 66, 67, 70, 39, 40).   69 There is also optimism of the potential for this to increase as the area becomes better known worldwide (interviews 67, 68). Migration: The direct consequence of years of political instability and conflict in Zimbabwe is the lack of employment opportunities within the country, and the result is a constant stream of mostly illegal immigrants crossing the fairly porous border of South Africa, and slightly less porous border of Botswana (interviews 78, 79). Stakeholders from the villages along the southern Zimbabwean border speak of most of their young men leaving school at early teen age, and crossing the Limpopo River to find work at the commercial farms in the Limpopo province of South Africa (interviews 8, 78, 25, 64, 20). This practice is illegal in South Africa, but it seems that the government turns a blind eye to both the illegal crossing, as well as the illegal employment. Botswana is definitely less favourably inclined towards illegal crossing of the border, and it is for this reason that the infrastructure of the Mmamabaka border post in Gobojango has been improved, to strengthen immigration control between the two countries and “address the issue of border jumping by Zimbabweans fleeing hunger and political repression in their country” (community member from Bobirwa). The result of all this mobility is that the villages of Zimbabwe experience very little inward flux, but substantial movement away from the area. Botswana’s communities are fairly stable, with only Bobonong experiencing some migration into the area (interview 39). South Africa absorbs the bulk of migrants, although these do not really affect the transfrontier buffer area significantly – the most significant impact is that of illegal immigrants using the Limpopo River during the dry season to cross into South Africa. For this reason, many stakeholders on the South African side have voiced concern that the establishment of Mapungubwe has increased illegal border crossing substantially (interviews 34, 67, 66).  External/Internal instability: When ranking the three countries of the Mapungubwe TFCA, Botswana experiences very little external instability, with a stable political system for more than a century. This is largely due to the mainly homogenous ethnic composition, and single party system which has been in place since independence (Sebudubudu 2010). Other external influences which would negatively impact a transboundary initiative are weak institutional structures, and a fair amount of corruption, as reported by several interviewees (interviews 9, 10, 12, 13, and 18 amongst others). The internal conflict in the Babirwa sub-region’s traditional leadership is, however, an issue that does have a negative impact, with stakeholders within the communal buffer zone at odds with one another, although tensions are relatively subdued (interview 39). In South Africa, there is little external instability within the country, but major governance weaknesses in terms of corruption and lack of integration among government   70 departments (illustrated by the conflicting objectives of the Vele Coal Mine and Mapungubwe UNESCO World Heritage Site – agreed upon by two different ministers). Zimbabwe, unfortunately, receives the lowest score on external issues, since the political instability, weak governance, and lack of direction from government is amongst the worst in the world. Even though there is internal stability and harmony within the communities according to interviewees, the insecure future of the country as a whole heavily compromises any internal entrepreneurial initiatives at local community level (interviews 64, 8, 20). This is also true of international investors, who have little inclination to invest in the country’s tourism sector, and in 2013 the tourism industry was at its weakest point ever, with tourists visiting the country dropping to a trickle. LIMPOPO Tenure: On the Zimbabwean side of the Limpopo TFCA, the situation regarding tenure is the same as in the discussion above, with the addition of two large private wildlife sanctuaries, the Malilangwe Trust Reserve, and the Savé Valley Conservancy. Since all areas, including commercial estates and ranches, government farms, wildlife conservancies, and national parks, have been contested regardless of their original tenure and assurances from officials (Scoones et al. 2012), tenure in Zimbabwe remains very insecure (interviews 15, 67, . Both these areas have been under some form of threat regarding tenure since independence, as these properties are mainly owned by white residents, and the government has been under pressure from war veterans to confiscate these properties. So far, these threats have not been realized. The communal area south of Gonarezhou NP down to the Limpopo River, the Sengwe communal land, has been under negotiation for some time and has finally been gazetted to become the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor (interview 68). This would link Gonarezhou NP with Kruger NP where the three countries connect. This agreement, while an important stepping stone in establishing the transfrontier conservation area, has been somewhat controversial since it again implied removal of some of the Sengwe people out of the wildlife corridor (interview 71). Another area within Zimbabwe that has been the cause of severe discontent is the dispute with the Chitsa community, who had moved into an area within the Gonarezhou NP, claiming it to be a veterinary corridor and part of their ancestral lands (interviews 79, 91). After a decade’s stalemate, the community was granted permission to remain on what the park’s authority finally agreed to be a corridor and not the formal park (Mombeshora and Le Bel 2009).    71 The South African buffer zone is divided between approximately 65% communal land with no private tenure (and almost all of this formed part of the apartheid era’s “homeland” system, a policy envisaging that all black people become citizens of independent homelands in areas allocated by the government), and 45% privately-owned land, mostly some form of conservation area or game farm (interview 53). The remainder of the TFCA on the South African side consists of the Kruger National Park, which is land owned by the government of South Africa and managed by the parastatal agency, SANParks. An interesting section of the Kruger NP lies in the northernmost corner adjacent to the park and border with Zimbabwe. This is the Makuleke Contractual Park which has been the focus of many community conservation studies (Ramutsindela 2002, Steenkamp and Uhr 2000, Fabricius et al. 2004, De Villiers 1999). The Makuleke community was forcibly removed as part of the “homelands” strategy under the apartheid government of South Africa in 1969. During the “post-apartheid” era under the new democracy, the community was able to reclaim their land (which in part fell inside the Kruger NP originally), and after a long period of negotiation, the entire Makuleke land was incorporated into the Kruger NP as a “contractual park”, to be administered by SANParks, but all benefits from tourism activities at the lodge built on the land would revert back to the community (interview 53). In Mozambique all areas are state-owned and allocated to different communities, except for a small parcel of land along the South African-Mozambican border which is privately owned (interviews 82, 5). Of particular concern is the decade-long proposed removal of the eight villages found within the Limpopo National Park perimeter. The insecure tenure condition has led to a host of consequences, which are discussed in detail in following sections. The decision to relocate these villagers was in part made by politicians during the initial negotiations regarding the establishment of the transfrontier conservation area, but finally enforced when it became clear that villagers had been playing a major part in the rhino horn poaching of the past two years (interviews 74, 12, 77). During the second half of 2013, the process of removal was intensified after virtually no action for many years, and mainly due to severe pressure from South African politicians (interviews 73, 12) who came under fire from animal rights groups and environmental organizations. Authority: Similar to Mapungubwe, in Zimbabwe, the Rural District Councils of Beitbridge and Chiredzi are the government offices responsible for communities living within the buffer zone of the transfrontier conservation area, and as has been reported above, suffer from the same maladies with appropriation of 50% of CAMPFIRE revenues by the two RDCs and lack of capacity to monitor and manage the ecosystems as the two major challenges (interviews 8, 68, 91). Zimbabwe provides several   72 examples of communities taking action against conservation initiatives in order to retain some power over their own existence (Gandiwa 2013). The Mahenye community started poaching elephants in Gonarezhou NP during the 1990s when the government ignored their requests for access to resources and land (reported by a Mahenye community member, interview 20). Another example is that of the Chitsa communities’ persistence, and Chiefs Tsovani and Sengwe have complained directly to the president that local people have been marginalized through the conservancy and the sugar estate resettlement arrangements. Chief Sengwe has played a major role during negotiations of the transfrontier conservation areas’ boundary-setting processes, and is regarded by many stakeholders as a very charismatic leader, who plays a prominent role in the politics of the region (interviews 12, 67, 91). South Africa, on the other hand, has suffered from many weak decisions made by both political and traditional leaders alike, and none of the local municipalities within the Limpopo case study have received clean audits from the auditor-general, with most accused of “material misstatements in specific amounts, or insufficient evidence for the Auditor General to conclude that specific amounts included in the financial statements are not materially misstated”15. This suggests weak governance at the local level, and will be addressed in the chapter on governance and policies. Another issue that was mentioned repeatedly by stakeholders was the conflict between traditional leaders of communal areas and the political leaders (councilors) in power at local municipality level. Most regard traditional leaders to be responsible for allocation of natural resources, and for allocating land (this does not imply ownership, but occupation) within the communal areas (interviews 88, 86, 85, 71, 69, 37). These processes are however often hi-jacked by local councilors, and very often for self-serving purposes in what is locally known as “comrade enrichment” or nepotism (interview 88).  Another issue that characterizes the rural areas found within the transfrontier conservation areas is that traditional leadership is devolved to fairly small physical areas. In these areas everyone knows the traditional leader, and he, conversely, is aware of the inhabitants falling in his jurisdiction, and is often related to them. This usually translates into more personal-level decision making, which often correlates with greater accountability and fairness (Brian Child, personal comment). The opposite is true about the political authority found in rural South Africa, where, due to demand for higher tax revenues, the municipal districts have become large and fairly unwieldy, with little or no personal involvement with the citizens within a municipal district. This is where nepotism and corruption come into play most                                                           15 All information regarding the South African local municipalities are available from:   73 often, with little or no apparent accountability, since discontent with the local governance of corrupt leaders do not necessarily translate into withdrawal of votes (interviews 37, 44). It is a strange phenomenon that is seen throughout Africa and reported by several interviewees, that voters remain loyal to a party, even though the leaders of a party or municipality act dishonourably (interviews 44, 71, 77, 85). The four biggest municipal districts that fall within the Limpopo TFCA suffer quite intensely under these malpractices and insolvency, and although it is talked about a lot quite openly in interviews and discussion groups or workshops, constituents seem quite passive about it, which confirms many scholarly articles about the feelings of disempowerment and lack of self-organization among rural communities (Steenkamp and Uhr 2000).  In the interviews, there were however some isolated reports of very good environmental governance by traditional leaders in areas within GLTFCA, where firewood harvesting is strictly controlled along with careful allocation of grazing rights to cattle owners. On average, most interviewees from the South African side had greater confidence in the ability of traditional leaders to govern environmental resources equitably, than in politically elected officials that form the leadership of the municipal districts (interviews 10, 81, 77, 13). One group that showed exceptional cohesion and was able to turn politics to their advantage was the Makuleke community, and Steenkamp and Uhr refer to their “tradition of sustained internal negotiation” which appears to have enabled them to successfully deal with the complex politics of establishing their land claim and contractual agreement with the government (2000:5) In Mozambique, weak leadership was reported among the communities living within the national park (interviews 5, 6, 82, 12), and this was one factor that contributed to the escalation of rhino poaching activities (park warden, personal comment). Although the poaching activities are attributed to several factors, strong leadership and engagement with the government could certainly have averted the degree to which international wildlife crime syndicates managed to infiltrate the villages and coerce villagers to collaborate and receive exorbitant finder fees (which still represented a miniscule portion of the total value of rhino horn) for tracking and killing the animals within the GLTFCA. Other forms of resource use were managed to some extent by the village headmen, but generally, the areas around the villages were fairly depleted and heavily infested with alien invasive plant species (interviews 6, 9, own observations). One further aspect that was reported to be evidence of weak leadership was the passive approach taken by the headmen of the villages in the decade-long negotiations with the government on moving to the allocated areas outside the national park (interview 82). Although some scholars argue that the inactivity from the leaders were due to the regime of fear that reigned during the civil war years   74 (Lunstrom 2009, 2010), it can also be argued that an entire decade has passed without any threats of terror acts during which no pressure was exerted on government to act on its promises.  Ecosystem: Similar to the larger part of southern Africa, Zimbabwe suffers from drastic fluctuations in annual precipitation, which tend to complicate natural resource management (interview 31). During the field trips to Zimbabwe, unusually wet rainy seasons had been experienced for a number of years, and the vegetation in an around the GLTFCA was in excellent condition (interviews 31, 78, own observations). The rivers were in flood, and for several months the threat of the possible collapse of the incomplete wall of the new Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam in southern Zimbabwe had been hanging over occupants of the villages downstream. The dam, which would become the largest in Zimbabwe at 1.8 billion cubic meters, was due for completion in December 2013, but progress has been delayed by a number of factors, including delays in funding for relocation of affected families. The impact of the unusually high precipitation has had a very positive effect on the vegetation within Gonarezhou Park, as well as on vegetation in the buffer zones. Areas around the villages show signs of disturbance, mainly in the form of alien plant infestation, and villagers report no pro-active actions to restore the ecosystems to their natural state (interviews 8, 68). The programme officer in charge of monitoring the southern WMAs declared that this was mainly due to lack of awareness, as well as, from the RDC, a lack of human capacity to address this widespread problem (interview 8). In South Africa, Kruger National Park has for decades been the poster-child for a pristine wilderness that is only affected by natural climate patterns. All park staff report at least a decade of very good rainfall and its positive impact on the ecosystems in general. The only serious ecosystem problems reported had been a few years of flooding by different rivers, and pockets of alien invasive plant infestations (interviews 27, 50). The entire buffer zone area presents a very different picture though, with severely depleted vegetation in 80% of the area falling within the GLTFCA (interviews 37, 52, own observations).  In Mozambique, as noted earlier, the areas within the Limpopo National Park that surround villages are heavily degraded. Although there was substantial evidence of domestic animal management in the form of “kraals” or cattle pens built from branches, villagers reported that no effort was made to rehabilitate degraded areas, or to avoid depletion of sensitive areas (interviews 6, 9). As will be discussed in Chapter 5 in greater detail, the national park also suffers because of over-utilization and as a result of the civil war during the last decades of the previous century.   75 Attitude: Although the CAMPFIRE approach in Zimbabwe has enjoyed great local support for many years (Virtanen 2003, Murphree 2001, Jones and Murphree 2001), with substantial changes in attitude towards improved ecosystem management and conservation, the reaction against Gonarezhou park decisions by the Chitwa and Mahenye communities indicates the fragile balance in attitudes towards conservation, and the swift changes effected by any decisions that do not involve any form of consultation (interviews 15, 78). Another attitude issue that was highlighted during a field trip to Gonarezhou which directly related again to decision-making processes within the park, was the involvement of NGOs16, and this will be analysed further in the discussion section of the chapter on governance (6.4.2). This was also mentioned several times in the field trip to the Limpopo NP in Mozambique, with “local” rangers resenting the “bossy” involvement of non-government organizations who are mostly driven by conservation objectives (interviews 78, 79). On the South African side, within the buffer zones, communities overall indicated support for the existence of the Kruger NP, and although there was very little knowledge or understanding about the TFCA, in principle, especially managers and owners of the private reserves were very much in favour of the initiative, and local community members were fairly indifferent or positive (Strickland-Munroe et al. 2010). The same cannot be said of Mozambique, where a serious deterioration in attitudes were reported and observed during the study period (interviews 6, 12, 13, own observations). Two factors were noted by community members: the intolerable land situation, whereby “for a decade we heard that we will be moved to a better area”, and yet little had been done; and the escalation of violence against community members due to wildlife crimes, which had even caused casualties and deaths amongst members of the community (interviews 82, 6, 76). I observed a tremendous change in the attitudes over just one year after the “war on poaching” was declared by the governments of South Africa (mainly) and Mozambique, between 2012 and 2013. In 2013, on a field trip, even little children of four or five would pelt the car with stones and shout abuse when I drove through the area. Although these villages are currently being moved outside the core protected zone, time will tell what the long-term consequences will be of the current military approach to protecting wildlife species (interviews 80, 22). Benefits: On the Zimbabwean side of the transfrontier conservation area, the situation in terms of benefits corresponds with that described above for Mapungubwe, with communities benefitting through the CAMPFIRE system from sustainable off-take mainly through hunting (interview 68). The                                                           16   76 biggest obstacle remains the inconclusive link between how the transfrontier conservation area has added or increased any benefits to communities living within the buffer zone or even within the area itself (such as the communities within the Sengwe corridor) (interviews 61, 15). Since the ecosystems were part of natural areas and the national park even before the establishment of the TFCA, and communities would have managed the ecosystems in such a way that sustainable harvesting was protected, thus far no tangible increase/benefit could be attributed to the enlargement of the ecosystem into a TFCA. The potential benefits of receiving more tourists because of having an ecotourism area twice or three times the size it had been, have not yet translated into real assets, and several interviewees expressed impatience with these unrealized “promises of more tourists flooding the area now that it is a TFCA” (local villagers and RDC members - interviews 91, 15, 12, 64, 68). With current tourism opportunities being developed, albeit extremely slowly due to transborder policies and challenges, with particular opposition from South Africa’s immigration officers, there is real potential of benefits to the Sengwe communities (interviews 72, 66). The process is however, fraught with complex difficulties. Questions asked include: how would communities in Zimbabwe benefit (other than through indirect potential and very small benefits of tourists shopping on the Zimbabwean side of the border), if tourists are taken on a walking safari that traverses the Pafuri border from Kruger Park, assisted by a South African operator, and with tourists traveling from Johannesburg? (interview 79). The current agreement between Kruger National Park (South Africa) and Parque Naçional do Limpopo (Mozambique) is that tourists traveling through the Giriyondo border post have to prove overnight accommodation in either park, as well as having paid an entry fee to both parks, to exclude any regular commuters using the border post for reasons other than ecotourism. The ultimate aim here is of course to benefit the two parks, but in the case of South Africa/Zimbabwe, the area on the Zimbabwean side is of course communal property (although the Zimbabwean government has already signed an MoU that it will cease to be communal property and will become part of the core nature conservation area of the Limpopo TFCA – interview 68), and it still needs to be determined how these communities will benefit directly from any tourism activities that traverse their communal land. In South Africa, a regulation came into effect on 1 June 2012, with SANParks implementing a 1% Community Levy on all reservations (overnight and activity products) which is supposed to be used to fund projects that support surrounding communities in bettering their livelihoods (such for clinics, schools etc.) (interview 54, Q14). This represents an approximate total of $100,000 annually. During 2013, the following projects were implemented: construction of an administration block at Dumisani   77 High School; and the establishment of computer centres at Masiza High School outside Kruger National Park and Alldays Combined School outside Mapungubwe National Park17. In several interviews, participants were unclear as to who would determine the flow of the community levy, how much input buffer zone communities would have into spending these levies, or even how the levies will be distributed along the 400 km long border zone adjacent to Kruger Park (comment from a staff official 18 months after the implementation of the levies). The difficulty lies in attributing the benefits to the institution called a TFCA when the community levy is a SANParks initiative, and only benefits South African citizens (interview 72). Since there is no current TFCA infrastructure, apart from a contractual obligation by three countries, there cannot be any benefits attributed solely to the existence of the TFCA (interview 19). Therefore, even though the community levy is a great initiative, although fraught with potential difficulties and very little participatory involvement from the communities thus far (local municipal councilor – interviews 87, 90), it cannot be considered a benefit from the TFCA, but rather an initiative driven by the South African National Parks agency (to provide services and infrastructure that should be provided by the South African government in any case). Any other form of benefit derived from the Kruger National Park and nature reserves within the core conservation area of the TFCA would similarly be attributed to the individual conservation areas, and not to the greater transfrontier conservation area (interviews 80, 86).  The case of the Mozambican section of the TFCA is somewhat different, since many NGOs, including the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) and several European NGOs, have specifically provided support in the form of infrastructure (fencing, roads, buildings) and capacity (advisors, managers, researchers) toward developing the TFCA (interview 6). The current removal of villages has also been supported by some of these NGOs, with the government providing the greatest part of the resources (amounts and what form of support is not always transparent – interview 82, Q1). The Mozambican communities within the park are being moved to an area outside the Parque Naçional do Limpopo, potentially benefitting these communities since it is closer to an urban centre (Massingir) with better access to roads, schools, clinics and other services, as well as increased employment opportunities at a huge sugar concern which is currently being established to the southeast of the park18 (interviews 13, 6). Scholars have also reported the costs to these villagers in relocating outside the national park through leaving behind burial and                                                           17 SANParks Annual Review 2012/2013:  18 See news articles: and    78 sacred sites, and therefore, even though politicians focus mostly on the immediate benefits, local communities are quite aware that not only benefits are associated with the existence of the national park and TFCA (Bocchino 2007, Lunstrom 2009). One further “benefit” which cannot be ignored, and which was very visible over the past two years in the villages in the Parque Naçional do Limpopo, was the accrual of wealth from rhino horn poaching, with a sudden display of possessions, including: new houses built from bricks (this is totally different from the traditional huts); installation of photovoltaic panels and solar panels to provide electricity to the houses; brand new SUVs (of which I have personally witnessed several wreckages in the middle of the wilderness!); and children playing with radio-operated cars and other expensive toys (interviews 6, 9, 12 and own observations). A serious issue would be how the sudden increase in wealth would be handled when villagers are no longer able to access these large funds (if poaching can be halted or when they are moved outside the park). This is one benefit which would definitely not directly translate into positive attitudes towards conservation; in fact, the reverse is true, because the protectors of wildlife are also the enemy of poachers (interviews 23, 82).  Migration: The issue of migration and its impacts on Zimbabwe and South Africa had been discussed above under Mapungubwe, but it is definitely compounded in South Africa in the buffer zone of the Limpopo TFCA, due to high volumes of migrants from Mozambique. While the border with Zimbabwe is protected by a previous military zone and fence (albeit very porous), the only real physical deterrent to migrants from Zimbabwe is the Limpopo river, which, when in flood, is certainly effective, but during the dry seasons there are plenty of people crossing to work on the many vegetable and crop farms north of the Soutpansberg (a mountain in the far north of the country) area. The Kruger National Park acts as the border with Mozambique, which, apart from wild animals and land mines (remnants from the civil war era), has not been very effective in controlling illegal crossing of migrants (interviews 34, 71). The buffer zone of the GLTFCA within South Africa is thus heavily populated with ex-Mozambican families who have by now spent years in South Africa. This prevalence of illegal immigrants from Mozambique has caused many of the difficulties experienced by advocates of the TFCA concept in getting custom and immigration clearance for anyone crossing the border between Mozambique and South Africa, be it tourists or park officials (interviews 72, 73). It is almost incomprehensible that after a decade of the existence of the TFCA, the park officials of the Parque Naçional do Limpopo and Kruger National Park have still not developed a simpler system to ease collaboration and travel between the parks. I was invited to attend a section ranger meeting between the senior park officials from Kruger and Limpopo national parks close to Giriyondo border post, but because two of the rangers coming from Mozambique   79 did not have official passports (because of inefficient bureaucracy within Mozambique which makes it virtually impossible to obtain a passport at Massingir, the closest urban settlement to the park), only one representative from Mozambique was able to join the meeting. The lost opportunities for collaborating on critical operations such as rhino and elephant poaching patrols, wild fire control and monitoring, almost amounts to a tragedy (own observations, interviews 3, 52). Although there appears to be political will as well as goodwill from the park management, it has yet to translate into simple implementation on the ground.  The impact that the high numbers of Mozambican migrants have had on South Africa cannot be ignored, with increased intolerance reported among South African citizens, given that the country is struggling with an unemployment figure in the mid-twenties, and that migrant labour does not contribute to any tax systems19. During the interviews, I received mixed inputs from interviewees, with many South Africans indicating impatience with the porous borders and corrupt border officials (interviews 60, 75, 43), but also others indicating that Mozambicans have integrated into the local communities, inter-married and are co-existing well with South African citizens (interviews 90, 34, 37). Interviews with Mozambicans reported great difficulty for those who have moved to South Africa, and high costs to travel between the countries (interviews 42, 88, 20). Migrant communities would typically appear overnight on the outskirts of cities in the form of “shanty towns” or informal settlements, and be ignored by the municipal managers, with high crime rates, enormous costs for simple services such as medical care, and the constant dread of being discovered and sent back (reported by several migrant interviewees). An attribute that can affect the life of communities bordering the TFCA, this has been a major driver of several issues regarding community conservation (interviews 20, 53). These factors include very dynamic communities, constantly in flux, and difficulty to control resource use by traditional leaders and municipal managers alike (interviews 23, 48, 90, 87). Other complicating social factors are the high crime rates, intolerance from non-migrant citizens, and inter-marriages or co-habitation with offspring while supporting families in the countries of origin (interview 37). On the issues relating to weak governance, these include corrupt border police, and abuse of tenure systems by corrupt municipal officials who exact payment from migrants to stay in the villages (interviews 49, 81).                                                           19 As an example of many media reports:   80 External/Internal instability: The external instability of South Africa and Zimbabwe has been addressed under the Mapungubwe discussion, as well as the internal issues in Zimbabwe, which has also been discussed under the heading ‘Authority’, above. Under South Africa’s internal issues, a major factor is the corruption and incompetence experienced in the rural municipalities, as also indicated in the authority section, with total lack of financial competency reported in most municipalities and almost total lack of service provision (interviews 92, 90, 88, 85). The municipality of Bushbuckridge (in the central buffer zone of the Kruger National park) has been an area of intense social unrest for many years, and this area is also recognized as a poverty node because of the lack of any large industries or other forms of employment, with less than 15% of the total population employed (Stats SA, SA Public Service Commission Report 2009). Discussions with researchers doing social research in the Bushbuckridge and Mbombela areas revealed huge social problems associated with intense poverty. These include the high prevalence of domestic abuse, particularly rape of young girls and resultant teenage pregnancies, alcohol and drug dependence, very high unemployment of the young, absent homeowners, and single or no-adult supervision families due to the large numbers of adults working in the centres of Johannesburg and Pretoria (interviews 47, 37, 81, 54). There appears to be no immediate solution to these challenges, although the South African government has prioritized spending revenue on infrastructure and employment creation programmes such as the Working-For-Water20 and other Working-For programmes, as well as the latest environmental monitoring programme. On the external instability of Mozambique as found within government processes and country stability, although not receiving the lowest rating, a fair amount of instability crept in during the period of the research and field trips (2012-2014), to such an extent that from November 2013 onward it was no longer safe to travel alone into Mozambique. The origin of the latest unrest has been a sudden increase in RENAMO hostilities. Relations between RENAMO, founded around independence in 1975 with the backing of white-ruled Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa, and Frelimo, the ruling, formerly Marxist party, have become increasingly tense over the past two years. It is not yet known what caused the flare up of conflict, although international weapons smuggling, linked to the international wildlife crime syndicates that drive illegal rhino and elephant horn sales, have been blamed for the escalation (Montesh 2013; personal comment, General Jooste,). In July 2014, thousands of Mozambicans participated in marches in Maputo and other cities to protest against the threat of armed conflict and                                                           20 An environmental programme that provides employment and training to the poor in South Africa:    81 kidnappings by criminal gangs, calling on the government to confront the attacks by armed guerrillas of the RENAMO opposition movement in the centre and north21. Raids and ambushes that intensified in 2014 have killed civilians, police and soldiers, while the army is hunting fugitive Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama in what some say is an escalation of violence that could tip Mozambique back into civil war (interviews 82, 6). This form of unstable governance would have a very negative impact on any form of tourism into the country, and on ecotourism in the remote region of the TFCA in particular. An element which has certainly impacted the internal stability within the communities living within the boundaries of the PNL has been the “war on rhino poaching”, as most media and park staff calls it (interviews 26, 17, 43, Q14). One important element that has crept in over the past decade is the rationalization of what is essentially a crime, even in Mozambique, and the interviewees were as polarized about the matter within Mozambique, as they had been outside Mozambique, with many saying “that these are criminals and should be treated thus” (interview 43, Q 11) and many others suggesting that it is a way to get food, and has always been the way people have lived off the land. It basically relates again to the differing value systems among people (interviews 88, 87, 90, 14, 23, 49). 4.4. MORE GENERAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The scores allocated to the different communities/stakeholder groups living in the region of the two case studies reflect their vulnerable status as far as viable conservation stewardship is concerned. In the Limpopo TFCA, the most pronounced difference lay in the attitudes of private land owners (where tenure is secure) and those living on communal land (ranging from highly insecure to hopeful land claimants), and these corresponded directly with conservation values, socio-economic status, and benefits derived from the protected areas in the vicinity. Particularly Zimbabwean and Mozambican local community members were most vocal in voicing disappointment regarding the TFCAs, reminding of “promises made by government” about the benefits that these TFCAs will produce. It was clear that even government officials had higher expectations from these areas, and the “tourists that will flock to the region, bringing their foreign currencies.” A significant proportion of interviewed stakeholders in Level 1 and 2 sectors were either ignorant of the concept of transfrontier conservation, or once reminded, felt that it was a “dream without reality”. Especially members of local communities living in the buffer zones of Kruger Park had no knowledge of                                                           21    82 the concept. Of the interviewees aware of its existence, a large proportion were disappointed with the current status quo, and felt “let-down” by their respective governments. Many stakeholders at district or provincial level felt that it was “too complex”, and that the national governments have lost interest after the initial hype a decade ago, during the establishment process, when it “was mostly a political process.” 4.4.1. USING POLITICAL RHETORIC TO GET BUY-IN FROM STAKEHOLDERS It is nothing new in the African political context to promise voters unattainable outcomes in order to push forward some ideology or development (Mistry 2000). In the field of conservation, it is thus almost natural for politicians to highlight potential benefits at the cost of truth about the difficulty and high price at which these benefits might come (Ramutsindela 2007). The objective would be to accelerate gaining consensus with local stakeholders, particularly among remote rural communities. The transfrontier conservation areas of southern Africa have been no exception. It is clear that since this is a concept that involves communities sometimes hundreds of kilometers apart (as with the Limpopo TFCA), the initial political process could not have been a bottom-up process, especially given that establishing a transfrontier conservation area involves memoranda of understanding and treaties at the highest levels of government. Another stumbling block to a bottom-up approach has been the history of conflict between many of these neighbouring countries. Grass-roots development of a transfrontier conservation initiative would no doubt have been the more sustainable approach, but perhaps an unreasonable expectation given the geographic features and history. However, after the initial hype, and mainly due to new political figures entering the stage (many stakeholders pointed that while Kader Asmal and Valli Moosa had been the South African ministers of environmental affairs, and Nelson Mandela president of South Africa, that everything moved forward briskly (1994-2004)), progress slowed down noticably. A plethora of unrealized expectations have been generated, particularly in the minds of local communities and stakeholders regarding potential tourism revenue from these new conservation areas (confirmed in many interviews). Apart from these, very little real stakeholder engagement followed during the next decade (Ramutsindela 2007, Jones and Murphree 2001), and one stakeholder described it as a bus that had been pushed up a steep hill, and now the bus should run downhill “of its own volition”. However, it is clear from recent developments in Mozambique and Zimbabwe that the unrealized expectations have given way to disillusionment, and the lack of concrete benefits from the protected areas within the TFCAs have eroded any belief in the potential benefits of conservation. The only reality that the local communities within the TFCA in Mozambique is faced with,   83 is their imminent removal, lack of access to what had become a “gold mine” through illegal rhino horn sales, risk and loss of lives within the communities, and the uncertainty of the future after relocation. 4.4.2. PEACE PARKS OR CRADLES OF CONFLICT?  The concept of peace as a driver or a result of transfrontier conservation has often been hailed by advocates of the idea, and has received attention from scholars (Ali 2007). Examples of “peace parks” between countries after or during periods of hostility include the Peace Accord between Peru and Ecuador which required establishing a peace park, the conservation of the red-crowned and white-naped cranes within the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea, and the mountain gorilla and afro-montane forest conservation area on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo (Marton-Lefèvre 2007). This was definitely also part of the initial rhetoric in establishing the southern African transfrontier conservation areas (at the time mostly referred to as Peace Parks, and hence the name of its foremost implementer, the Peace Parks Foundation). Many stakeholders, when asked whether they think the TFCA is good for keeping peaceful relations between countries, responded positively. Whether the Limpopo TFCA will live up to this ideal remains to be seen. Over the past two years it has become an area of intense hostility due to the rhino poaching crisis, with some locals dubbing it the “re-militarization of the border”, and with vocabulary like drones and “the war on rhino poachers” introduced into the conversations of some stakeholders. As is also discussed earlier, the term “peace park” often refers to a tenuous state, with the exception of countries with longstanding peaceful relations. It is highly dependent on the prerequisites of open communication between country representatives at all levels, and ensuring local communities’ participation in decision making processes, lest the protected area staff becomes “the enemy” and thus germinate conflict instead of peace. 4.4.3. CAMPFIRE UNDER THREAT? The literature on community-based natural resource management (and its many variants) has literally exploded over the past decade, and a myriad of funded projects have been established all over the world. Many different co-management models have been introduced, always with the objective of providing local communities greater decision-making power, but also greater responsibility over managing the natural resources within their control or territory. Countless books and papers have been published on the best practices and lessons that could be learned from these models and projects, but to a large extent, the truly successful models have been few and far between. One model that has been championed by many is the CAMPFIRE Association or the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources, the official programme of community-based natural resource management of the   84 Zimbabwean government (Bond 2001). However, in every interview I had with local community leaders and stakeholders from within Zimbabwe, it always came down to the lack of real devolution of power to the local level. The current status quo, as mentioned in the results section, is that local communities only benefit from between 15% and 35% of revenues, all decisions regarding off-take and stocking is made by the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management or the Rural District Councils (who also receive the majority of revenue), and the concessions themselves are usually driven by outside actors (although they have to demonstrate business linkages with the community). Virtanen (2003) identified this as a problem in CAMPFIRE more than a decade ago, and it appears that the model has still not matured beyond the stage where either the national government or intermediary actors such as the local district councils “ladle the cream from the top” (one WMA community member). Unless this problem is addressed at the basic fundamental level of the administration of the value chain, and existing community institutions (traditional authorities and wildlife committees) are considered as equal partners in planning and wildlife management (Virtanen 2003), the whole concept stands the chance of failing. One of the initial “founders” of the initiative declared he could “hear the bell tolling” for CAMPFIRE unless the government of Zimbabwe address these issues within the next five years. 4.4.4. A FLAWED SOCIO-ECONOMIC MODEL Closely linked to the CAMPFIRE model is the basic premise that wildlife, through incorporating cultural activities, eco-tourism or hunting activities, can be as valued in the same way as agriculture or industries. There are a few flaws in the assumptions though, and several of these were voiced during the interviews. One misconception is that of the commodification of culture and heritage in which communities have to play into the stereotypes of their culture for economic benefit (Bruner 2001). Another flaw is that of the “tourist gaze” or expectations of tourists based on popular images of Africa, with local communities pandering to the unrealistic expectations of visitors from other parts of the world (Urry 1996) and the fact that:  “indigenous peoples are placed in a dynamic where cultural "authenticity" becomes something very tangible and necessary to achieve economic success. This “reconstruction of ethnicity” becomes important, because locals tend to act out cultural patterns and behaviors that they believe would satisfy tourists most” (MacCannel 1984: 379). The basic flaw is that communities would never have thought of the idea in the first place, particularly since there is an element of “dignity loss” which accompanies this type of commodification of culture. Outsiders, usually the tourism operators themselves, present the communities with the idea of “making   85 money” through an eco-tourism enterprise (precisely what both the Limpopo and Mapungubwe IDPs are proposing). Most of the community members have never traveled to foreign parts or had the opportunity to “act the tourist” (reported by virtually all local community members). They therefore have very limited understanding of the expectations of tourists, apart from “what sells.” This fact renders them dependent on the hunting concessionaires or tourism operators to prescribe to them “how they should manage what they manage”, and stripping them of a great deal of confidence and self-respect (manager of a Community Protected Area in Bushbuckridge). Unless local communities are “trained” or informed prior to imposing socio-economic models such as “wildlife economies” (the most recent term coined in South Africa’s eastern lowveld) to understand the market and marketing principles, as well as tourists (and their expectations), or the international trophy hunters, they will remain at the “beck and call” of tourists and tourism operators (lodge owner in Mapungubwe NP). They will thus never gain the competitive edge over their sophisticated western counterparts. A unique constellation found in a few CAMPFIRE successful ventures (such as the Mahenye community lodge) consisted of an operator that was born and raised as a Westerner, but was also raised within the larger Mahenye community and could therefore speak their language and had their concerns and welfare at heart. This combination led to one of the first CAMPFIRE associations and is still a successful enterprise. This is probably as close to a blueprint one might find until local communities have learned about the “business of resource management” which is in itself a flawed concept. Having a real business operator who cares about the benefits of the communities is apparently a rare find. 4.4.5. TRADITIONAL VERSUS POLITICAL AUTHORITY: AN AFRICAN CONUNDRUM The final aspect regarding the attribute of authority which warrants brief mention, is the current unresolved state of affairs in many African countries regarding resource management and control over natural resources. It is also part of the legacy of colonialism, where Western laws became entrenched into the national governance systems, often in conflict with traditional, customary laws that still dictate resource use and land tenure control (Singh 2001). Virtanen notes that the confusion with tenure and restrictions of resource use often lead to abuse and an open-access regime which culminates in resource depletion as users try to maximize gains (2003, Matose and Wily 1996). This issue was noted as a constant source of conflict, confusion or abuse by many of the interviewees, and it is clear that the governments of southern Africa need to find “the best of both worlds”, where traditional authority is elevated to the legal platforms of the countries in order to ensure accountability as well as respect for the institution. It has been clear from the meta study as well as from the two TFCA case studies that   86 traditional authorities can be a very useful centre of power that can be applied for the benefit of both communities and the environment, but the current tenuous position of traditional leaders requires the attention of the governments of the relevant countries.     87 5. ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT     "Nature doesn't acknowledge frontiers. Neither can ecology...."    -  Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014)  5.1. INTRODUCTION Since the main objective behind creating the transfrontier conservation areas was to expand natural ecosystems across unnatural man-made borders and to allow free movement of the animal species between adjacent national parks and other protected areas, an important focus of this study has been to investigate the status quo of these ecosystems, particularly regarding the management practices. The current fluidity of both case studies’ boundaries has an influence on planning as well as exact management responsibilities, especially since no ecosystem management or monitoring under the current institutional arrangements is undertaken on areas outside the direct core conservation areas. Figures 25 and 26 show the land uses, core protected areas and greater transfrontier conservation areas. The term “transfrontier conservation area” has recently migrated towards a longer term vision for both these TFCAs – and the Limpopo TFCA is underplayed markedly compared to a few years ago. The objective of this research was to use rapid appraisal methods to assess the ecosystem health/condition at the landscape scale. Fortunately, recent technological advances such as geographic information systems (GIS) have contributed towards enabling far more effective ways of monitoring changes in natural resources (Allen 1994). Similarly, ways of capturing data have also advanced substantially and have moved away from the overly analytical, time consuming and expensive methods used in the past (Holechek et al.1998). Detailed analyses of the ecosystems involved were not a part of this study.  My main focus was rather on management approaches, and to superficially compare ecosystem conditions on either sides of the borders, especially where fences had been removed to allow free movement of animal species. The expert knowledge of ecologists and monitoring reports from the protected areas (where present) were considered an accurate measure of ecosystem health, and my own observations   88 were only used in the total absence of any form of evaluation, either in written form (Integrated Development Plans, ecological monitoring reports, maps, and departmental analyses) or on record as part of the interviews conducted.   Figure 25: Map of the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA indicating the land uses  – the area currently falling under the Memorandum of Understanding only refers to the Nature Reserves (green in colour)        (Source: GMTFCA IDP, 2010, with permission)   89  Figure 26: Map of the Greater Limpopo Transboundary Park, indicating the various land uses.  The smaller map inserted above right shows the original scope of the TFCA, which includes wildlife reserves to the left of Kruger NP, and large tracts of communal land between the Limpopo, Banhine and Zinave NPs  (Source: GLTP IDP 2010, with permission)  5.2. METHODOLOGY Using the same approach as with the socio-economic and governance dimensions, I conducted semi-structured interviews with the park managers and ecologists of all the wildlife reserves that fall under the TFCA umbrella. Additional data collection included spatiotemporal data collated by the existing Greater Limpopo TFCA (currently undefined)   90 conservation areas, as well as ecosystem management plans and reports for each of the protected areas within the study areas. Similar again to the other two dimensions investigated, I selected a range of attributes that describes ecosystems, as well as the management of these, and through discussing the condition and challenges of ecosystems under the authority of the interviewees, assigned scores to these. Areas outside of the core TFCAs, depending on the land use and tenure, were scored by myself, based on observations and GIS analysis. As attributes, I selected for the physical environment at the level of the landscape:  Vegetation cover: from bare soil to 100% cover: the aim of selecting this attribute is because in southern Africa vegetation cover is usually a good rapid appraisal method to discover superficial changes in the ecosystem, and an easy indicator for degradation. It should be used with caution in semi- to arid areas (such as Mapungubwe), since these areas tend to have fluctuations in vegetation cover annually, depending on the season. For this reason, I mainly relied on percentages provided by park ecologists where possible. The incidence of bush encroachment in southern Africa reflects a form of mismanagement, usually as a consequence of over-grazing (where the grass component is decimated in favour of tree species) – therefore a high score for vegetation cover, combined with a low score for the following attribute, species composition, would indicate bush encroachment;  Species composition (distinguishing two classes: fauna and flora): from homogeneous to naturally heterogeneous: at the landscape scale, this is also a rapid appraisal method to distinguish between agricultural crops, communal land and natural wilderness areas – more heterogeneous areas invariably represents a greater degree of pristine wilderness present, but also indicates over-abundance of a species such as elephants, and in combination with the previous score, would indicate over-utilization of plant species or animal species;  Alien presence: from 100% - 0%  presence: this score mostly referred also to management practices or the absence of intervention to protect biodiversity – a heavy infestation always carried cost implications to restore an ecosystem, and usually indicated in the Savannah area that previously, an area had been overstocked with grazers;  River systems: heavily polluted to pristine: most of the core protected areas and TFCA areas form part of the catchment area for some of the most important river systems in southern Africa – the fact that these are now part of transboundary ecosystems, indicates a responsibility within the TFCA to manage the pollution levels of the major rivers, since it becomes an   91 international jurisdiction problem, particularly where mining activities within the South African border pollutes rivers and thus impact rural areas within Mozambique (as is the case of several of the Limpopo TFCA rivers; The attributes for the decision-making environment were:  Presence of ecosystem monitoring: absence to regular evaluation: this attribute highlights the effectiveness and failures of the decision-making processes regarding the ecosystem dimension, and indicates issues such as lack of capacity and financial resources, and ability to plan ahead.   Presence of interventions: absence to regular intervention: this attribute identifies the type of management approach, and how that, in combination with the purely ecosystem attributes, would affect the ecosystem dynamics.  Presence of policy feedback: absence to regular consultation: considered the acid test of good environmental governance, this attribute would only receive high scores where an advanced system of ecosystem management is in place. It also reflects the attention on research and analyses of policies and its impacts. 5.3. WHO ARE THE ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT DECISION MAKERS? Both case studies display a huge diversity of ecosystem management approaches, mostly because of the diversity of management types according to each land use and protected area. The following table provides a basic overview of ecosystem management types:      92 Table 9: Overview of ecological management of different land use zones within the TFCAs: Country TFCA Component Description Mapungubwe South Africa Mapungubwe NP Formal position – resident ecologist Park management makes decisions Venetia Nature Reserve Private reserve on mine property – private ecologist, mine owners decide on advice from ecologist Community land Tribal authorities decide on resource use  - no formal monitoring processes Commercial farms and other Individual owners make decisions Zimbabwe Nottingham Estate Currently no formal position, Beitbridge Rural District Council has one environmental monitor to advise entire RDC area Sentinel Ranch Nothing formal Tuli Circle Ad hoc monitoring, depending on resources available Communal Wildlife Management Areas Beitbridge Rural District Council CAMPFIRE environmental monitor Botswana NOTUGRE Several research projects, resident ecological manager, privately funded by owners Communal areas Tribal authority and local councilors control resource allocation Limpopo Mozambique Parque Naçional do Limpopo No ecologist, park manager makes decisions, sometimes assisted by ANAC  Zimbabwe Gonarezhou NP One senior ecologist for the whole park Sengwe corridor  Tribal authorities control resource allocation, CAMPFIRE monitor under the Beitbridge RDC makes decisions about hunting quotas and stocking rates Other communal areas (Malipati, Mahenye, Chitwa communities) Tribal authorities control resource allocation, CAMPFIRE monitor under the Beitbridge and Chiredsi RDCs makes decisions about hunting quotas and stocking rates South Africa Kruger NP Two research hubs, with different experts (20 in total): alien species, big mammals, small mammals, vegetation composition, etc. 1000+ staff members to assist with monitoring, fire breaks, census, harvesting etc.. Advise the conservation manager and head rangers, who make the final decisions Sabie GR and Associated Game Reserves Professional resident ecologists advise, park managers make the decisions Communal areas Tribal authorities allocate resources, based on no formal ecosystem monitoring Agricultural farms No formal ecosystem monitoring, private owners make decisions based on agricultural cost incentives      93 5.4. RESULTS The same system used to provide scores per case study at the country level in the socio-economic dimension was used with the ecosystem scores. Averages of the scores between the different land use types were combined and Table 10 presents these scores. Table 10: Average scores for each country within the two case studies regarding the ecosystem management attributes       MAPUNGUBWE Vegetation cover: Botswana displays a fairly dismal natural ecosystem picture, largely due to the presence of an unchecked elephant population, which for decades continued to grow with no natural limiting factor. The impact of high elephant numbers is compounded by an unpredictable, low rainfall, with a long-term average of 369.4 mm per annum, and during drought periods, as little as 135.5 mm (Selier 2007). Other negative impacts are the restriction of elephant movement due to human settlements and fences, and regular flooding from the two major rivers that join in the centre of the TFCA at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers (interview 40, 80). To the south of NOTUGRE, the communal land is also characterized by large sections of overgrazed rangeland from the many (and also somewhat unchecked) domestic cattle and goats that wander all over the landscape (interviews 39, 41, 22, own observations). Intensive, but fairly small (compared to some large commercial farms) sectors of agriculture under irrigation (mainly from the rivers) are interspersed with sections of natural wilderness on the South African and Zimbabwe sides of the rivers (interview 39). The natural wilderness within Mapungubwe NP, Nottingham Estate, River Ranch and Sentinel Ranch contain patches of good vegetation cover, particularly during the rainy season, but generally the carrying capacity of the area is very low, and only offset by the riparian zones of the rivers. These riparian areas have, according to the Country Cover Species Alien species River systems Monitoring Management intervention Policy feedback Score Mapungubwe SA 3.000 2.250 2.500 2.667 2.000 2.000 1.500 2.310 Zim 2.625 3.250 3.375 3.000 2.125 0.375 1.000 2.250 Bot 1.000 3.000 2.500 2.500 2.000 2.000 1.000 2.000 Limpopo Mo 3.000 3.000 3.000 0.000 1.000 3.000 2.000 2.143 Zim 3.000 3.250 3.250 2.000 1.500 2.000 1.500 2.429 SA 2.455 2.545 2.182 0.778 1.091 1.455 1.182 1.669   94 ecologists from NOTUGRE and Mapungubwe, been declared critically endangered because of the combined effects of elephants decimating the vegetation, and farmers clearing the floodplains to provide land for crop production (interviews 8, 41, 68). A pristine fever tree forest (Acacia xanthophloea) at the confluence of the two major rivers have been excluded from elephant grazing by high fences that protect this ecosystem from further destruction. On Nottingham Estate, an open-cast coal mine has been in operation, but not very extensively, and in South Africa, within kilometres of Mapungubwe NP, the controversial Vele coal mine license was assigned in 2010, although operations have currently ceased temporarily. Both these coal mines are bound to have serious deleterious impacts on the natural environment, and most particularly on the Limpopo River, since the mines are within 5 km from the river (interview 67). The possible consequences of water pollution as a result of acid mine drainage on the environment is well documented (DeNicola and Stapleton 2002; Naicker et al 2003). The crop damage by elephants is a natural consequence and very common occurrence due to the loss of natural vegetation and easy access to irrigated crops (interview 39). Figure 27: Aerial view of the intensive irrigated agriculture sectors next to the Limpopo River Species composition: The case study area’s vegetation, looking at a landscape level, is broadly classified as Mopane veld (Acocks 1988), on three different geological substrates divided between the area south of the Limpopo River, north of the Limpopo River and the area just north of the Tuli Circle. The vegetation is fairly diverse and natural, and most interviewees with some knowledge of the vegetation   95 agreed that for the climate it is healthy (interviews 68, 66, 22). Particularly, the riverine forests along the main rivers boast majestic Mashatu trees (Xanthocercis zambeziaca), fever trees (Acacia xanthophloea) and Mlala palms (Hyphaene banguelensis). The rocky outcrops further from the river systems are composed of Acacias, Terminalia, Mopane and Combretum, the typical mixed species forest found in large areas of the southern African savannah or bushveld. The grass component consists of Panicum maximum, Panicum meyerianum, Sporobolus consimilis, Chloris gayana, Cenchrus ciliaris and Urochloa mocambicensis. The grass component for most parts of the TFCA is virtually absent during most months of the year, due to overgrazing, either from elephants or domestic cattle, which also compete with antelope species such as waterbuck (interview 41, own observations). Marshes along the riverine areas have very few tree species due to the expanding characteristic of the clay soils and temporary waterlogged conditions (during flood waters) which do not support most savannah tree species (Selier 2007). An important elephant habitat is the “vlei” areas, or low-lying marshy areas, which are covered with water during the rainy season and lie along the edges of the grassy marshes. These are covered with the Mlala palms, which often appear stunted due to constant harvesting by humans for making palm wine (Selier 2007). The animal species vary widely in distribution and movement, and shown in Table 11. The areas that are reported by wildlife managers to have healthy wildlife populations, are: in Botswana, NOTUGRE, the remainder of the Tuli Block; in South Africa, several game farms, the Venetian mine lands and Mapungubwe NP; and in Zimbabwe, Sentinel Ranch and Nottingham Estate (interview 39).  According to a report by CESVI (2001), illegal hunting and drought eradicated the African buffalo in the Mapungubwe area during 1970-1990. Predators are not present in large numbers in Mapungubwe (Selier 2007).     96 Table 11: A list of the main fauna species found within the greater TFCA  (Source: GMTFCA IDP 2010) Eland (Taurotragus oryx) Gemsbuck (Oryx gazelle) Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) Bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus) Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus) Elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) Burchell’s Zebra (Equus burchellii) Ostrich (Struthio camelus) Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) Impala (Aepyceros melampus) Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus) Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) White rhino (Ceratotherium simum) Baboon (Papio ursinus) Leopard (Panthera pardus) Lion (Panthera leo) Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) Hyena (spotted and brown) (Crocuta crocuta and Hyaena brunnea) Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) Wild dog (Lycaon pictus) Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus caama)  Small species such as duiker, steenbok, badgers, civets, porcupine, caracal, vervet monkey Reptiles: Pythons and Black mambas are common, crocodiles in very few spots, because the rivers are not perennial  Alien presence: Within the wilderness areas, alien species occur infrequently, although most reserve managers acknowledge that alien species need to be monitored, especially in the overgrazed communal lands (interviews 50, 8, 31). In old lands, Acacia tortilis, generally considered a pioneer tree species, have competed successfully with the grass layer (again due to overgrazing by mostly domestic stock), and form dense stands of homogeneous vegetation, a typical sign of a history of human settlements with no intervention to restore ecosystems (Jordaan 2010). River systems: The Limpopo River Valley forms the central part of the TFCA, and drains into the Limpopo River (also forms the border between South Africa, and three of its neighbours, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique). Other major rivers within the TFCA, are the Shahse, Tuli, Motloutse, Majale (also known as Bojale), Pahzi and Mzingwane rivers on the Botswana and Zimbabwean side, with the Kolopi, Mapedu, Upper Sand and Mogalakwena rivers within South Africa (Selier, 2007).   97  Figure 28: Map showing the major river systems within the Mapungubwe TFCA,  with the dark gray area indicating the Botswana side of the TFCA  (Source: Selier 2007, with permission) The most interesting characteristic about the river systems of Mapungubwe, contrary to the river systems of Limpopo TFCA (discussed in the next section), is the fact that none of these rivers have much surface water throughout the year. The Limpopo, when flooded during the summer-rain months, carries a vast quantity of water, and will flow for many months, but during the dry season it frequently ceases to flow, with only water pools remaining in some areas (interview 39). The Motloutse and Shahse rivers, for the most part of the year, are extended expanses of sand, only flowing during the days after rain storms. The Shashe has a large body of water flowing under the surface (Ncghunga 1978) and is considered a submerged river system because of its porous sand bed. The consequence of having such porous river beds, is that very few pollutants are carried far downstream, and the rivers, apart from containing lots of debris when in flood, are considered clean and safe by the ecologists of the region. One threat to the river systems within the TFCA though, and in particular the Limpopo River, is that of the pollution caused by the two coal mines in the close vicinity of the TFCA and the river, and the reason for the huge public outcry following the license issuance to the Vele Coal mine by the Minster of Mining from South Africa. Presence of ecosystem monitoring: The main reason for including the following three attributes, is because only scoring certain characteristics and functions of an ecosystem would merely indicate descriptions of an area, with no indication of how effectively the human impacts, or fauna and flora   98 changes are assessed. The presence of monitoring and evaluation practices would usually indicate whether a system is under pressure or thriving, due to changes either from the biotic component or the human factor. Mapungubwe NP within South Africa, as well as the individual game farms and the Venetia mine wildlife area all declare regular monitoring practices (at least once a year, many areas more often – interviews 8, 39)). The Carnivore Conservation Group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) has been running a constant monitoring and surveillance research project on the small pack of wild dogs found on the Venetia Nature Reserve (reported by John Power 2008, EWT22). On the Botswana side, Mashatu and the other natural reserves that form a part of NOTUGRE, have a number of research programmes running, which amongst other aspects, monitor the numbers of the elephant populations, some predator species’ movements and numbers such as wild dog, lion, cheetah and leopard (Snyman 2010). The remainder of the TFCA falls within the administration of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) as part of Controlled Hunting Areas (CHAs). Some CHAs have a zero hunting quota when it forms part of a protected area, but other CHAs are designated communal hunting areas. A legally recognized community trust with an approved land use plan may lease the CHA from the Tribal Land Board and sub-lease this to hunting safari or ecotourism operators (Abensperg-Traun 2009). Three community trusts have been developed within the TFCA in the Central Bobonong District since 2000 (Selier et al. 2014). According to a DWNP official, these hunting quotas have often been used to deter elephants who become problem animals within communal land, and to compensate local communities for wildlife-related losses and thus also improving community attitudes to elephants (interview 91). Although the managers of Nottingham Estate and Sentinel Ranch have regular monitoring exercises, the capacity to do regular surveys as in the case of the previously mentioned areas does not exist to the same extent (interview 68). The Tuli Safari Area is administrated by the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (NPWM or Zimparks), and managed by a senior ranger. According to this ranger, the NPWM sets the hunting quotas according to the rules set by CITES and in line with section 87-96 of the country’s national environmental plans (interview 68). According to both the manager of the quota system and the concessionaire (the hunting operator), the concession holder will identify only non-productive males of a species for clients to hunt (interviews 68, 91). Quotas are set based on a trophy quality size, length of time it takes to hunt a particular species, latest animal population trends and animal population growth rates (reported by the manager of the quota system within NPWM – interview 91). The research into the animal population                                                           22 Report available from:    99 growth trends and population growth rates is conducted by the NPWM management board’s scientific services unit. The scientific services unit is sometimes assisted by aerial surveys conducted by the WWF, and park rangers also sometimes assist with reporting on animal sightings (interview with a NWPM manager – interview 24). The quota will then finally be approved by the chief ecologist of the scientific services unit (quota system manager). One further aspect that also contributes to setting hunting quotas is when community leaders bring reports of problem animals in a communal area, such as an elephant trampling the community’s crops, or if there had been reports of lion-sightings close to human settlements. These reports are then also taken into account when setting the hunting quotas (interviews 88, 38, 39). As mentioned elsewhere the Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe also have environmental monitors who assist the local communities with setting the hunting quotas (interview 8). The Beitbridge environmental monitor reported that she is the only person covering the entire district, which includes many wildlife management areas (WMAs) and is far too big for only one person to cover (interview with Beitbridge RDC members). It appeared that migrating animals from elsewhere within the TFCA are not generally monitored by anyone (since there is no central monitoring agency or ecologist) and, therefore, the system is only monitored within the different fragmented units of natural reserve within the larger TFCA, but never as an entire system (interview 40, own observations).  Presence of ecosystem management interventions: Some of the areas mentioned above were scored higher in terms of directly intervening within the ecosystem based on monitoring results. These areas are NOTUGRE, the Venetia Nature Reserve and Mapungubwe NP. The response from the Tuli Circle Safari Area and surrounding communal lands scored high in responding with management interventions, but because of the lack of human capacity for regular monitoring, the communal areas’ score in the previous attribute was lower (scored by Beitbridge RDC members, Q 5, 6). The CAMPFIRE staff agreed that their intention would always be only to implement actions based on valid results, but that knowing the exact wildlife population sizes would remain as the bottleneck unless their numbers can be “fortified” (one member of the Beitbridge RDC). The biggest challenge within Mapungubwe as a TFCA system remains the joint monitoring among the three countries of the elephant population and its impacts on the vegetation, as well as how and which measures to implement to contain the population numbers, and to address the issue of problem animals decimating village crops (interviews 66, 80). Presence of policy feedback: None of the protected areas within the TFCA reported direct actions in response to specific policies, except for the strict adherence to Botswana’s foot-and-mouth veterinary policy, which prohibits movement of live animals or uncertified meat across the fence (interview 31).   100 The location and impacts of the different fences within the TFCA will be discussed further in the next section. Another area of international policy-setting which is adhered to, but often debated in research and popular natural scientific publications, is that of the CITES regulations on elephant culling. Most interviewees feel that regulated control of elephant numbers through culling should be an option decided at the local level, and not on the international stage (interviews 86, 39, 66, 70, 22). However, all government officials agree that this would place a much greater responsibility on the shoulders of the respective national governments and their environmental agencies to monitor population sizes and movement of herds. LIMPOPO Vegetation cover: Mostly due to a moister climate, the Limpopo case study presents a very different vegetation cover to that of Mapungubwe. Another factor is that the Limpopo TFCA as it currently exists (as the GLTP, without the huge intervening communal areas), consists of two protected areas that were established decades ago (Gonarezhou and Kruger NP), and thus the ecosystems (which cover huge sectors of land) have long since reverted to natural processes with little (originally more in the case of Kruger NP) human interference (interviews 27, 26). No serious droughts have been recorded in either Gonarezhou or Kruger NPs over the past decade. In fact there has been several years of heavy rainfall with infrastructure damage within the parks every year. Ecologists from both Gonarezhou and Kruger therefore gave the highest scores for average vegetation cover, and most other ecological management measures (interviews 31, 60, 52). The reason for the lower scores within the Zimbabwe and South African sections of the TFCA again relates to the buffer zones and intervening communal lands which have a direct impact on the national parks’ biodiversity, at least within the transition zones. Similar to Mapungubwe, many communal areas are surrounded by bare or sparsely covered areas either due to heavy trampling and grazing by domestic animals, including cattle, donkeys and goats, or previously cleared areas where crops had been planted (interview 52, own observations). This is not the case everywhere, and tends to be worse in the northern buffer zone of Kruger NP. In Mozambique, the Limpopo NP has a different history to that of Zimbabwe or South Africa’s core protected areas. With the seven communities that have been part of the national park since its establishment in the 1990s, the same overgrazed, trampled areas, and cleared areas for crops, are part of the natural ecosystem within the protected area (interviews 5, 6). The altered, degraded areas then decrease in degrees until the natural vegetation becomes the dominant feature, the distances   101 depending on physical features, such as distance to roads, or natural features such as river gorges or cliffs (Figure 29). Outside the park, within the buffer zone, although currently no longer part of the case study, a similar pattern is followed, with vegetation cover increasing with distance from human settlements (own observations).   Figure 29: Satellite picture of Masingir Velo, one of seven villages within Parque Naçional do Limpopo,  showing the impact of human settlement in terms of cultivated crops and grazed areas, and footpaths.  (Google Earth) Species composition: While the core protected areas support very healthy ecosystems, and are therefore very diverse, supporting heterogeneous plant as well as animal species, there is again a marked difference between the Zimbabwe and South African parks areas, as opposed to Mozambique’s Limpopo NP. While the vegetation in parts of Limpopo NP is diverse and the species composition scores high, there are also sections that have been altered due to the presence of human settlements, as well as having been part of a military zone during the war years (interviews 6, 9). There are still parts of the park where landmines are a threat, although years of actively clearing the park has paid off (LNP warden, Bocchino 2008). Although a 50 km stretch of fencing between the heterogeneously populated Kruger NP was removed almost a decade ago, and elephants and buffalo have physically been translocated to the Limpopo NP, animals are still very skittish, and apart from the occasional elephant straying into the vicinity of villages, the movement of animal species has been affected by the presence of humans within the park, as compared to the neighbouring Kruger NP (interview 86). “Hunting” in the national park has also been a regular occurrence over the past decade (interview 5), which has naturally left animals wary of humans. The unfortunate impact is that the typical tourist visits protected areas to   102 see animals in their natural state, and are thus less inclined to visit the Mozambique section of the TFCA because of smaller chances of seeing any animals. Due to the fact that the vegetation cover and species composition of this TFCA spans almost 2 million hectares with many different vegetation types, a full description of the vegetation and species listing is outside the scope of this thesis.  Alien presence: While none of the protected areas within the Limpopo TFCA are heavily infested with alien plant species over large areas, Kruger NP and its buffer zone are plagued with spots of heavy infestation of Lantana camara, Opuntia stricta, Chromolaena odorata, and three Senna species (interview 50, Foxcroft and Richardson 2003). Heavy infestations of aquatic plant species are also experienced in the seven major river systems that drain through the park (interview 50). Because of the threat of invasives, the management of Kruger NP had created a special position within the scientific services team to address the management of these species from a scientific perspective. The question remains in comparing the large team of ecosystem experts and supporting staff employed by Kruger NP with the one-man team and no-man team of Gonarezhou and Limpopo NPs, whether many problems and challenges do not surface in the latter two parks because of the lack of human capacity to properly monitor and manage such problems (interview 6). Even though the ecologist from Gonarezhou assured me that infestation of alien species pose little threat within the park, I am not entirely convinced that sufficient resources and human capacity are available to monitor this aspect adequately, given the size of the park.  River systems: The most threatened parts of this TFCA’s ecosystem are the large river systems that drain through the Gonarezhou NP, Kruger NP and eventually through Mozambique’s remote rural areas into the Indian Ocean. These include the river systems and basins of the Runde River, Mwenezi River, Limpopo and Levuvhu Rivers, Lilau Valley area in the LNP, Shingwedzi Basin, Olifants and Letaba river basins throughout the entire GLTP, the Nwanetsi River Catchment and the N’waswitsontso River (GLTP IDP 2013). The Save River forms the northernmost border of the TFCA, and the Komati River the southernmost boundary. As these rivers drain eastward into Mozambique, but before entering the TFCA traverse large parts of either Zimbabwe or South Africa (Figures 30 and 31), the systems come under tremendous strain from intensive and subsistence agriculture, millions of people’s dependence, mines, forestry and several large dams within South Africa and Zimbabwe. There is a threat of flooding every year, and several of these rivers flooded in each of the years during which this study was undertaken. During these floods, people had to be evacuated (in Zimbabwe thousands of people were evacuated because of the threat of the largest dam breaking in February 2014). However, the biggest threat to the   103 ecosystem is pollution of the rivers (interview 27, Q14, 15)). In recent years, a sudden spike in Nile crocodile deaths within the Olifants River in several places focused attention again on the poor state of this and other east-flowing rivers. The South African portion of the Olifants River catchment is home to 8% of the South African population (Van Vuuren 2009), contains 201 water storage dams, and is characterized by large-scale coal mining, coal-fired power generation plants, irrigated agriculture and several towns and smaller urban centres (Ashton 2010). The TFCA thus plays a very important role in filtering the river systems before entering Mozambique, and should therefore be the focus of joint monitoring and management plans for the system as a whole, an aspect which is currently neglected (interviews 52, 60, 26, 5, 6, 17).  Figure 30: Map showing the river catchments and drainage from north-eastern South Africa into Mozambique, flowing through Kruger NP into Limpopo NP.    (Source: Pollard and Du Toit 2011) The Kruger Rivers Research programme was initiated in 1990 in Kruger NP when park management realized that the only way to mitigate the external impacts from beyond the park borders was to interact with all agencies operating upstream (Mabunda et al. 2003).   104  Figure 31: Map showing the three major river catchments draining through Gonarezhou NP into Mozambique  (Source: Mazvimavi et al. 2007) Presence of ecosystem monitoring: The biggest difference relating to ecosystem management between the three core protected areas that form part of the TFCA (called the Great Limpopo Transboundary Park or GLTP) was found in the scoring of the next three attributes. The main reasons behind these differences lay in the historical background and resources allocated to ecosystem management. Gonarezhou NP’s management and ecologist acknowledged in discussing the aspects of monitoring and subsequent interventions that currently monitoring and responses to inputs are mostly based on the daily observations made by field staff (interviews 24, 25, 31)). The NGO heavily involved in the management and planning of the Gonarezhou assisted with an annual aerial census, as well as more frequent aerial observations (one of the NGO employees owns and flies an airplane), and this currently suffices as monitoring, which leads to different responses. During one of my field visits, the staff reported the death of a young elephant at a waterhole, together with several vultures and other bird species that feed off carrion. This was becoming one of many occurrences in Zimbabwe, where elephants (especially during the marula season) are targeted by ivory poachers who leave poisoned watermelons under a marula tree. This incident serves as an example of the type of monitoring currently mostly prioritized both in Limpopo and Gonarezhou NPs, where staff patrol the vulnerable parts of the parks (closer to roads and human settlements) for signs of poaching incidences or activities. In Limpopo   105 NP, the park manager reported no systematic scientific collection of data activities, due to limited human and financial resources (interview 5). The Kruger NP has become famous for its rigorous monitoring and management interventions over the century that it has been in existence (Mabunda et al. 2003). The first warden, James Stevenson-Hamilton, while not collecting systematic scientific data or keeping species checklists, was a keen observer of nature and documented much scientific data about Kruger’s ecosystems and species (Carruthers 2001). Mabunda et al. (2003) reports a very close link between scientific research activities (of which regular, systematic monitoring forms a fundamental component) and management since the 1950s. The research includes: population studies of most mammals in the park; predator-prey relationships; browser interactions; mammal distribution; climatic cycles; chemical game capture techniques; impact and control of disease epizootics; fire behavior; vegetation landscape delineation and aerial game census technique development (interviews 17, 26). Presence of ecosystem management interventions: Over the past 30 years scientific research efforts in Kruger NP have increased massively and have become the basis for what has been coined “adaptive ecosystem management” (Biggs and Rogers 2003). Earlier interventions were largely experimental and based on the partial understanding of ecosystems, with typical examples being the management of fire and water provision. Intensive manipulation of wildlife movement during the 1930s to 1980s through using fire to attract game species to newly burnt areas, and drilling boreholes to erect artificial waterholes, had far-reaching consequences. A direct consequence of the erection of waterholes had been the extirpation of roan antelope from the park, and highly diminished populations of sable antelope, due to increased densities of zebra and lion in the territories frequented by the two antelope species (Gaylard et al. 2003). Far more dramatic interventions were the erection of the fences around the entire perimeter of the park (mainly between 1958 and 1976) that impacted territories, migratory routes and population growth of all species. This in turn led to the first elephant culling programme towards the end of the 1960s – the term used at this stage was “management by intervention” (Pienaar 1983). A paradigm shift was made during the 1990s, mainly due to the acknowledgement of unintended consequences from interventions and the limited understanding of the impacts on a complex system. Several natural disasters strengthened the realization that humans cannot manage and control nature, and the ecosystem management interventions changed to a far greater laissez faire approach, termed “adaptive management”, a process that “promotes learning by doing” (Mabunda et al. 2003:17). According to the head of programmes in Kruger, this type of management, which was further enhanced   106 and is now termed strategic adaptive management or SAM, has a strong focus on combining science, management and monitoring in an innovative and motivating way (interview 27).  Presence of policy feedback: Gonarezhou and Limpopo NP management reported very few incidences of direct linkages between management practices and national environmental policies, although they were keenly aware of the developments at the national and international level regarding poaching, wildlife crimes and CITES data lists (interviews 24, 5). Kruger Park’s conservation manager reported regular consultations between SANparks, Kruger management, national environmental implementation agencies and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) (interview 26). Kruger Park management interacted with external agencies regarding river pollution to such an extent that the South African government established national water legislation in 1998 in accordance with the park’s river management principles (Mabunda et al. 2003). Other examples given were the priority given to rhino poaching research, and the active involvement of the national government in mobilizing armed forces to assist park staff in combatting the problem (interviews 58, 60, Q14). The ministers of the environmental departments of South Africa and Mozambique met more than once to discuss the poaching situation and align policies within the two countries so that the legal aspects within the two countries are more streamlined. 5.5. DISCUSSION Three major ecosystem management challenges are presented in the Mapungubwe TFCA: the current fragmented natural habitat, interspersed with intensive agricultural land use practices in the river floodplains; linked to these habitat fragments are the numerous structures that prohibit natural movement of larger mammals, including countless fences, irrigation infrastructure, tarred roads with moving vehicles - many of these trucks; and the lack of an integrated approach towards tackling these challenges. The current piecemeal approach in every aspect of the management process, from planning, actual management activities, to monitoring and evaluation, and information sharing – all require an integrated approach if existing problems are to be addressed. Each individual land owner/decision maker within the bigger Mapungubwe TFCA is concerned with managing the ecosystem under its power, and where no management interventions occur, there are spill-over effects into the surrounding areas, which also need to be countered. An example is the movement of elephants and predators, both of which theoretically have the ability to access all parts of the TFCA, but have very differentiated impacts, some even lethal. This requires a far more harmonized strategy, with managers/owners collaborating on   107 solutions to address issues such as: human/wildlife conflicts; degradation of the vegetation by high elephant densities; overstocking of communal animals; pollution of the river through fertilizer run-off from agricultural plots; and infestation of alien species along the rivers. The major ecosystem challenges in Limpopo TFCA are mostly visible in Parque Naçional do Limpopo, where currently no ecosystem management plan can be implemented effectively since the park lacks a resident ecologist. The park therefore suffers from a lack of certain animal species which could potentially occur here and could provide certain ecosystem functions as browsers or grazers or even predators, depending on the area. Another challenge is the bush encroachment in areas where a history of overgrazing is visible, and which would require substantial financial resources and human capacity to address. Severe alien infestation is visible in pockets in areas close to roads and human settlements, which would again require huge effort to control. According to both the senior ecologist from Kruger NP, and the manager of Limpopo NP, the biggest challenge lies in the currently unmonitored movement of animal species from Kruger into Limpopo. Although this had been a major objective in forming the TFCA, it is also currently the biggest challenge to monitor and react to, particularly regarding disease transfer, poaching, and species dispersal.     108 6. GOVERNANCE AND POLICIES             “Systems fail when people with ability don't have authority and people with authority don't have ability.”    - Amit Kalantri (1988-) 6.1. INTRODUCTION Although there is very little disagreement about the necessity for transboundary approaches to conservation, it is the “how” that has confounded many practitioners and governments. The two cases I studied proved no exception, and in this chapter I will explore further the road taken to establish these and other southern African transfrontier conservation areas, as well as the current state of governance affairs.  That governance in Africa is in trouble is no secret, with African governments particularly struggling with democracy’s norms of accountability, transparency and formal institutional rule (Chabal 2009). Furthermore, where policies are the tools with which to govern or “steer” society (Peters 2000), the challenge lies in devising the tools (or establishing policies), adapting them locally, streamlining them according to international principles and agreements, and finally ensuring that policies attain the goals they set out to achieve. It is precisely the latter which is proving the most difficult in the African context. The past two decades have seen a complex adaptation from state-dominated top-down processes, towards an array of collaborative, partnership and community arrangements globally (Lockwood 2010), but in Africa, these forms of governance have often come about where governments seem to have abdicated their primary responsibilities through lack of capacity or resources or proper management, and a governance vacuum was left in its wake (Moyo 2011). This is especially true in the domain of protected area or conservation governance, with the colonial legacy of “forced” species protection isolated from society the norm. This practice has estranged most of the continent to the concept of protected areas and conservation. It is also true of recent transboundary protected areas, where the powers and responsibilities are increasingly driven or adopted by NGOs and individual landholders, often working in partnership with each other, or with local indigenous communities (Lockwood 2010).   109 The tendency worldwide over the past decade has been to forge new governance principles for protected areas and conservation in general, with increased pressure towards including indigenous communities in decision-making processes. Several international conferences since the IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban (2003) have focused on improving governance in the area of conservation These include the IUCN World Conservation Congresses in Bangkok (2004) and Barcelona (2008), and the Convention on Biological Diversity COP 7 in Kuala Lumpur. The principles of good resource governance have also been included in the IUCN’s guidelines for protected area governance (Dudley 2008). Increasing international pressure has been exerted to recognize the rights of indigenous groups, as a result of many publications reporting on displacement and disadvantage brought about through protected area establishment (e.g., Brechin et al. 2002, Ghimire and Pimbert 1997, Phillips 2003). Lockwood (2010), citing Hess (2001), declares the number of protected area establishments associated with state expropriation of customary tribal lands, dismantling of villages and removal of communities to be as high as 85% worldwide, with most of these occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007, by a majority of 144 states in favour, 11 abstentions, and interestingly, 4 votes against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States). This was followed again, during the Durban Review Conference in April 2009, when 182 States from all regions of the world reached consensus on an outcome document in which they “welcome[d] the adoption of the UN Declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples which has a positive impact on the protection of victims and, in this context, urge[d] States to take all necessary measures to implement the rights of indigenous peoples in accordance with international human rights instruments without discrimination…” (UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Outcome document of the Durban Review Conference, 24 April 2009, para. 73).”23 Many NGOs such as Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy and World Wide Fund for Nature have also become increasingly involved with the partnership initiatives of indigenous communities with private sector and governments. In the two case studies under discussion there was also abundant demonstration of that. In this chapter I describe how I derived the value attributes used to gauge the aspect of transboundary conservation governance, and how I then calculated the cumulative country scores in each case study. This is followed by the results and discussion section                                                           23 Direct citation from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues web page:    110 which focuses on the southern African governments’ attempts at addressing resource deficits while managing incursions from local communities in protected areas.  6.2. METHODOLOGY In order to develop the attributes against which to evaluate the governance aspects of the transfrontier conservation areas in Southern Africa, and particularly the two case studies of Limpopo and Mapungubwe TFCAs, I did a literature review of research done on governance of protected areas, and general governance as found in Africa. I also researched the transfrontier conservation areas’ policy documents and treaties, the SADC Treaty, and related environmental policies from the four countries involved. This desktop research culminated in the development of a transfrontier conservation governance framework presented in Chapter 7, Figures 36-39. As value attributes I selected and combined the principles and guidelines developed in three major research studies (Table 12):  The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), one of six commissions and a premier network of protected area expertise, is administrated by IUCN's Programme on Protected Areas with over 1,400 members, spanning 140 countries. This research body published the document: Transboundary Protected Areas for Peace and Co-operation (Sandwith et al. 2001) in its series of protected areas’ best practices guidelines. The concepts and guiding principles, which also informed this research, were developed through three meetings held in Cape Town (1997), Bormio (1998) and Gland (2000). In addition to this document, the IUCN WCPA also recently established the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group under the guidance of Maja Vasilijević, and this group developed a diagnostic tool to assist potential transboundary initiatives in determining the readiness of a region for establishing a TBCA (Erg et al. 2012). This document also assisted in establishing important parameters for evaluating transboundary conservation.  In Australia, the School of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, following research across nine regions across south-eastern Australia, and in collaboration with the Australian government, published their Governance Principles for Regional Natural Resource Management in 2006 (Davidson et al. 2006). This research was further developed and published as a framework and principles by Lockwood (2010).  A study by the World Bank Development Research Group, published in the Policy Research Working Paper Series Nr. 2196 (Kaufmann et al.1999), focused on six clusters of governance   111 which demonstrated the direct link between good governance and good development outcomes. This study provided the final attributes that guided the governance research on the two transboundary case studies. The typical questions used in the interviews linked to each attribute are summarized in Appendix B. Each attribute received a score from 0 to 4, depending on the strength or weakness considered by an interviewee. Attributes with multiple characteristics, were dealt with according to each individual characteristic and then averaged – interviewees considered the averaged score first, before a final score was allocated (the averaged score was only dismissed and re-evaluated in very few incidents). Table 12 List of the nine governance attributes Attribute Description  Political will and vision Political will translates into an active desire to overcome operational obstacles in transboundary management; political vision relates to the long term plans and strategic decisions, if any Joint structures and collaboration Degree to which parties collaborate towards the common vision, as well as what drives the collaboration Legitimacy Refers to the popular acceptance of a regime’s authority to govern.  It implies: - accountability and transparency in decisions and actions;  - appropriate regulation through relevant policies and procedures;  - compliance with legislative and contractual obligations; and  - principled exercise of shared and individual power Inclusivity and equitability Governance is inclusive when all those with a stake in governance processes can engage with them on an equal basis, and equitable in the exercise of the authority conferred on them in creating opportunities for engagement, consideration of future generations, and sharing of benefits and costs. Connectivity and integration Functional connectivity implies systematic coordination across different scales of government, policy sectors, and regions Competency and effectiveness Refers to effectiveness in improving resource condition, efficiency of resource use, and  the skills and capacities available to natural resource management participants Prevalence of corruption Based on the perceived levels of public sector corruption, particularly regarding governmental practices of bribery for services, fraudulent public procurement practices, and nepotism. Political stability The likelihood that the government in power will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means. Rule of law and regulatory burden The extent to which citizens have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and the extent to which the government is consistently able to enforce these rules. It includes: - perceptions of the incidence of violent and non-violent crime; - the effectiveness and predictability of the judiciary; - the enforceability of contracts    112 6.3. RESULTS The most important aspect to note regarding the scoring of the governance attributes is that all scores were derived through questioning individual participants on their perception of a particular characteristic of governance, whether it be focused on governance of a particular national government, specific park management or the entire transfrontier conservation area. The question and/or its interpretation was mostly guided by the particular lens of the interviewee, either as local municipality councilor, park manager or policy maker within the higher ranks of government. This naturally represents a highly qualitative and not always objective viewpoint, but since the main thrust of the exercise is precisely to determine the “governance value” as part of the value system development framework in each case study, the following results make no attempt to provide numerical outcomes for each country’s average scores according to a series of indicators. Instead, it provides a useful framework upon which to gauge the weaknesses in the governance of the case studies. The average scores for each country according to each attribute are represented in Table 13. Table 13: Average governance scores for each country per case study  Will + vision Jointly Legitimacy Inclusivity Fairness + Equity Connectivity + integration Competency + effectiveness Political stability Law + regulatory  Score Mapungubwe SA 3.500 1.000 1.750 0.000 1.750 2.000 3.333 4.000 2.000 2.148 Zim 1.500 1.000 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 1.278 Bot 3.000 1.000 3.250 2.000 2.250 4.000 1.667 4.000 3.667 2.759 Limpopo Mo 2.000 1.000 2.000 1.000 1.750 2.000 2.000 2.000 2.333 1.787 Zim 1.000 0.000 1.000 1.000 1.500 2.000 1.667 1.000 1.667 1.204 SA 3.500 1.000 2.000 0.000 1.750 2.000 3.000 4.000 2.000 2.139  Political will and vision: Most interviewees found this a very difficult attribute to measure, since the distinction between political will and vision can be hard to determine. However, translating this into how effectively and quickly countries act to remove obstacles to the TFCA initiative, particularly operational challenges, usually enabled participants to see it as a more tangible attribute to score. According mostly to local community interviewees from Botswana, there is substantial political will from the government to ensure the success of the TFCAs, and thus far, almost no operational challenge from the Botswana side has shown this to the contrary, since virtually nothing “operational” has been implemented, apart from maintaining the border at Pontdrif as it has always been (interviews 42, 41, 34,   113 Q16). The reason for this is cited to be that the South African government has not implemented any of the promises made from their side (interviews 39, 22). The most tangible sign of political will and vision, that of signing a treaty with the Zimbabwean and South African governments, has been “imminent” throughout the four years of the study, and yet, it seems no closer than in 2010. Several interviewees declared that the Botswana government was the hesitant party, but many interviewees blamed the slow process on the lack of progress made by the South African government (interviews 80, 66, 40, 34). Three major aspects which impact the signing of the treaty are reported. One is reported to be the pockets of commercial farming currently being operated by a few families within the Mapungubwe National Park on the South African side of the TFCA (interview 80). Another is the unpredictable border crossing between Botswana and South Africa, where a low-water bridge is inaccessible for long periods of the year when the Limpopo river is too full and prohibits regular tourism activities (apart from those organized by expensive lodges within NOTUGRE that fly their customers in or pick up their customers at the river edge where a foot passenger pontoon is operated) (interviews 34, 40). A third major aspect is the lack of trust in the South African government’s commitment to the TFCA after the Vele mine license was granted by the Department of Mining (interview 67). Interviewees from Botswana were hesitant to score their government low on this issue, since they felt it showed prudence rather than lack of political will. Interviewees were quite harsh towards the South African government regarding this attribute, suggesting that although there is ample evidence of having political vision, several suggested that they fail the “acid test” of removing the operational obstacles that would indicate the strength of political will (interviews 68, 18, 22, 37, 44, among several). Interviewees also pronounced very little trust in the Zimbabwean government’s political will or vision regarding the Mapungubwe TFCA, citing the lack of any input or assistance provided thus far (interviews 22, 39, 73, 74, 77). Any progress made regarding developments or infrastructure on the Zimbabwean side had been initiated and established by international NGOs (interview 67). Local villagers referred to the fence erected by the PPF to protect their crops from elephants during night raids, and most declared that they felt the process was never driven by the Zimbabwean government, but instead by the PPF (interviews 41, 80). The reverse was true about the Limpopo TFCA within Zimbabwe, with most participants indicating that the government was very willing for the TFCA to succeed, and saw the long-term potential of the larger TFCA (interviews 15, 91, 24).   114 Joint structures and evidence of collaboration: Among the different stakeholders of Mapungubwe, most agreed that as yet there are no signs of operational collaboration across the borders, apart from organizing the annual five-day Tour de Tuli24 mountain bicycle event, sponsored by a South African bank. Its main function, and the drive behind it, is to raise money for the Children in the Wilderness (CITW) programme, a non-profit initiative to educate rural children on the importance of conservation. After a previous event, cyclists also urged donating money to the Maramani Village School No 14, towards additional school buildings and equipment. By exposing the cyclists to this school, many of them expressed an interest to contribute to assist with this school’s needs. The cyclists ride a circuit route through the TFCA area over five days, sleeping in massive temporary “tent villages” erected purely for this event. Many stakeholders feel that this type of ecotourism activity would do much to benefit the TFCA through media exposure, but most also agree that governments have not really thrown their weight behind “pushing the wagon forward” (interview 69). In 2011 the Greater Mapungubwe TFCA resource management committee was formed to deal with cross-border challenges at an operational level (interview 40). Area managers now directly attend to cross-border or international matters like border safety and security, veterinary concerns and other joint management matters. However, very little collaboration has been reported by the regular staff across the borders of the countries, and the focus of each conservation area is on managing their own territories individually (interviews 22, 41). Over the past year, the most recent TFCA coordinator of the Limpopo TFCA has been very active in establishing cooperation between park managers and in coordinating the meetings of the Joint Management Boards as well as establishing the park management committees (interviews 27, 26, own observations). For the first decade though, very little joint collaboration or erection of any physical structure has taken place, apart from the establishment and upgrading of the Giriyondo border post, another project funded and managed by the PPF (interview 26). Legitimacy: On the transparency of the decision-making processes of the Mapungubwe TFCA, interviewees scored South Africa and Zimbabwe very low, with Botswana scoring only slightly higher. During the early years, shortly after the establishment of the TFCA, several workshops were conducted with local villages within the Botswana section, and some with the WMAs within Zimbabwe, but since 2011, almost no consultation had been conducted (interview 39). Several stakeholders, particularly in high-level positions ascribed the lack of consultation to the lack of resources in supporting the position                                                           24 More information can be found on:    115 of international coordinator (interviews 22, 20, 69, 67). This is a position that coordinates all activities related to the TFCA, including stakeholder consultations with buffer zone communities. It is not a permanent position, since the aim is to rotate the responsibility among the three countries. However, its practical application is directly dependent on the resources available to whichever government over a three-year period is responsible for the position. Apart from the challenges of traveling between three country’s environmental department’s headquarters, and the TFCA and buffer zone itself, this position is mostly hampered by getting the right decision makers together in a room, not to mention the challenges of countries’ sovereignty, and getting buy-in for practical decisions from higher powers (interviews 72, 73, 77, 22). It is typically very dependent on the determination of the individual coordinator to collaborate across borders, to travel long distances, and to battle the inertia of huge bureaucracies without resources and capacity. Zimbabwe and Mozambique really struggle to maintain the momentum on progress made towards collaboration and stakeholder engagement, mainly due to lack of financial resources (interviews 22, 80). The PPF has been very instrumental in remunerating these international coordinator positions, but it is a very tenuous position, which is always dependent on the cooperation of the individual governmental coordinators and environmental departments (interview 80).  Regarding transparency of other decision making bodies, such as the technical tri-partite committees, the joint management boards and the technical committees, no information is shared publicly, and no admittance is possible into these meetings, with the reason stated being that “discussions are sensitive in nature” (interviews 39, 71). Thus many decisions are simply “sprung” upon the staff of the core conservation areas (interview 86) with very little prior discussion. When talking to staff of the environmental departments, interviewees remarked that the lack of transparency is mainly due to lack of communication within and among departments themselves, with TFCA development “not high on the agenda” of most departments (interviews 22, 69, 58 Q9, 11).  Inclusivity and equitability: Although participants from all three countries agreed that at ground level they could comfortably approach the staff management of Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa (interview 40, Q10), or the RDC of Beitbridge in Zimbabwe regarding any issues directly linked to the TFCA and its operation (interview 8, Q 6, 7), Botswana interviewees reported differently, as well as all interviewees from the different countries regarding approaching any high-level officials (Q2, 12). Several official visits by high-level parties had been made, particularly to “market” the TFCA, or whenever some funding project was revealed with much media coverage. However, some staff members and the operators of ecotourism activities reported feeling quite isolated from the national governments, with   116 little or no direction of important functions relating to the future operations and activities of the TFCAs (interviews 78, 79, 91). Several interviewees said that the visits by high-level politicians are “tokens” of involvement from national governments, but that they lacked “follow-up actions” (interviews 86, 89, 92). None of the national governments can really be faulted for intending to be fair and equitable in distributing the benefits of the TFCAs. Virtually all participants agreed that their respective governments have the intention of distributing most gains among the people on the ground, but the implementation of such intentions are either not constructed well, have not been planned and executed yet, or, due to lack of capacity or resources to trace the flow of benefits, “the cream is stolen from the bucket” as one interviewee describes the prevalence of corruption (interview 37). Thus, although all the countries scored quite high in intending to act equitably, this is usually off-set by the score on prevalence of corruption. Connectivity and integration: The attribute where all countries fall most short is that of functional connectivity and integration. The main reason for this shortcoming is the absence of any formal structure according to which the TFCAs have to “operate.” Typically, a TFCA is not yet an institution or an entity containing members with designated roles and responsibilities. Even the international TFCA coordinators, together with their in-country coordinators, do not see themselves as the agents-in-place of a particular institution (interviews 40, 71). In-country coordinators are usually appointed by the respective departments of environment of each of the four countries involved in the two case studies, and thus provide the “arm” of that country’s executing authority on the TFCA (interview 22). The international coordinator’s main role is to coordinate the meeting of the different bodies that participate in “managing” the TFCAs or making decisions pertaining to each TFCAs functioning (interview 66). However, each TFCA has several “real” institutions that have their own mandates and functions, these being the institutions associated with the core protected areas. Where the TFCAs score so low in connectivity and integration is where the individual protected area mandates do not directly coincide with the functions of a TFCA. An example is the development of any infrastructure purely for the sake of the TFCA, which does not benefit in some way the different national or private reserves, such as joint monitoring of the entire systems’ hippo population. Each conservation area, mainly because of lack of capacity, tends to only focus on its own species composition, and unless some crisis like rising elephant numbers, or a crash in species’ population sizes forces collaboration, none takes place (interview 86).   117 The only exception is when an external body such as PPF is approached by any of the working groups to address (and fund) a situation that is very often already an emergency.  Competency and effectiveness: The sheer size of the TFCAs compared to the number of people designated to their management is astonishing (own observation). Apart from a coordinator in each country, and the international coordinator per TFCA, no other people work entirely on behalf of one TFCA, and there are only so many resources available as each country sees fit. According to several interviewees, the available resources do not amount to much in terms of the functions of the TFCAs (interviews 78, 24, 39, Q14, 15, 11). Each of the managers of the core conservation areas are highly skilled and hand-picked, generally with a natural science/conservation background, but again, apart from the Kruger National Park, these managers act with only one or two ecological managers, although usually with fairly substantial numbers of field rangers and maintenance staff (interviews 5, 24, 39). Kruger NP is the only conservation area that received high scores for the ecosystem management competency and effectiveness attribute. However, Kruger seriously lags in terms of designated social engagement staff, an aspect which, since the previous minority government regime, has not been addressed adequately. Although half a million people are living just within the Bushbuckridge buffer zone, the number of social ecologists appointed to engage with representatives from all the communities living adjacent to the park is less than ten (interviews 54, 81, 89, Q14). The same can be said of Gonarezhou and Limpopo National Parks, with each of these parks only having one or at best two designated social scientists dedicated to engagement with local communities (interviews 78, 20). As a result, although the individual positions are filled by highly competent and committed people, their effectiveness is tremendously curtailed by the sheer numbers of people living within the TFCA buffer zones, or even within the conservation area itself, as in the case of LNP. The major issue is that no single person is dedicated to connecting and coordinating the stakeholders living within/adjacent to each TFCA, the monitoring of species movement, impact or density per TFCA, or the impact, growth or potential increase of tourism activities upon the TFCA as a whole (interview 26, own observations). Although the different management committees, such as the tourism, safety and security, conservation and veterinary, and the financial committees consist of highly qualified experts in their field, none are designated only to a TFCA. Instead, they pursue their own careers and can only dedicate portions of their time to attending meetings (interview 62). The committees do not have any decision-making power, acting only as advisory bodies, and only meet as often as is necessary (interview 72). According to several committee participants, the biggest frustration remains the high turnover of participants, the   118 impact of the rotation cycles on the committee composition, and the inconsistency in meeting attendance (interviews 62, 86, 41, 73, 77, 66). Thus the limiting factor remains, for both case studies, not the competency of individual members, but the effectiveness of these committees. Prevalence of corruption: What one participant has termed the “disease of Africa” is the most prominent characteristic mentioned in all interviews, also shown when using the word frequency function of NVivo. All four countries involved in the two TFCA case studies suffer in equal measure, and were scored very low by participants (most questionnaires and interviews). Botswana was the only country where interviewees felt that the government is making progress in addressing the issue. I later on introduced the question if stakeholders are aware of any anti-corruption measures, and although all countries support awareness campaigns in the form of providing Helpline numbers, whistle-blower incentives, and posters in most government offices, interviewees reported that there has been very little change in the perception that corruption is widespread and unaddressed (90% of interviews and questionnaires). In terms of impact on TFCAs, the two main areas most prone to corruption were identified as border control and poaching (78% of participants). South Africa scored lowest of all countries in the perception that especially Mozambican and Zimbabwean citizens abuse the corrupt officials at the border posts. I have personally experienced attempts to solicit bribes for “jumping the queue”, or paying police officials for “incorrect” documentation – fortunately in the latter case, my innocence was easy to prove, since I had a lawyer in the car! I also witnessed incidences at the Giriyondo border whereby Mozambican nationals were allowed to cross the border without the necessary proof of overnight accommodation in either park. This border is also the natural entry/exit point for poachers, and is therefore used extensively to smuggle weapons, horns and elephant teeth (interviews 60, 6, 82). Although recent months have seen a sharp increase in vigilance at the border post, it remains a concern to the park staff. The other issue is that of corrupt park staff members/rangers who assist poachers in tracking and identifying animal locations, or even entrance and access to weapons. The park that has suffered the most, particularly in earlier decades, is Limpopo National Park in Mozambique (interviews 6, 71). The salaries and living conditions of a normal park staff member or ranger can never compete with the enormous rewards from wildlife crime syndicates, but an added complication is that the policies within the different countries are not harmonized, and punishments for wildlife crimes differ substantially (interviews 22, 74).   119 Political stability: Although this attribute was also one of the socio-economic attributes shown in the meta-study as a potential driver of failure in community conservation, it is also a major factor in the governance dimension. Two of the countries are considered very stable with fairly long-term prospects of maintaining the status quo, namely South Africa and Botswana. Mozambique and Zimbabwe both scored lower, with Zimbabwe perceived as being fairly fragile in terms of economic and political stability. Mozambique has seen a sudden increase in rebel activity in some parts of the country (as discussed earlier), and mass demonstrations were held during July 2014 to pressurize the government into containing the acts of violence and terror, with several interviewees expressing a fear of “sliding back into civil war.” Rule of law and regulatory burden: The perceptions of participants at all different levels of government and decision making regarding the extent to which their respective government are able to enforce compliance of the law, and the respect of the average citizen for abiding by laws, differed quite widely across the four countries. The country which scored the lowest in terms of citizens’ respect for the country’s laws was South Africa, with Zimbabwe ranking lowest for ability to enforce compliance. Many participants felt that the Zimbabweans live in a regime of fear, not so much of a fair and just system, but of agents that have the ability to “hijack the power” at any given point, and terrorize its people. Mozambican participants felt their government also lacks enforcement capability, although the citizens of the country have a “healthy respect” for the law. Botswana received the highest scores both for ability to enforce compliance, and respect of average citizens for the law. A few Botswanan local community members did however mention “elites grasping benefits” meant for the community as a whole, but this did not seem to be as common as in South Africa and the other two countries (interviews 64, 67, Q16). The community size where this takes place was mentioned by community conservation experts, with large communities more prone to elite grabbing than smaller communities (Brian Child, personal comment). Botswana was also the only country where participants did not feel that crime was an every-day occurrence, although participants from smaller villages in Zimbabwe and South Africa also stated that they felt quite safe within the village (interviews 23, 14, 48, 49). It was when visiting larger urban areas that they expressed fear of being hi-jacked, mugged or raped (interview 37). Most South African interviewees, even high-level officials, expressed a total lack of trust in the police force, and many referred to the current high-crime rate as a consequence of having a corrupt police force, “in cahoots with, or running the syndicates” (high-placed government official – interviews 22, 17, 37).   120 Zimbabwe and Mozambique both appear to suffer more from lack of resources and capacity within the police force, than from criminal elements or tendencies. Interviews 75, 82, own observations). 6.4. DISCUSSION 6.4.1. NGOS: WALKING A TIGHTROPE OR CALLING THE SHOTS? The Peace Parks Foundation25: Since the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) owes its very existence to the transfrontier conservation areas, and was in fact established to facilitate the generation of the TFCAs and its management, some consideration of its operations and raison d’etre is necessary. Anton Rupert, tobacco mogul and self-made business owner of REMGRO, is the founder of the PPF as well as the visionary behind the “peace parks” concept of southern Africa. The idea of establishing these transfrontier conservation areas was accepted at a Transfrontier Park Initiative meeting in the Kruger National Park on 8 August 1996 under the joint Chairmanship of Mozambique's Minister of Transport and Communications, Paulo Muxanga, and South Africa's Minister of Transport, Mac Maharaj. It soon became clear that some form of vehicle or institutional setup was required to co-ordinate, facilitate and drive the process of TFCA establishment and funding (PPF Strategic Business Plan 2010). The Peace Parks Foundation was thus established early in 1997 with an initial grant of R1.2 million from the Rupert Nature Foundation to facilitate the establishment of TFCAs, with southern Africa as the first area of focus. It soon became a very powerful NGO, with high-level patronage including all the presidents and royalty from 10 countries of the SADC, as well as founding patrons Nelson Mandela and Prince Bernhard from the Netherlands. The initial focus of the PPF was paving the way politically for the different countries to agree, sign memoranda of understanding, and finally treaties regarding establishment and management of individual TFCAs.  The PPF is today running according to the strict business principles that drives the Rupert empire, and in its Strategic Business Plan (2010) describes its function as follows:  “The role and core business of Peace Parks Foundation as a facilitator can be broadly described as the provision of assistance to governments in the establishment and development processes of a transfrontier conservation area where support is provided to those activities deemed essential and without which the peace park development would not realise.” The objectives stated in its Strategic Business Plan, are equally ambitious:                                                            25 Information and Strategic Business Plan 2010-2014 available at:    121  To promote the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas and associated conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning as a viable land use option;   To provide support to organisations responsible for conservation and ecosystem management through training, capacity and empowerment programmes;   To unlock the economic potential of transfrontier conservation areas through compatible land use options; and   To promote regional peace and stability (2010-2014) In essence, this is quite a different approach from most other NGOs, especially regarding the privileged position held by PPF towards the majority of governments in the region, and the scope of its activities. Whether any protected area, transboundary or other, can be “driven forward” by an NGO that needs to maintain the momentum indefinitely is debatable, but there is no doubt in any of the minds I probed that without the facilitation and resources provided by the PPF, none of the TFCAs would have existed today. PPF has also learned a great deal about what exactly this facilitation role entails, and where the organization had been very much in the spotlight originally, it has become a much more muted and subtle organ, focusing mainly on its facilitation role. One aspect that was highlighted by many stakeholders in the interviews was that the PPF, run like a business by business people, must have “hidden agendas” or some form of additional motivation, particularly because of the privileged (at times even powerful) position it holds. It is clear that transparency and accountability in all its functions are crucial, particularly given the amounts of funding that are channelled through this not-for-profit organization. In 2009, PPF, assisted by a number of TFCA practitioners, developed a performance assessment tool that was further refined by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs in 2013.  This system of evaluating the progress of the TFCAs through Key Performance Areas and Indicators (Table 14) has great value, and is used by the people employed primarily by PPF who hold positions within the TFCAs (such as the international coordinators and programme managers). However, as is discussed in the final chapter, very few of these KPAs have achieved the proposed results. The PPF also provides several other important functions, indicated in Table 14.     122 Table 14: The system developed by PPF to evaluate the progress made by the different TFCAs Other functions Key Performance Areas (KPAs) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Political Support – taking the idea to a formalised decision in terms of a MoU and subsequently a Treaty Joint Planning - Feasibility study and motivation document - IDP - Aligned PA plans - Detailed IDP roll-out Planning – during which the integrated development of the TFCA is planned, culminating in a joint plan for the TFCA Institutional Arrangements and Legal Status - MoU - Treaty and operational protocol - Joint formalized structure - Legal entity Implementation – where the various aspects aimed at aligning the specific interventions at the individual protected area is done, landscape are restored and /or sustained, joint law enforcement enhanced; joint tourism promoted; policies harmonised; sustainable financing mechanism implemented; and institutional arrangements formalised Financial Sustainability - Financial sustainability strategy - Implementation plan - Financial mechanism Training wildlife managers – provide major support to the Southern African Wildlife College in the buffer zone of Limpopo TFCA Policy Harmonisation - Policy and legal database - Legal and policy assessment and review - Policy development and law reform - Harmonized policies Training tourism managers – providing support to the SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet, South Africa Sustaining and Restoring Landscape Dynamics - Landscape characteristics and encumbrance survey - Conservation management plans and programmes - Joint plan for sustaining and restoring landscape dynamics - Operationalization and monitoring Improving accessibility through physical access facilities, either at the border posts or upon entry points. Joint Management - Joint management decision - Joint management strategy - Joint operations structure - Joint operations  Integrated Development - Regional development strategies and plans analysis - Joint TFCA regional development strategy - TFCA access products - Integrated regional development activities  Benefit Flow Management Benchmarking Beneficiation action plans Measures and monitoring Reporting    123 The Frankfurt Zoological Society26: This NGO has the more typical project-based approach, and has had a history of involvement in African protected areas since the 1950s. Where the PPF focuses largely on facilitation and intervention at the landscape and political scale, FZS is primarily geared towards support of the ecological aspects of parks, including monitoring of certain species, or aspects of ecosystem management. There are also several other NGOs involved in projects in all the TFCAs. The main reason FZS is particularly mentioned here is because of the special position it has negotiated with the government of Zimbabwe to provide management support to the Gonarezhou NP, which forms part of the Limpopo TFCA. The FZS is mainly represented by a married couple originally from South Africa as project leaders, both with an ecological background. It has signed a ten-year memorandum of understanding with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Environment and Tourism in 2010. Through this agreement FZS entered into a partnership with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) for the conservation and development of Gonarezhou National Park (GNP) to perform certain key activities:   Park planning, including review of Gonarezhou Park Management Plan and Tourism Plan to serve as roadmap for project activities and as blueprint for park infrastructure and tourism development.  Increased law enforcement coverage and effectiveness through regular monthly supply of ranger patrol rations, operational fuel and field equipment as well as focused and relevant training.   Infrastructure maintenance and improvements, including: rehabilitation and extension of the road network; renovation of key administrative structures such as vehicle workshops, staff housing, overhaul of water provisioning equipment, and renovations of the tourism camping facilities; erecting a 53-km electrified fence in the northwest section of the Park in order to minimise human-wildlife conflict (this incidentally, is the contentious Chitwa community stretch), and to halt the escalating number of cattle herds that were entering into the Park for grazing.  Provision and maintenance of equipment crucial for effective park management such as vehicles, tractors, earth-moving equipment, communication equipment, fire-fighting and office equipment.                                                            26 Information are available on:    124  Increased ecological knowledge through provision of equipment, resources and/or support for studies into elephant movements, river health monitoring, disease prevalence, large carnivore status and vegetation mapping. Ongoing monitoring of trends in wildlife population numbers through comprehensive aerial surveys – surveys completed in 2009 and 2013. Discussion: The main concern raised by many stakeholders, and mostly by park staff in protected areas within the Limpopo TFCA, had been that the PPF and FZS “act as if they own the place” (one staff member from a protected area). I have also heard several reports of the project leaders of FZS “acting as if they thought they are the managers” while the actual manager of Gonarezhou “acted as if they are the boss, and not him”. One staff member complained that “they only care about the environment, not the people”, but overall, comments were stated very carefully, and never by those who could be affected the most. The PPF generally receives more flattering comments, but it became quite clear over the four years of research that the role of NGOs “managing” or playing a key role in either of the TFCAs is a precarious one, which the PPF has definitely learned to treat with great sensitivity and care. It would certainly be in FZS’s interest to play close attention to the human needs found within the boundaries of the TFCA, particularly the staff and communities living adjacent to Gonarezhou NP. Neither NGO can logically support the current status quo indefinitely. The fact that the TFCAs came into existence and are managed to a certain extent (or at least strongly guided by “outside” forces such as a German-based and South African-based NGOs), is a sign that the regional governments have not totally committed to the TFCAs. The southern African TFCA concept can only be regarded as indefinitely sustainable once it is driven by the SADC region as a whole, and when governments have accepted the financial and capacity burden along with the “glamour of the product.” 6.4.2. THE MAJOR GOVERNANCE CHALLENGES Policy harmonization: Over the two decades during which the TFCAs were established, it rapidly became clear that the individual countries have different legislation and policies regarding a few critical aspects, including border and immigration management, and illegal activities relating to wildlife crime and the legal implications such as “punishment for the crime”. Until now, no registry of the related policies and laws regarding all the countries involved has existed (comment from a legal expert familiar with the topic), and it would be a huge step forward to develop such a database. Currently, as problems crop up, they are usually dealt with in a piecemeal fashion, and usually only after a lengthy period of time. An example is the different laws regarding wildlife crimes between South Africa and Mozambique, where killing a rhino (obviously for its horn) has not been considered a serious crime in Mozambique   125 and hardly warranted a jail sentence. It was only after severe escalation in rhino poaching incidences, followed by a huge public outcry, that the government of South Africa put pressure on Mozambique to address the unequal policy situation27.  On the issue of border control and immigration, there is also a need to address the different border access requirements. While a porous border certainly creates a security issue to any country, and the aim is not to allow lax measures, it should also be recognized that several of these borders have been imposed on communities that had once been united, such as the Sengwe communities and the Madimbo Corridor, or several of the communities who have been living either side of the Limpopo and Pafuri rivers. The rigid border laws also affect any joint ventures undertaken by park staff from Kruger, Limpopo or Gonarezhou, as well as Mapungubwe, NOTUGRE and the Zimbabwe communities. All it requires is aligned border policies that make allowance for differentiated migration activities. The border crossing situation has been a challenge for over a decade and the bureaucratic system is insufficiently flexible to solve it. The challenge has also been largely exacerbated by illegal activities of corrupt border officials, who exploit the desperation of illegal immigrants. Poaching and corruption: While the issue of poaching (in particular rhino and elephant poaching) is currently a crisis, and closely linked to other crime syndicates worldwide, it is also the tip of an iceberg in Africa, merely indicating that there are much larger value and moral issues at play. Although it is not the aim of this thesis to explore such a complex issue in depth, it came up as the term used most frequently during interviews, together with corruption, according to the NVivo word frequency analysis. The two issues are closely related, and in essence almost respected by certain layers of the communities. As one stakeholder noted: “corruption is the way Africa works”, which reflects the extent of the problem. It is particularly concerning in the protected areas context, where corrupt staff members have become part of the wildlife crime chain, or as is more often the case, to “look the other way” when finding poaching links into the community. There is no simple solution to the conundrum, particularly given the emotions on both sides: those who see poaching as a means to obtain food, and those who view it as a “violation of nature” in its unregulated form. It also remains a very delicate topic to research, given the dual nature and the links to the law. It is clear that over the past two years, the polarization has been taken to the global stage, and will need to be addressed by governments and civil society alike, and probably as part                                                           27 Independent Newspapers online article:    126 of a process of engagement with all relevant actors. Corruption in Africa has become very much a perverted way of using the bureaucratic flaws and bottlenecks of institutions to gain personally, but certainly also represents weak governance and ineffective judicial systems. Although the solution will take decades to forge, at least the incidence of poaching in the TFCAs could be decreased through effective engagement with community leaders living within or adjacent to the areas.      127 7. EVALUATING THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES      “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.”     ― Edward O. Wilson (1929-) 7.1. INTRODUCTION In this chapter, the results and discussions from the socio-economic, ecosystem and governance and policy dimensions are combined to provide a picture of how decisions are made in the two case study areas. According to Moss and Lane (2012), decision making is a process that selects between different alternative scenarios, and the alternatives are based on needs, preferences and values, either consciously or unconsciously, rational or irrational. Effective decision making in the public realm will allow a broad participation of stakeholders to explore value differences, perceptions and cultural differences, to incorporate information and explore these differences to reach a common basis for action (Moss and Lane 2012). Thus actively seeking the inputs of all affected parties in any given sphere, such as establishing and operating a transfrontier conservation area, should be a priority at all times. In such decision-making processes that affect large segments of society, a decision-support framework should be developed that takes into account multiple objectives as well as vulnerabilities, risks and uncertainties, and within this framework, through the principles of scenario planning and systems thinking, complex decisions should be separated into manageable and consistent parts (Savory 1988, Moss and Lane 2012). The greatest challenge facing African environmental governance is that determining the value of multiple environmental attributes is very complex and problematic, but not doing so is even more problematic (Polasky and Binder 2012). Another challenge is that many of the criteria used to make decisions cannot be easily condensed into a monetary value, partly because environmental concerns often involve ethical and moral principles that may not be related to any economic use or value (Kiker et al. 2005). Environmental decision making presents challenges because many of the inputs and outcomes cannot easily be measured monetarily as they are market externalities. Most also have strong impacts because a single one may simultaneously affect multiple environmental and social factors (Moss and   128 Lane 2012). There are always trade-offs that will not satisfy all groups or individual stakeholders, and the conservation sector in Africa is fraught with very difficult choices between alternatives, especially when decisions made at a global scale regarding species protection are almost impossible to implement. Making decisions therefore creates one challenge; implementing them in the African context represents a myriad of challenges due to resource and capacity constraints. On the barriers to good decision making, Arvai et al. (2012) highlight that decision makers do not necessarily maximize overall utility when making decisions, but take “short-cuts” and tend to focus on single objectives to the detriment of other, equally important objectives. Decision makers also do not accurately measure the goals and objectives that steer decisions and anchor too easily on certain (often known) alternatives, without the required creativity. The trade-offs that arise due to these barriers further complicates the outcomes and decision makers do not adequately consider previous successes or failures, their own or others’ (Arvai et al. 2012). All these barriers and more are obvious in the decision-making processes of the TFCAs of southern Africa, but probably the most prevalent is that decisions are not made transparently and mainly without any broad consultation process. Decision researchers have long demonstrated that in a variety of loosely structured situations, in response to narrow objectives or crises, individuals and groups grapple mainly with how information is framed and how emotions interfere with in-depth analysis (Kahneman et al. 1982, Arvai et al. 2012, Gregory et al. 2012). This leads to decisions that only partially address the range of concerns and thus fail to confront the trade-offs when evaluating competing alternatives, such as long-term effects of coal mining within a conservation area, or being moved out of a conservation area closer to employment opportunities. This chapter focuses on the decision making process of establishing the TFCAs in southern Africa, and after this, how decisions are made concerning the management of these areas. After presenting the combined results in the value framework, the discussion focuses on three different tools used to evaluate the performance and decision making of the two case studies, and references other typical management aspects and principles from the world of transboundary conservation.  7.2. RESULTS: HOW ARE DECISIONS MADE, AND BY WHOM The decision-making pattern that has emerged during the research period (2010-2014), and which has mainly been followed over the past fifteen years, indicates two different pathways: a governmental/political process and a management/operational process.    129 The political process: The original vision of Afrikaner billionaire Anton Rupert (founder of the Rembrandt Group and the then President of the World Wide Fund for Nature – WWF28) to create transfrontier conservation areas that span the borders of the southern African countries through incorporating existing conservation areas and including any contiguous or intervening areas, was initially shared with the presidents of South Africa (Nelson Mandela at the time) and Mozambique (Joaquim Chissano) in the 1990s. Feasibility studies were conducted with funding from WWF, USAID and the World Bank between 1991 and 1996 (Tinley and Van Riet 1991, USAID 2002) and by then it had become evident that a designated body would need to be established to facilitate and “drive” the process of TFCA establishment. Rupert, Mandela and HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands founded the Club 2129 (similar to the WWF’s Club 100130), which enabled the establishment of the Peace Parks Foundation, the institutional mechanism that coordinated, facilitated and maintained momentum on the establishment of most of the southern African TFCAs. The first phase of decision making of a “peace park” was thus largely a visionary and political process (to get political buy-in according to many interviewees), facilitated by a very wealthy and influential NGO, and further supported by large development agencies (World Bank, the Global Environment Facility - GEF). This initial process largely lacked participation from any stakeholders beyond political and technical actors (USAID 2002), with decisions made by a Technical Coordinating Committee (prior to treaty signing, and Joint Management Board after signing the Treaty). This committee then formed working groups in the following key areas: community interests; joint management planning; legislation; wildlife diseases and conservation; tourism; security; and customs and immigration. The composition of the working groups generally relate to their objective, and not all TFCAs cover all these key areas, neither do all working groups function equally well (mentioned by several interviewees and working group participants). Although throughout its existence relatively little has been done to allow local communities any decision-making power, the mission of the original Limpopo GLTP JMB was explicitly stated to:  “collaboratively establish and manage on a sustainable basis a viable Gaza-Kruger-Gonarezhou Transfrontier Conservation Area with full stakeholder participation, including local communities, fostering regional co-operation, biodiversity conservation, and cross-border socio-economic development” (USAID 2002) (italics added).                                                           28 WWF South Africa was founded in 1968 by Dr Anton Rupert and was originally known as the Southern African Nature Foundation. 29  30    130 Although this had been a lofty initial ideal, hosting participatory meetings with local communities require a great deal of commitment and resources, an aspect that had perhaps been underestimated. As a result, such meetings were only executed from time to time, usually to avert a threatening crisis such as the rhino poaching or dissatisfied communities (who had committed arson to draw attention to issues such as unemployment or damage caused by wildlife). In Mapungubwe a similar piecemeal approach to community engagement was reported by local community members, although the Maramani community expressed their satisfaction with the erection of the electrical fence in 2009 to protect their crops from nightly elephant raids. During the early years of Mapungubwe, and again from 2007-2011, several workshops were held to raise awareness about the TFCA and plans to incorporate certain areas into the greater TFCA. However, many stakeholders during the interviews voiced skepticism that these platforms provided any serious participation in the decision-making process, suggesting that they are mostly aimed at placating communities rather than eliciting real participation. The pathway of each political process culminated first in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the relevant governments, and this was then followed by development of an Integrated Development Plan. Figure 32 and 33 shows the current “decision makers” and advisory bodies, although none of the members of the different committees and working groups have designated 100% of their time to these activities – the meetings are called and attended on an ad hoc basis only. The biggest challenge herein is having consistency in attendance and keeping “the eye on the ball”.  Figure 32: Current organizational structure of the Limpopo TFCA  (Source: Draft GLTP IDP, 2013, with permission)   131  Figure 33: Organizational structure of Mapungubwe TFCA  (Source: IDP, 2010, with permission) The implementation phase is really the current phase for both case studies, and the phase described by PPF as the most challenging (Figure 34).    132  Figure 34: The degree of difficulty experienced in establishing a TFCA as an institutional entity  (Source: PPF Strategic Business Plan, 2010, with permission) 7.3. COMBINED RESULTS The following table provides the value system results when combined across the three dimensions of socio-economic, ecosystem management, and governance and policy dimensions (all scores were discussed individually according to dimension in chapters 4, 5 and 6). Table 15: The average scores of the three dimensions shown at country level per case study. Country Ecological score Socio-economical score Governance score Average Score Mapungubwe South Africa 2.310 4.381 2.148 2.946 Zimbabwe 2.250 4.175 1.278 2.568 Botswana 2.000 3.542 2.759 2.767 Limpopo Mozambique 2.143 1.615 1.787 1.848 Zimbabwe 2.429 3.841 1.204 2.491 South Africa 1.669 4.120 2.139 2.643  Scores allocated within each dimension according to the values and perceptions of each interviewee were added and averaged per country, and each dimension then ended up with an average score, which was then compared between cases at country level. According to the results from each case study, and differentiating between the three countries involved in each case study, there are significant differences between some of the attributes’ scores per country. The socio-economic dimension displays the greatest disparity, mainly because of the economic inequalities between the countries, as well as the fact that these scores mainly reflect the rural parts of each country, where even greater inequalities are   133 observed across countries. The country level scores hide some outliers since the Kruger National Park and adjacent private wildlife reserves represent some of the most pristine natural ecosystems in the world, but these high scores are canceled out by the large tracts of communal land adjacent that receive very low scores mainly due to overstocking of domestic animals. The governance scores tend to also equalize somewhat between the different attributes – even though Zimbabwe is regarded by stakeholders as very unstable politically, it has a fairly low crime rate, compared to South Africa, which is regarded as politically stable, but with a high crime rate.  7.4. DISCUSSION 7.4.1. WHERE THERE IS PRESSURE THERE IS FLOW As shown in the results of the three dimensions in terms of the value systems, the disparity between the three countries in each case study is remarkable. The main consequence of such disparity is that as soon as a system experiences pressure, there would be flow between its elements to regain equilibrium (Figure 35). This was also the original intention behind creating larger, contiguous ecosystems: to allow the species using current, physically smaller habitats, through removal of fences, to utilize adjoining conservation areas as enlarged territories, particularly for larger mammal species such as elephants, or, as in the case of highly endangered species such as roan and sable antelope, to find less competitive territories.   Figure 35: Diagram to show the natural processes within either of the TFCA case studies As shown above, the natural ecosystems have not been the only areas where pressure has been experienced. The unequal socio-economic systems have also followed natural processes. Because of borderlines, sovereignty and protected area fences, these processes have been “illegal” according to   134 human governance systems, and thus criminal activities like poaching, illegal crossing of the borders and smuggling have become the main obstacles in the successful transformation towards countries co-managing large tracts of transboundary protected areas. The only alternative from a natural systems perspective would be to “equalize” at least some of the aspects of the three countries, and to “drop the social fences” between the three countries. 7.4.2. MOVING FROM GOVERNANCE TO IMPLEMENTATION Two reasons for the many challenges faced by the two TFCAs under scrutiny can be found in the top-down approach followed thus far, and the absence of any “real” or physical institutional mechanism. When studying governance and policies, there is a clear link between the government/institution, the policies it sets, and the way these policies are implemented through governance. Figure 36 attempts to visualize the distinction between: governance through policies guided by strategic decisions, and management through implementing certain practices and guided by operational decisions.   Figure 36: Diagram showing the distinction between governance at the political level, and implementation of best practices at the operational level. Both are guided by decisions of a different kind. Relating to the two TFCA case studies, this would involve joint governance between three countries’ institutions which should lead to joint management of an area. Figure 37 outlines the typical policies required to govern a transboundary area, and the typical management practices necessary when three countries jointly aim to manage a shared conservation area (Sandwith et al. 2001).   135  Figure 37: Diagram outlining the typical policies and management practices aimed for in transboundary protection Throughout the four years of conducting interviews with stakeholders involved at both the political (currently the decision-making level) and management level, it was very clear that the current focus is solely on reaching decisions at the top political level between three countries’ ministers and the tri-lateral technical committees. All decision-making at these two levels is based solely on consensus among members of these committees, with the working groups only providing advice on matters pertaining to the specific working group’s mandate. This represents a top-down approach to decision making, with the international coordinator providing the coordination function necessary to organize meetings and circulate/disseminate advice/information among the different groups and meetings (Figure 38).   136  Figure 38: Current decision making mostly exists from the top down, with few joint operational activities   Figure 39: Diagram representing optimal joint governance and management of transboundary conservation   137 Figure 39 attempts to provide the theoretical diagram/framework of a well-balanced decision-making process, with the emphasis on joint and integrated activities from both the bottom and the top decision-making levels. 7.4.3. EVALUATING THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES AND PERFORMANCE OF BOTH CASE STUDIES A) USING SYSTEMS THINKING MODELS TO EVALUATE DECISION MAKING: The difficulty in evaluating any system’s performance or effectiveness lies in determining the exact boundaries, comparing it to some benchmark or ideal state, and identifying shortcomings in its functions and operations. Herein the TFCAs already pose challenging characteristics. Even the GLTP IDP recognizes the imperfect model that currently exists in describing the 32 key issues (Table 16).     138 Table 16: Table summarizing the key issues pertinent to the Limpopo TFCA or GLTP (Source: Draft GLTP IDP 2013, with permission) THEME ISSUE Planning 1 The various protected area plans are not aligned with a GTLP strategic plan  2 The embedding of the various plans and strategies of the GLTP within national structures and programmes have not been achieved Institutional and Capacity 3 Institutional arrangements not representative of the stakeholder make-up (national and international) 4 The institutional arrangements are not allowing the operational impacts to be effective  5 The lack of clarity regarding the long term TFCA coordination approach and methodology used by the partner countries 6 The disparity regarding human and financial resources, as well as decision making levels within the conservation implementing agencies  Scope 7 The lack of clarity regarding the exact delineation of the core area of the GLTP 8 The lack of clarity regarding the extent of the GLTFCA Financial 9 The disparity between the financial resources of the conservation implementing agencies 10 The lack of forward and integrated planning relating to country contributions and donor support for the GLTP Policy and Legal Framework 11 Key operational policies are not aligned 12 Lack of utilisation pertaining to accessible legal registers and databases, such as the Peace Parks Foundation Legal Atlas Ecosystem Connectivity 13 Threatened connectivity due to habitat fragmentation (fences, land mines, land uses, human settlement, land tenure, and alien biota etc.) 14 The lack of clarity regarding the role and function of the Sengwe link 15 The lack of understanding of the interconnected environmental dynamics relating to e.g. climate change and ecological gradient Operations 16 Lack of Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) pertaining to agreed joint operations 17 Lack of functional operational structures and infrastructure in certain of the country components pertaining to agreed joint operations 18 The GLTP brand is not well known (especially from a tourism perspective) 19 The lack of an aligned Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), reporting and data/information management system 20 The lack of baseline assessments specifically referring to joint and issues of mutual impact and the manner in which the GLTP structures report on these 21 The impact of national security measures on regional integration Tourism 22 The lack of funding for GLTP tourism product development 23 The lack of physical links and empowering protocols to unlock the tourism potential 24 The potential to unlock the tourism experience and tourism product  opportunities offered by the disparities in development levels of the different GLTP components has not been explored by the GLTP structures, and currently the focus is on striving for equal development levels  Benefits 25 The lack of understanding of the competitive benefits of a wildlife-based economy within the context of regional development 26 The opportunities linked to the diversification of rural economies have not been exploited inclusive of integrated game-cattle programmes 27 The lack of an integrated approach to the human-livestock-wildlife interface 28 The perceived lack of benefits to the countries and affected communities 29 There is a lack of a clarity on the potential benefits that can be attributed to the GLTP 30 The lack of a socio-economic baseline assessment (benchmark) related to GLTP interventions, and the manner in which are reported on 31 The lack of quantification of the impact, both positive and negative, and appropriate mitigation measures for the negative impacts 32 The lack of recognition of use rights by affected communities.    139 The absence of physical boundaries and a physical institution emphasizes the institutional and capacity key issues, including lack of sufficient stakeholder representation, ineffective operational impacts, lack of clarity regarding transboundary coordination in the longer term, and disparity in resources and decision-making levels within each country’s implementing agency. In order to objectively assess each of the two case studies’ management efficiency, I initially used the  Capability Maturity Model (CMM), an assessment tool developed at the Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute during the 1980s (Humphrey 1989). The CMM was originally aimed at assessing the ability of government contractors' processes to perform a contracted software project, but was later adapted as a general model, and has been used extensively worldwide in government offices, commerce, industry and software-development organizations (Humphrey 1998). The reason the CMM suited evaluation of the TFCA case studies as socio-ecological systems (SESs) within systems very well, lies in the following statement:  “Organizations in … government, and commercial domains need to engineer systems of systems rather than stand-alone systems to meet challenges such as  collaboration across independently funded and managed organizations  migration to a service-oriented environment  testing and compliance verification processes for systems of systems” (Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University31).  Curtis cites CMM’s capacity to capture the elements of essential practices and processes and to describe common sense, efficient, proven ways of running an organization, doing business, or managing an administration. He further states that maturity refers to the degree of formality and optimization of processes, from ad hoc practices, to formally defined steps, to managed result metrics, and active optimization of the processes (2009) (Figure 40).                                                           31   140  Figure 40: Description of each maturity level according to the Capability Maturity Model of Organizational Performance  (Source: Curtis 2009). During the interviews with different managers of the core protected areas within the two TFCAs, the problem I consistently ran into was that in terms of the entire transboundary SES, different managers did not focus on the system as a whole. Instead, each concentrated on their own protected area, where they had the mandate to make decisions and execute processes to counter system failures. This led me to further explore models dealing with the evaluation of a system of systems, and I discovered within the systems theory a model that was developed by NATO, and was used to evaluate decision-making efficiency where different entities collaborate towards a particular goal. The model is the Network Enabled Capability (NEC) Model. While Capability Maturity Models measure the maturity of processes within a single institution or organization, the NATO NEC model measures the overarching system’s decision-making processes and performance where different systems or entities collaborate (and could even eventually integrate entirely) (SAS-06532 NATO Research Task Group 2010) (Figure 41). The NATO research group developed the NEC model using a wide range of case studies, from peace-keeping endeavours (such as in Bosnia and Kosovo) to relief operations (including the 2004 Indian Ocean                                                           32 SAS-065 is a NATO research task group consisting of 51 researchers worldwide, operating under the auspices of the Systems Analysis Studies Panel. It was formed in 2006 for the purpose of developing a C2 Maturity Model for network-enabled operations.   141 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake). The reason this model was highly applicable to the TFCA context, was because of the many similarities in character:  extreme uncertainty;  complex endeavours – from multi-agency disaster relief operations to complex coalition efforts within a political-military environment involving a large variety actors;  the ability to leverage new information technologies which has a profound effect on how institutions manage themselves and how they cooperate with partners; and  a disparate set of independent (yet inter-dependent) entities; that is, a collective that has to achieve focus and convergence (individual entities are disparate in terms of language, values, culture, resources etc.)  Figure 41: Diagram depicting the increased coherence with which the entities within a TFCA can approach systems management (Adapted from the NATO NEC model 2010) These fundamental realities require individual and collective decision making that include acquiring, managing, sharing and exploiting information, where a more mature management regime includes the ability to recognize situational change, and to adopt the management approach required to meet that change – this is termed agility. The model then evaluates a collective or ad hoc coalition, based on variations in the allocation of decision rights to the collective, patterns of interaction and information sharing behaviours among the entities of the collective, and the distribution of information among these entities (Figure 42).   142  Figure 42: The five stages of network enabled capabilities between a collective of entities and its graphical representation  (Adapted from the NATO NEC model 2010) Towards the end of the field work, I organized a workshop and report-back session with high-level decision makers of the TFCA case studies during which the model and its decision-making variations and information-sharing patterns were discussed, and the appropriate level of operating was assigned. Although at the outset this was merely going to act as a report-back session to top officials involved in the TFCAs, I realized it would serve very well as a semi-structured focus group. During the five hours, participants discussed at length the gradients of:  - the allocation of decision rights to what should essentially be a TFCA endeavour consisting of all three countries’ stakeholders; - the current lack of interaction and information sharing between the individual entities, particularly the local community components; - the absence of information distribution to all but a few high-level stakeholders.   143 Participants agreed that currently the two case studies tend to operate mainly at the level of making ad hoc decisions with very few actual processes in place that can be repeated and monitored. They also agreed that this is not necessarily true of all the TFCAs, and cited TFCAs such as the ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and Kgalakgadi TFCAs, which interestingly, only involve two countries in each case. B) USING THE PPF’S KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS TO EVALUATE TFCA PERFORMANCE33 Another focus group discussion which warrants mention with a similar group of decision makers, was held as a policy think tank meeting, during which the performance of the TFCAs was evaluated against the key performance areas (KPAs) developed by the PPF (see Table 14 in Chapter 6.4.1). The main focus of the meeting was to gain clarity on progress in the development of the TFCAs and to determine whether the TFCA programme is in fact contributing to regional stability and economic development. This included an assessment of the legal framework for TFCAs, the achievements, challenges and gaps relating to the TFCAs, and the governance arrangements for TFCAs. Although a total of five TFCAs were assessed during the meeting34, I will refer to the joint outcomes, and include specific reference to Mapungubwe and Limpopo TFCAs. On the legal framework, although the SADC Protocol on Wildlife, Conservation and Law Enforcement provides the reference framework for TFCAs at a regional level, various international and national level legal instruments guide and influence the establishment and management of TFCAs. TFCA practitioners recognise that the SADC Protocol on Wildlife, Conservation and Law Enforcement does not provide sufficient direction and it has been proposed that a dedicated protocol should be developed for SADC, following the approved TFCA Programme. TFCAs are established through various forms of agreements signed by either Heads of State or relevant Ministers which are both political declarations and instruments for implementation – legal mechanisms to institute specific cooperation and help achieve agreed objectives. While the various agreements are not all identical in content, in all cases the objectives are broad enough to cover all aspects pertinent to TFCAs and the SADC vision for TFCAs, including cultural heritage management. One vision mentioned during the meeting was that through the implementation of the SADC integration protocols, TFCAs can serve as testing ground for the implementation of concepts such as free trade zones (including tax exemption and movement of tourists) as well as provide opportunity to observe                                                           33 This section is based on the summary report of the Think Tank Policy Meeting of 12 December 2013 34 ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld, Kgalagadi, Maloti-Drakensberg, Limpopo and Mapugubwe TFCAs   144 risks emanating from these. The question remains as to whether these are sufficient to enable countries and TFCAs to succeed in any such endeavours in the absence of dedicated national legislation on TFCAs. For Joint Planning (KPA 1) the overall performance of the respective TFCAs is moderate to good, except for a lack of aligned country plans in the case of Mapungubwe, and the absence of motivation documents for Limpopo, which would provide the background to the initial impetuses for establishment. Key challenges stem from the absence of integrated socio-ecological planning for the TFCA, which responds to the drivers of ecosystem management and sustainable development. These include out-dated plans, misaligned planning processes between individual country protected area plans, planning linked to budgets and detailed roll-out of Integrated Development Plans (IDP), including project plans. With respect to Institutional Arrangements (KPA 2), performance is moderate to good across all the TFCAs as all formal structures are in place in terms of the respective establishment instruments (i.e. MoUs, Agreements, Treaties). None of the TFCAs decided to establish separate legal entities, and the importance of operational level park to park structures has been recognised. Currently all the TFCAs are at various stages of establishing Park Management Committees. A key challenge, however, is the level of efficacy of these structures pertaining to, amongst other:  Terms of References for structures  Representation – appointment and mandates  Resource constraints of countries  Institutional memory  Role of implementing agencies and how these are used   Responsibility for actions (institutions)  Lines of communication. Regarding Sustainable Financing (KPA 3), performance is generally poor. None of the TFCAs have financial sustainability strategies, plans, mechanisms, or formal Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and reporting systems in place. Key challenges include the following:  Protected areas continue under national jurisdiction (sovereignty clause) and are separate entities  Reliance largely on Park and government funding (revenue generated within the protected areas)   145  Minimal accountability mechanisms  Joint projects with recurring expenses   Lack of consistent donor funding – drawbacks to always garner funding for each separate component and for each management aspect – this causes total lack of holistic management. For Policy Harmonisation (KPA 4), all the TFCAs performed poorly – none of the TFCAs have formal legal registers, none have assessed and reviewed the gaps in legislation and legislative systems, and none have harmonised policies in place. A policy harmonisation project was initiated for GLTP but the recommendations have not been implemented. Various operational level policy harmonisation efforts are under way in Limpopo linked to the preparation of Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) for aspects such as controlling the movement of people, goods and services within and through the TFCA, wildlife management and joint law enforcement. Key challenges include establishing a mind-set that supports the move from ‘sovereignty to unity’ and clear guidelines on responsibilities for policy harmonisation, i.e. common issues (at SADC level) vs TFCA specific local issues, as well as the recognition that policy harmonisation is a continuous process that requires the involvement of multiple expertise. Regarding Landscape Dynamics (KPA 5), despite the existing knowledge available for individual protected areas within the TFCAs, there is generally poor information regarding the interconnected nature of these protected areas, except for some joint projects being undertaken relating to the cultural heritage in ARTP and in MDTFCA. A key challenge is the lack of comprehensive analytical documents pertaining to ecosystems and functional natural and cultural landscapes across international boundaries, enabling focussed operations and projects to take place within functional landscapes irrespective of national and protected area borders. In the case of Integrated Management (KPA 6), the TFCAs performed moderately to good.  Nonetheless, a decision was taken supporting integrated management since most of the TFCAs have joint operational strategies, joint structures and joint operations in place. However, Mapungubwe does not have joint operational strategies and has not yet undertaken formal joint operations. Key challenges include the lack of agreements between countries regarding joint management of shared resources, SOPs to empower joint initiatives, and strategies to guide joint operations. For Integrated Development (KPA 7), a general poor performance was noted for regional and TFCA strategies, although concepts are in place for both Mapungubwe and Limpopo. One joint product is in place for Mapungubwe (Tour de Tuli) while some concepts are being tested in Limpopo. Key challenges   146 include true integration at the operational level and lack of clarity regarding hosting as opposed to participation in tourism development and events, as well as product development by the respective stakeholders. The lack of tourism development strategies and plans, and related funds for the development of these plans, jeopardises the successful implementation of these concepts. A further important challenge is the widespread agreement that tourism is the only indicator of Integrated Development, which may reduce both the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of TFCAs. Lastly, relating to Benefit Flow Management (KPA 8), there is poor performance across all the TFCAs – no joint baselines, plans, implementation or M&E and reporting systems are in place. Implementation largely takes place in terms of country plans. The key challenges are the identification of benefits beyond the basic benefits associated with protected areas such as employment. Considering the regional long-term experience in community-based natural resources management and the related analysis of governance structure that integrate traditional authorities, conservation authorities and local government, TFCAs should focus on stakeholder engagement and participation in defining suitable economic activities that promote both environmental health and rural development. The key recommendations stemming from the Think Tank Policy Meeting include lobbying for a dedicated SADC protocol on TFCAs, and creating a legal harmonisation register for southern Africa that focuses on the inconsistences in legislation across all spheres of each national government. Regarding TFCA development, the focus should be to:   Review and alignment of protected areas management plans with joint plans where necessary  Lobby for institutional assessment and review, specifically relating to representation and mandate of structures  Lobby for the preparation and implementation of joint financial sustainability strategies, plans and mechanisms  Request preparation of a policy harmonisation position paper or guideline clarifying joint management activities that can be undertaken within existing legal frameworks  Lobby for joint research and analytical documents pertaining to TFCA interfaces and landscape dynamics  Strengthening of park management structures  Lobby for the preparation of a TFCA beneficiation strategy or guideline.  Regarding research and development priorities, the following should be prioritized:    147  baseline research data on all southern African TFCAs;   research priorities should be defined in the short and medium term; and   interim research should be initiated on political and legal drivers as well as on interim experimentation of diagnostic tools for adaptation.  On governance, key recommendations include: reassessing and mainstreaming of responsibility for TFCAs within the countries’ organisational structure of designated implementing agencies, and lobbying for a national coordinating structure or platform for TFCAs with strong links to the SADC TFCA network to strengthen communications regarding TFCAs. The latter recommendation is only the beginning of developing a more formal institutional process, one which, in my view, should be prioritized in order to address many current challenges.      148 8. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS   “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”   ― Rachel Carson (1907-1964) 8.1. CONCLUDING REMARKS 8.1.1. DECISION MAKING IN THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DIMENSION On “dropping the social fence”, unless regular forms of collaboration opportunities are facilitated by the countries involved, it is highly unlikely that any natural interaction will take place (Interview 62). Currently the incidences of collaboration are usually driven by emergencies or crises such as fires or poaching of rare species. The reasons are largely the lack of resources and distances between the different social entities. A greater alignment of objectives should also occur, since only where there are stable communities that have aligned objectives (consensus) will activities (such as illegal harvesting, arson, and mining) that endanger the objectives or the relationship recede. “Consensus building among stakeholders is increasingly common as a way to search for feasible strategies to deal with uncertain, complex, and controversial planning and policy tasks” (Innes and Booher, 2007:412). One way to increase chances for aligning objectives and building consensus is through building communities of practice. Wenger defines communities of practice as groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and who learn how to do it better as they regularly interact (2004).  He argues that this requires a common vision, often in the form of a threat, facilitation, driven by external or internal forces, stable, designated funding, and some form of overarching, more permanent institution that can act as an umbrella to maintain momentum. Although forms of these exist, such as the veterinary working group which includes veterinarians from all sides of the borders, there are far too few of these. Other similar communities of practice could include ecosystem monitoring workshops, ranger workshops or capacity-building meetings, photographic workshops, birding enthusiasts’ meetings, and cycling clubs. A very important type of community of practice would be for community leaders from either side of the border and TFCAs that would learn from each other on tourism activities, improving the ecotourism experience, wildlife economic lessons, and simply to witness activities in transborder areas. Many of the current problems, including border crossings, meeting tourist demands, reaching the right market, anti-poaching measures, fire protection measures, monitoring activities and many more could be shared with counterparts on the other side of the border. This is probably the best   149 way to build consensus, and ensure greater integration and collaboration within the TFCAs. The visible impact of decision-making control that currently resides only in the hands of park managers and higher up (and these mostly in an advisory capacity) is a lack of trust in counterparts within conservation areas across the border, and the “comfort zone” syndrome, where most staff from the respective conservation areas see no need to interact regularly with staff from transborder conservation areas. 8.1.2. DECISION MAKING IN THE ECOSYSTEM DIMENSION Many of the staff voiced their desire to collaborate with each other across the border on regular operational activities, including poaching patrols, fire breaks, game census activities and other monitoring activities. Currently, these activities only occur on an ad hoc basis. An ideal opportunity exists for exchanging experiences and building capacity in ecosystem management, and staff members from Gonarezhou NP and Parque Naçional do Limpopo (PNL) expressed the need for such initiatives. PNL has no resident ecologist, and Gonarezhou only one, while Kruger Park has a long history of different approaches to ecological management (from intensive management to the current model of adaptive management) and could therefore offer almost a century of experience. Another opportunity that exists is that of collaborating on research projects, particularly regarding the expansion of the ecosystem, movement of animals into new territories, and sharing research findings from projects through joint workshops. Although the annual Savannah Scientific Conference held in Kruger is held inside the TFCA, as an example, not a single researcher was present from Zimbabwe or Mozambique in 2014, and very few delegates reported on transboundary research projects, particularly within the disciplines of natural sciences and ecology. 8.1.3. DECISION MAKING IN THE GOVERNANCE DIMENSION The only way to increase the individual TFCA agility, according to the NEC model, would be to increase the allocation of decision rights to the TFCA institution, and improve patterns of interaction and information-sharing. The current institutional arrangements are, however, very loosely defined, mainly driven by political agendas with little buy-in or understanding at the local community level, and even the decision-making bodies such as the Joint Management Boards are in constant flux due to the political systems of the countries represented. To move any further will require at least some form of stable body, such as a steering committee or Secretariat that has the mandate to make decisions, and is dedicated to this position for a period of at least five years. Included in the terms of reference would be greater integration of all land use stakeholders that form part of the TFCA (local municipal managers, park managers and essential park staff), with allocation of decision rights to representatives of all   150 stakeholder groups, and a large focus on information sharing. The current system of short-term rotation between countries has detrimental effects on operational activities and on the long-term planning of joint ecotourism activities and ecosystem management operations. These activities will initially be driven mainly by individuals, such as the international coordinators, or individual park staff members, as has been reported of the ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld TFCA between South Africa and Namibia. However, with increased information sharing, improved sharing of decision-making ability, and stable funding, collaboration efforts are bound to improve substantially towards an integrated entity between the participating countries. Finding the right funding model to maintain such an institution would require long-term commitment from the respective governments of southern Africa. It is clear that the governments involved in each TFCA would need to commit to stable, regular and designated contributions for a much longer cycle than the current short term bursts of funding. The same would be required in terms of human resources. The current short cycle rotation model has left major gaps during periods when some countries with few financial resources either took the lead or hosted the position of international coordinator, with reports of “going one step forward, but taking two steps backward” with each change of national government. A consequence of only allowing political bodies such as the Joint Management Board and the Tri-Ministerial Committee to make decisions related to operational matters has been the short attention span of politicians. Priorities set by national governments are driven by voter numbers, and there has been a lack of urgency to act due to the slow bureaucratic processes within the implementing agencies of the countries. Information-sharing capacity could be improved by technological developments such as the dashboard system which allows for very innovative ways of informing all actors. Such a database would typically be capable of receiving inputs from an unlimited geographical area, and providing refined summaries and visual scenario plans upon which to base decisions (the PPF has initiated some work, but it should be expanded substantially). The main limitation is again human capacity in the form of trained data collectors, designated funding, advanced software, internet connectivity and appropriate hardware to accommodate the system. 8.2. RECOMMENDATIONS Referring back to the principles of robust governance proposed by Dietz et al (2003) (Figure 9), although many of the tier 1-2 and 3-4 principles are present in theory as part of the treaty or MoU, it fails to implement the principles suggested in the central column, in particular through: very little provision of information among TFCA stakeholders; conflict is only dealt with at a very late and critical stage; and mostly, there is a total lack of providing for physical, technical or institutional infrastructure. Regarding   151 the design principles illustrated by long-enduring common-pool resource institutions proposed by Basurto and Ostrom (2009) (Table 3), all principles need attention, and the TFCAs in general would benefit greatly if the individual TFCAs focus on achieving these principles more successfully. Defining clearly the physical resource boundaries and layering the governance activities recommended as part of nested enterprises (such as the protected areas within each TFCA) should be undertaken as a first step. A very important principle, currently not visible, is the adoption of collective-choice arrangements that will allow individuals affected by the operational rules of the TFCA to participate in modifying operational rules. The opacity of the current decision-making system does not allow for such participation at all. It would also be crucial to establish monitoring procedures across the entire TFCA area, to increase accountability by stakeholders and resource users and graduated sanctions against violators of the TFCAs’ operational rules should be devised jointly by TFCA stakeholders.  I am convinced that the weakest links in the current TFCA model are represented by three aspects. First and foremost is the lack of a formal physical institution that sits somewhere within each TFCA. Three different models are present in other transboundary initiatives. The first option is to establish a secretariat, which does not have decision-making powers, but have the ability to facilitate execution of decisions that were derived from among the different stakeholder groups. Although possible, it is the very fact that a secretariat has no real decision-making power, which provides the greatest stumbling block, and is precisely one of the current frustrations. On many meetings, participants have no power to make decisions but have to refer back to a higher power, and this causes long delays, often detrimental to the operational issues that need to be addressed (Interviews 72, 69, 93 and 22). Another option is found particularly where two countries participate in transboundary initiatives and includes the establishment of a steering or technical committee solely dedicated to the marketing, management and running of a given transboundary park. This will address the second key failure in the current southern African model, which is the paucity of dedicated staff represented by all countries involved. A more practical suggestion is made below and involves setting up a permanent, physical institution or entity that is based within a TFCA. A third failure which needs to be addressed both over the long and short term is the absence of adequate finances. This is an aspect which presents a fairly simple solution, given the right commitment from the governments involved, with some support from international NGOs and the donor community. I posit that resolving some of the above issues could lead to far greater agility in the TFCA system. The most pressing need is for each of the governments to involve themselves in a case study that would enable them to recognize the current limitations in capacity, the need for an   152 appropriate institutional setup and resources, and which would encourage them to make long-term commitments to prioritizing greater support from national budgets towards funding these areas. In terms of general aspects that would lift the maturity of individual TFCA performance and increase agility, I reiterate the following recommendations:  The choice of employees that would both exhibit leadership and facilitation skills cannot be over-emphasized. These characteristics should also be accompanied by an optimistic “can-do” outlook and a visionary approach to an initiative that is essentially still in its infancy.  The participating governments should prioritize outreach to the communities living within and adjacent to the TFCAs, not merely as individual in-country efforts, but particularly jointly, reaching into areas across each other’s borders. In addition to these, education and capacity building among all stakeholders should be highlighted, and should form a key objective of all TFCAs.  Clear sets of measurements should be established collaboratively and effectiveness should be monitored jointly across the borders and existing protected areas.  Community perceptions should be evaluated regularly, with commitment to conflict resolution and adaptive management strategies an integral part of TFCA activities. More practical recommendations to operationalize and streamline some of the current failures include:  Establishing park management forums that consist of the senior managers of each TFCA, which meet at least monthly to discuss common challenges and devise common solutions;  Creating more opportunities for park staff to collaborate on common issues, these including poaching problems, fire management, joint tourism activities, or research opportunities. Currently in the GLTFCA the wardens of Limpopo and KNP meet at most twice a year, and several of the wardens have identified the need to increase these meetings (interviews 52, 60, 79, 88,  and 2), and to convene meetings between the different task teams as well as with Zimbabwean rangers (interviews 78, 5 and 6);  Establishing a physical unit that consists of ecologists, natural resource managers and sociologists from each country for a particular TFCA. This unit or institution should be based within the TFCA, be supported by the governments that signed the TFCA MoU or treaty, form a permanent feature of the TFCA, and be represented at the highest level of the countries‘ environmental departments. The members of the unit should also participate in decision making   153 of the management of the protected areas that fall within the TFCA, and participate in meetings of the countries’ conservation parastatals. 8.3. POSSIBLE FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS IN THE FIELD DRAWING ON THE RESEARCH As mentioned earlier, the focus of this research had been to determine potential flaws in the current decision-making processes of transboundary conservation in the southern African context. I believe I have been able to identify several flaws through the 93 interviews with key decision makers and relevant stakeholders. However, these findings represent one interpretation of a handful of views, and further research would certainly highlight further gaps and limitations. It would make sense to include more TFCAs from the region in a comparative study of the different elements of decision making, and how different approaches have different outcomes. A highly practical follow-up on this study, would be the development of a uniform dashboard system across the different protected areas that form the core conservation area in each TFCA. This can then be up-scaled to include all the different TFCAs in southern Africa, to allow the managers of all the different protected areas and TFCAs to learn from each other, to integrate planning and monitoring activities, and to produce synchronized data for further research initiatives. 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Ecology and Society 11(1): 27   168 APPENDIX A SOCIO-ECONOMIC SCORES PER CASE STUDY Table 17: Spreadsheet showing the average scores per country for Mapungubwe  Country/ Municipality Unit of analysis Tenure Authority Ecosystem Benefit Attitude Stability Conflict Total scoreBlouberg Farms, mostly wildlife 7 4.5 4.5 6 5 4.5 7Musina Mapungubwe comms 3 4 1 1 2 2 4Venetia Mine 7 7 4 3 3.5 7 3Vele Mine 4 6 1 2 1 6 7Game farms and lodges 4 6 7 5 5 5 2Commercial farms 4 5 3.5 4 3.5 6 7Averages 4.833 5.417 3.500 3.500 3.333 5.083 5.000 4.3810River Ranch 2 1 4.5 7 3.5 2 3Nottingham Estate 2 6 7 7 7 7 3Sentinel Ranch 2.5 6 7 7 7 7 3Maramani WMA 2.5 5 3 3.5 3.5 4.5 1.5Machuchuta WMA 2.5 4.5 3 4 6 5 2Masera WMA 2.5 4.5 3 4 6 5 2Tuli Circle Safari Area 2 4.5 5 5 7 6 1.5Hwali WMA 2.5 4.5 3 3.5 6 5 2Halisupi WMA 2.5 4.5 3 3.5 6 5 2Averages 2.333 4.500 4.278 4.944 5.778 5.167 2.222 4.175NOTUGRE 7 7 7 7 7 6 4Bobirwa Bobonong 2.5 6 2 3 2 3 3Kobojango 2.5 6 1 1 3 5 4Lentswelemoriti 2.5 7 1 3 3 6Lepokole 2.5 5 2 1 2 5Mabolwe 2.5 6 1 3 2 5Mathathane 2.5 6 1 1 3 6 4Moletemane 2.5 7 1 1 2 6Motlhabaneng 2.5 6 2 1 3 6Semolale 2.5 5 2 1 2 6Tsetsebjwe 2.5 6 1 1 3 6Tshokwe 2.5 5 1 1 3 5Averages 2.875 6.000 1.833 2.000 2.917 5.417 3.750 3.5417South AfricaZimbabweBotswana  169  Table 18: Spreadsheet showing the average scores per country for Limpopo  Country/ Municipality Unit of analysis Tenure Authority Ecosystem Benefit Attitude Stability Conflict Total ScoreMutale Mutale 2.5 7 4 4 3.5 4 5Thulamele Thulamele 3 7 3.5 3Greater Giyani Greater Giyani 3 6 2Ba-Phalaborwa Ba-Phalaborwa 4.5 5 3.5Maruleng Maruleng 7 6 7 5 7 5 3Bushbuckridge Bushbuckridge 3 1 1 2 3.5 3.5 1Mbombela Mbombela 6 3 2 4.5 4.5 3.5 2Nkomazi Nkomazi 3.5 5 5 4.5 5 3Private reserves Private reserves 3.5 7 7 5 7 5.5 3.5Commercial farms Commercial farms 2.5 6 3 3.5 3.5 4 3.5Average 3.850 5.300 4.063 4.071 4.857 3.700 3.000 4.120Chiredzi RDC Sengwe Communal Land 2 7 6 4 3.5 4.5 2.5Maose-Xini 2 7 6 4 3.5 6 1Chibavahlengwe HR 2 7 6 4 3.5 6 1Malapati Safari Area 2 7 7 4.5 3.5 6 1Chikombedzi 2 6 6 2 4 6 1Batanai HR 2 4.5 3 6 5 1Boli 2 3 3 5 5 1Gweni 2 3 3 6 5 1Twananani HR 2 6 6 2 6 6 1Chihwedziva HR 2 6 5 2 6 5 1Dzidzela HR 2 6 3 6 6 1Malilangwe Trust 1 7 7 7 7 7 1Chiredzi 3 7 5 6 1Chitsa HR 1 2 1 1 1 7 1.5Average 1.929 6.182 5.042 3.269 4.714 5.750 1.143Chipinge RDC Mutandahwe HR 1 2 4 3.5 5 6 2.5Mahenye HR 2 3 5 5 3 7 2.5Average 1.5 2.5 4.5 4.25 4 6.5 2.5Zim averages 1.714 4.341 4.771 3.760 4.357 6.125 1.821 3.841Makandezulo A 1 1 2 -3 1 4.5 1.5Makandezulo B 1 1 1 -3 1 2 1Chimanque 1 1 5 -3 1 6 3Machamba 1 1 4 -3 1 2Massingir Velho 1 1 1 -3 1 7 1.5Mavodze 1 1 1Bingo 1 1 5 1 2Macavene 1 2 6 1 1Massingir  5 6 4 0.5 3 1 2.5Average 1.444 1.667 3.500 -1.929 1.222 3.500 1.900 1.615South AfricaZimbabweMozambique  170 ECOSYSTEM SCORES Table 19: Spreadsheet showing the average scores per country for both case studies Country Land use Cover Species Alien species River systems Monitoring Management intervention Policy feedback Total Score Average Country Mapungubwe SA Mapungubwe NP 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 22 3.143 2.310  De Beers 4 3 4  4 4 3 22 3.667  Private commercial farms 3 2 2 2 1 0 0 10 1.429  Community land 2 1 1 3 0 0 0 7 1.000 Average   3.000 2.250 2.500 2.667 2.000 2.000 1.500 15.250 2.310   Zim Sentinel 4 4 4 3 2 1 1 19 2.714 2.250  Nottingham Estate 4 4 4 3 2 1 1 19 2.714  Tuli Circle SA 4 4 4 3 3 1 1 20 2.857  Maramani WMA 2 3 3 3 2 0 1 14 2.000  Machuchuta WMA 1 3 3 3 2 0 1 13 1.857  Masera WMA 2 2 3 3 2 0 1 13 1.857  Hwali WMA 2 3 3 3 2 0 1 14 2.000  Halisupi WMA 2 3 3 3 2 0 1 14 2.000 Average   2.625 3.250 3.375 3.000 2.125 0.375 1.000 15.750 2.250   Bot NOTUGRE 1 4 3 3 4 4 2 21 3.000 2.000  Communal areas 1 2 2 2 0 0 0 7 1.000 Average   1.000 3.000 2.500 2.500 2.000 2.000 1.000 14.000 2.000    Limpopo Mo Limpopo NP 3 3 3 0 1 3 2 15 2.143 2.143 Zim Gonarezhou NP 3 4 4 2 2 3 2 20 2.857 2.429  Sengwe corridor 3 3 3 3 2 1 1 16 2.286  Chiredsi area 3 3 3 3 1 1 1 15 2.143 Average   3.000 3.250 3.250 2.000 1.500 2.000 1.500 16.500 2.357   SA Kruger NP 4 4 3 0 4 4 4 23 3.286 1.669  Associated Game Reserves 4 4 4 0 4 4 4 24 3.429  Sabi 4 4 4 0 4 4 4 24 3.429  Communal area Mutale 1 2 2 3 0 0 0 8 1.143  Communal area Thulamele 1 2 3 - 0 0 0 6 1.000  Communal area Ghiyani 1 1 1 - 0 0 0 3 0.500  Communal area Phalaborwa 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 8 1.143  Communal area Maruleng 3 2 2 2 0 1 1 11 1.571  Communal area Bushbuckridge 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 6 0.857   171 Country Land use Cover Species Alien species River systems Monitoring Management intervention Policy feedback Total Score Average Country  Communal area Mbombela 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 6 0.857  Communal area Nkomazi 3 3 1 0 0 1 0 8 1.143 Average   2.455 2.545 2.182 0.778 1.091 1.455 1.182 11.545 1.669     172 APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW LEADING QUESTIONS  Table 20: Socio-economic attributes and related questions Attribute Description (1-7) Leading questions Land tenure:  Security of land ownership as perceived by interviewee: degrees of positive security range between 1 (none) and 7 (owns land with title deed);  Do you own this house/land? Who owns it? Do you own the animals? Can you sell your property to anyone? How does ownership work in this community? Can your land be taken by the government? Have you been/will you be removed because of the national park? Authority:  Leadership and power to make decisions: degrees of leadership and support varying from 1 (no leader), through very weak leader with little support, to very strong leader, usually over a longer period (7) How much influence do you have in making decisions about the community? Can you give examples of decisions you have contributed to? Do you consider the municipal councillor/traditional leader a wise leader? How would you score him from 1 to 7? Why? How long has he been in power? What would you advise him to change if you could make the decisions?  Ecosystem:  Amount of effort exerted by the community to improve/manage the health of the ecosystem: 1 = none; 2-7 = degrees of efforts towards improvement, low degrees indicating amount of degradation, and sometimes even wilful destruction (e.g. arson as a form of resistance) Do you think the natural system is in a good shape? Do you think it can be improved by human intervention? What improvements would you like to see around here? Do you think there are too many animals kept on the land? What plan can be made to improve the situation? Benefits:  1 = no benefits derived from conservation; 2-7 = degrees of benefits received through conservation; 1-3 generally indicate only costs to the community (e.g. damage caused by wild animals without compensation), 4-7 indicate increased benefits Does the community benefit from the tourists or from the park itself? Maybe through gathering firewood, grass, getting meat? Do you get anything from the government if an elephant or buffalo destroys your crops? Attitudes:  Scoring from 1-7, I mostly scored these according to the community members’ attitudes towards the TFCA, with 1 indicating very negative attitudes, seeing no positives in the park, and 7 indicating very positive attitudes, both for the present and future How do you feel about the TFCA? Do you know anything about it? Have you ever visited? Do you think it is a good thing for the community? Stable vs migration: Refers to the fluidity of the community – are these stable, autochthonous communities or constantly in flux: 1 indicates highly fluid, recently formed communities with many migrants moving through or living there; 7 indicates very stable communities over a long period, where most people know each other How well do you know all the people of your village/community? How long have you lived here? Would you ever move from here? Do many new people move in? How often?   173 Attribute Description (1-7) Leading questions External or internal conflicts and major challenges: A complex attribute to score, with 1 indicating both internal conflict and strife within a community, as well as political instability at national level, compounded by environmental challenges such as floods or droughts. A score of 7 indicated no internal or external conflict, and fairly stable weather conditions This category was usually scored by myself, based on my observations and logic regarding what I know about a particular country and community.  Park Staff Questions: these are questions I would only ask people who work within any of the protected areas within the TFCA case studies: 1. How long have you worked in park X?  2. Are you happy here? What is it that makes you happy/unhappy? 3. What do you think about being part of a TFCA?  4. Do you think it should continue?  5. What do you consider the biggest challenges to the success of the TFCA?  6. If you had the power to change things, what would you change?  7. What are the biggest challenges in your position?  8. Is it something you can resolve? 9. Do you think it is a good idea to collaborate with people from park Y? How often do you hear about park Y? Do you think this should be improved? How?  10. What do you know about park Z? How often do you hear about park Z? Do you think this should be improved? How? 11. In your own organization/protected area, are there good communication networks? How would you improve this?    174 Table 21: Ecosystem management attributes and related questions Attribute Description (0 – 4) Leading questions 1. Physical environment, scored at the landscape level Vegetation cover:  Percentage cover, from bare soil to 100% cover 0 = almost no vegetation; 1 = 10 – 30%; 2 = medium cover; 3 = substantial cover, but with degraded/eroded areas; 4 = healthy natural 80 – 100% cover How healthy would you gauge the ecosystem to be at landscape level? And do you identify problem areas? Do you have bare areas, with little vegetation cover? What percentage of the entire ecosystem is covered with bare areas? What is the origin of these bare areas? Is it due to human activities, historically or current? Species composition  Fauna: homogeneous, heavily managed by humans to naturally heterogeneous 0 = no natural vegetation, managed; 1 = small pockets of natural; 2 = medium, mix of natural and non-natural; 3 = mostly natural fauna; 4 = only natural vegetation, no altered areas What percentage of the area is under non-native coverage? What type of land use? What percentage is completely natural, with no known history of human activities, or visible remnants? Alien presence:  Heavily infested up to 100% by invasive species to 0% alien invasive presence 0 = only invasives; 1 = small % of natural, mainly aliens; 2 = mix of alien and indigenous, but alien species have the advantage; 3 = mainly indigenous with pockets of alien species; 4 = only natural species, no alien invasives visible. Describe the alien species invasion in the ecosystem? Where or when has it occurred? What is the extent of the invasion in %? Are there any activities planned/ongoing to address the problem? What are these? Chemical or mechanical? Cost estimates? Funding sources? River systems:  Heavily polluted river system to pristine, unpolluted river system 0 = visibly polluted, history of fish deaths or other species; 1 = visibly polluted, no history of impacts; 2 = visible signs of pollution but still potable; 3 = pockets of visibly polluted water; pristine clear water, close to source Have you had any fish deaths in river X? How would you describe the river system from healthy to heavily polluted? Is it a constant state, or does it fluctuate annually or over decades? Any activities planned/ongoing to address pollution upstream or locally? What are these? Funding sources? 2. Decision-making environment:  Presence of ecosystem monitoring  No monitoring, very little, to regular monitoring. Determine the frequency and nature of monitoring if available. 0 = no monitoring; 1 = infrequent, ad hoc monitoring; 2 = annual monitoring; 3 = 1-2 times annually; 4 = monthly or more frequent monitoring How often is monitoring of the ecosystem attributes done? Where does funding come from? Is it a planned, ongoing activity or ad hoc? What is done with the outputs? How much long-term monitoring takes place? Presence of management interventions No intervention, very little, to regular intervention – determine the frequency and nature of interventions 0 = no intervention due to lack of capacity; 1 = sporadic, project-based interventions; 2 = regular attempts to intervene; 3 = regular, How does the management of the area function? How often would you intervene and why? Do you monitor the success of these interventions?    175 Attribute Description (0 – 4) Leading questions planned interventions; 4 = regular, daily monitoring of management intervention, planned activities Presence of policy feedback Are the effects of policies within the area ever evaluated? Absence to regular consultation 0 = never; 1 = once or very seldom; 2 = a few times, based on crisis management; 3 = regular, but with lapses over time; 4 = regular, standard practice. Do you ever evaluate the impacts of policy changes to the system? Can you think of any recent policy changes and the effects it had? How often do you evaluate such changes/how often do these changes occur?   176 Table 22: Governance attributes and related questions  Attribute Description (0 – 4) Suggested questions Political will and vision Political will translates into an active desire to overcome operational obstacles in transboundary management;  political vision relates to the long term plans and strategic decisions, if any 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. Do you consider the government willing enough to pursue the existence of this TFCA at all costs? What could happen to stop this initiative? How has your government acted to  Can you point out any long-term plan voiced by the government/SADC/municipality regarding this TFCA? What do you see as strategic decisions in the longer term for this TFCA? Joint structures and collaboration Degree to which parties collaborate towards the common vision, as well as what drives the collaboration 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. Is there currently any physical structure in place where TFCA issues take place or are at home? Do the core areas share any physical area/infrastructure? When do the two or three parks’ management staff meet and for what purpose? How often? What about other staff meetings across the border? Legitimacy Refers to the popular acceptance of a regime’s authority to govern.  It implies: - accountability and transparency in decisions and actions;  - appropriate regulation through relevant policies and procedures;  - compliance with legislative and contractual obligations; and  - principled exercise of shared and individual power For each of the above: 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. Are you aware of the government’s plans for this TFCA? Were you ever aware of the TFCA plans? Do you think it is important for the government to make their plans public re this TFCA? Are you aware of conflicting policies re TFCA management or governance? What about the treaty/MoU objectives – do they conflict with any national policies? As park management, are you aware of the obligations of the treaty objectives? How would you change the treaty or policies to strengthen each other? As traditional leader of your village, are you invited to staff management meetings re the TFCA? Do you ever discuss this issue with the ward councillors? How would you improve this issue?  Inclusivity Governance is inclusive when all those with a stake in governance processes can engage with them on an equal basis: 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. Have you ever met the park manager of this park? What about any of the other park managers in the TFCA? How should these discussions take place, and how often? What should the discussions be about? Do you receive the monthly newsletter from the park? Would you like to know what is being planned for the TFCA?   177 Attribute Description (0 – 4) Suggested questions Fairness and equity Actors and institutions are expected to be fair and equitable in the exercise of the authority conferred on them: - in the distribution of power,  - creation of opportunities for engagement, treatment of participants,  - recognition of diverse values, consideration of current and future generations,  - sharing of costs, benefits and responsibilities of decision-making and action. For all of the above: 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. What do you see as the biggest issue in your government’s ability to govern? Has the government reached out via any forum to determine your opinion/advice re the TFCA management or expansion? Do you think the government is aware of all opinions and values on this issue? How can the government incorporate more inputs from stakeholders? What do you consider the greatest cost in the establishment of this TFCA/park? Do you think the government is aware of this cost? How should the government address this cost? Are you aware of any tangible benefits from this TFCA/park? Are these benefits distributed equitably? What more could be done and by whom to gain more benefits and distribute them? Who should be responsible for making decisions re this TFCA/park? What do you think should the decision-making path look like? How can the current decision-making structures be improved? If you were in charge of this process, which issues would you address first? Connectivity and integration Functional connectivity implies systematic coordination across different scales of government, policy sectors, and regions: 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. How often do the Department of Environmental Affairs coordinate with your agency re the TFCA? Who decides on the policies re the TFCAs? Is there a process of engaging within the national departments re the TFCAs? As provincial employee, do you ever communicate TFCA matters to national government? How does this process work? How can you improve the tasks related to TFCAs within your own department? Competency and effectiveness - Refers to effectiveness in improving resource condition, - efficiency of resource use, and  - the skills and capacities available to natural resource management participants Mostly informed by questions on ecosystem management – see table 2 above Political stability The likelihood that the government in power will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means. 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. Do you consider your government at risk of a coup d’état? Do you see any reason to fear a civil war? Who are the enemies of your state and stability? How active are they, and why? Rule of law and regulatory burden The extent to which citizens have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and the extent to which the government is consistently able to enforce these rules. This attribute was mostly informed by a discussion on general incidents of crime in the immediate area, in the country, faith in the police’s ability to contain the crime, especially wildlife crimes,   178 Attribute Description (0 – 4) Suggested questions It includes: - perceptions of the incidence of violent and non-violent crime; - the effectiveness and predictability of the judiciary; - the enforceability of contracts. For all of the above: 0 = none visible; 1 = very little tangible evidence; 2 = infrequent evidence of; 3 = evidence of but many hurdles; 4 = substantial evidence and problem-solving attitude. faith in the judicial system, what happens when you break a contract with your employer, do you consider the treaty valid, do you think the judicial system is fair or do criminals normally get away with little or no justice? How should wildlife crime be regarded by your government? Which problems do you identify in the current justice system?     179 APPENDIX C LIST OF INTERVIEWS, QUESTIONNAIRES, WORKSHOPS, AND OTHER MEETINGS Table 23: List of interviews and questionnaires Nr Date Interviewee Data source Organization Position Category 1 11/5/2010 Willem van Riet Notes PPF Chief Executive Officer NGO 2 11/3/2011 Richard Burroughs Notes AHEAD Network Chair Research 3 16/3/2011 Craig Beech Notes PPF  GPS specialist NGO 4 28/3/2011 Richard Burroughs Notes AHEAD  Network Chair Research 5 5/5/2011 PPF management team Powerpoint and notes PPF  NGO 6 9/5/2011 Bartolomeu Soto Notes ANAC; SADC Director, TFCA Unit; TFCA Senior Manager High-level governance 7 2/8/2011 Johan Verhoef  Audio PPF/Sanparks GMTFCA International Coordinator High-level policy maker 8 8/8/2011 Paul Hatty Audio Mopani Lodge Mapungubwe Buffer Zone Owner; previous minister of Environment, Zimbabwe Ecotourism; Key informant 9 16/8/2011 Clara Bocchino Audio North West University Consultant Research 10 24/8/2011 Erik Schipper Audio Private business  Ecotourism operator Ecotourism 11 24/8/2011 Esta Audio Employee, key informant Ecotourism establishment Ecotourism 12 24/8/2011 Clementine Audio Employee, key informant Ecotourism establishment Ecotourism 13 25/8/2011 Munya Chitakira Audio Key informant Masvingo Local District Local government 14 26/8/2011 Kagiso Moletsane Audio Business man South Africa Ecotourism 15 26/8/2011 Deon Buitendach Audio and notes Recreational hunter Ecotourism operator Ecotourism 16 3/9/2011 Harry Biggs Audio KNP Scientific Services Head of Programmes Parastatal 17 2/4/2012 Marisa Coetzee Notes MTPA  Scientific Services Ecology Director Provincial government   180 Nr Date Interviewee Data source Organization Position Category 18 11/5/2012 Wayne Twine Audio Witwatersrand University Rural Facility Director of Facility Bushbuckridge Research; Local key informant 19 16/5/2012 Harry Biggs and Marisa Coetzee Notes KNP and MTPA Scientific Services Head of Programmes; Scientific Services Ecology Director Parastatal; Provincial government 20 23/5/2012 Louise Swemmer Notes KNP  Head Social Ecologist Park employee 21 29/5/2012 Marie-Tinka Uys Audio K2C biosphere Board member; Manager, Environmental Monitors  Buffer zone reserve; National government 22 30/5/2012 Marie-Tinka Uys Notes K2C biosphere Board member; Manager, Environmental Monitors Buffer zone reserve; National government 23 30/5/2012 Richard Green Audio DAFF Temporary Director of Forestry National government 24 31/5/2012 Solly Temba Audio KNP Section manager of People in Parks Programme Park employee 25 5/6/2012 Joshua Ngomane Audio MTPA  PAM district manager Provincial government 26 6/6/2012 Jimmy Thanyani Audio Manyeleti CPA Manager Provincial government 27 6/6/2012 Simon Manyike Audio Andover CPA Manager Provincial government 28 8/6/2012 Piet Theron Notes Independent Consultant Previous GLTFCA International Coordinator Private sector; Key informant 29 5/7/2012 Marisa Coetzee Notes MTPA Scientific Services Ecology Director Provincial government 30 5/7/2012 Harry van der Linde Audio African Wildlife Foundation Regional head NGO 31 17/7/2012 Antionet van Wyk Audio Sanparks Operational programme head: Working For programmes Parastatal 32 17/7/2012 Olga Jacobs Audio Sanparks Regional Programme manager; Working For programmes Parastatal 33 24/7/2012 Harry van der Linde Audio African Wildlife Foundation Regional head NGO 34 25/7/2012 Alan Gardiner Notes SAWC Senior lecturer Research   181 Nr Date Interviewee Data source Organization Position Category 35 25/7/2012 Andrew Parker Audio Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve Manager Private nature reserve in buffer zone 36 25/7/2012 Loma Powry Audio Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve Financial manager Private nature reserve in buffer zone 37 26/7/2012 Bjorn Reyninghaus Audio SA government State Vet National government 38 26/7/2012 Mike Peel Audio ARC Rangelands Research head Research 39 31/7/2012 Jan Vermeulen Audio Bushbuckridge KNP buffer zone key informant Buffer zone community member Local community member 40 31/7/2012 Karen Steenkamp Audio LEDET Programme manager Provincial government 41 3/8/2012 Piet Theron Audio Independent Consultant Previous GLTFCA International Coordinator Private sector; Key informant 42 6/8/2012 Bonny Bridgeford Audio Sanparks Regional manager Parastatal 43 6/8/2012 Llewellyn Foxcroft Audio KNP Scientific Services Park employee 44 16/8/2012 Rebecca Mabaso Audio DEDET  Social Science Coordinator Provincial government 45 16/8/2012 Lena Notes Islington village, key informant Teacher Local community member 46 21/8/2012 Jacques Brits Audio Timbavati Private Reserve Manager Private nature reserve buffer zone 47 22/8/2012 Juan de Beer Audio MTPA Wildlife protection Provincial government 48 22/8/2012 Marinda Marais Notes MTPA  Social Science Head Provincial government 49 30/8/2012 Solomon Nyembe Audio Bushbuckridge District Council Manager Local Economic Development Local community government 50 30/8/2012 Silas Bulunga Audio Bushbuckridge District Council Ward Councillor Local community government 51 6/9/2012 Sam Ferreira Audio Sanparks Limpopo TFCA Technical Working Group Vet; Large mammal specialist Parastatal; TFCA 52 6/9/2012 Freek Venter Audio KNP Conservation Manager Parastatal 53 6/9/2012 Danie Pienaar Audio KNP Head Scientific Services Parastatal 54 11/9/2012 Kevin Balkwell Audio University of Witwatersrand Director of Zoological Sciences and Wits Rural Facility Research, Local community key informant   182 Nr Date Interviewee Data source Organization Position Category 55 17/10/2012 Markus Hofmeyr Audio KNP Head of Vet Services; Chair of Limpopo TFCA Technical Working Group Vets Parastatal; TFCA 56 4/2/2013 Lena Voice notes Islington village, key informant Teacher Local community member 57 5/3/2013 Piet Theron and Clara Bocchino Notes PPF/ Sanparks/DEA GLTFCA International Coordinator; AHEAD-GLTFCA Network Coordinator High-level policy makers 58 19/4/2013 Piet Theron Audio PPF/ Sanparks/DEA GLTFCA International Coordinator High-level policy maker 59 19/4/2013 Paul Bewsher Audio PPF Program manager High-level policy maker 60 23/4/2013 Johan Verhoef2 Audio PPF GMTFCA International Coordinator High-level policy maker 61 19/6/2013 Ernest Mokganedi Audio DEA Director, TFCA unit High-level governance 62 19/6/2013 Johan Verhoef 3 Notes PPF/ Sanparks GMTFCA International Coordinator High-level policy maker 63 26/6/2013 Piet Theron Notes PPF/ Sanparks/DEA GLTFCA International Coordinator High-level policy maker 64 27/6/2013 Piet Theron and Clara Bocchino Notes PPF/ Sanparks/DEA GLTFCA International Coordinator; AHEAD-GLTFCA Network Coordinator High-level policy makers 65 2/7/2013 Karen Steenkamp Notes LEDET Programme Manager Provincial government 66 2/7/2013 Louis Olivier Audio and notes KNP Head ranger Park employee 67 11/7/2013 James Blignaut Notes Independent/ University of Pretoria Resource Economic Consultant Research 68 1/8/2013 Louise Swemmer Notes KNP Head Social Ecologist Park employee 69 3/8/2013 Antonio Abacar Audio PNL Park Manager Park employee 70 20/8/2013 Jabu Linden Audio Vhembi Biosphere Administrative manager, Board member Buffer zone reserve 71 26/8/2013 Antony Alexander Audio PNL/PPF Advisor to PNL management NGO/Park employee 72 26/8/2013 Billy Swanepoel Notes PNL/PPF Operational manager NGO/Park employee   183 Nr Date Interviewee Data source Organization Position Category 73 26/8/2013 Ricardina Matusse Notes ANAC Community Development Coordinator National Government 74 27/8/2013 Albert Machaba Audio KNP Northern KNP Regional Ranger Parastatal 75 27/8/2013 Marius Renke Notes KNP Northern KNP Section ranger  Parastatal 76 9/9/2013 Clara Bocchino Notes University of Pretoria/ Sanparks/PPF AHEAD-GLTFCA Network Coordinator Research; TFCA 77 30/10/2013 Piet Theron Notes PPF/ Sanparks/DEA GLTFCA International Coordinator High-level policy maker 78 7/11/2013 Piet Theron Notes PPF/ Sanparks/DEA GLTFCA International Coordinator High-level Policy maker 79 10/2/2014 Peter Ncube Audio Beitbridge Rural District Council Acting Head of CAMPFIRE Local government 80 10/2/2014 Beatrice Ponela Audio Beitbridge Rural District Council CAMPFIRE Assistant Officer Local government 81 10/2/2014 Power Mupunga Audio Gonarezhou NP Park manager, South section National government 82 11/2/2014 Power Mupunga Audio and notes Gonarezhou NP Park manager, South section National government 83 11/2/2014 Thomas Choka Audio Chiredzi Rural District Council Acting Executive Officer Natural Resources and Tourism Local government 84 11/2/2014 Isaac Matsilele Audio Chiredzi Rural District Council CAMPFIRE Coordinator Local government 85 11/2/2014 Evious Mpofu Audio Zimparks, Gonarezhou NP Park manager, north section National government 86 12/2/2014 Evious Mpofu Audio Zimparks, Gonarezhou NP Park manager, north section National government 87 12/2/2014 Henry Ndaimani Audio Gonarezhou NP Senior park ecologist National government 88 12/2/2014 Elias Libombo Audio Gonarezhou NP Community Liaison Officer National government 89 12/2/2014 Clive Stockil Audio and notes Chilo Gorge Community Lodge Chief Executive Officer Local community key informant; CAMPFIRE key informant 90 13/2/2014 Mark Saunders Audio Malilangwe Trust Manager Private nature reserve 91 5/3/2014 Peter Novellie Audio Sanparks Governance Governance specialist High-level policy maker 92 2/4/2014 Hilda Mthimunye Audio Sanparks Head of TFCA Unit High-level governance   184 Nr Date Interviewee Data source Organization Position Category 93 18/11/2014 Dr. Bartolomeu Soto Notes SADC Head of TFCA unit High-level policy maker Nr Date Name Data Source Organization Position Category 1 Aug 2012 Andre Beetge Questionnaire SANBI Working for Water Manager National government 2 Aug 2012 Alan Gardiner Questionnaire SAWC Senior lecturer Research 3 Aug 2012 Brian Jackson Questionnaire ICMA Programme manager NGO 4 Aug 2012 Brian Morris Questionnaire MTPA Protected Areas Expansion Manager Provincial government 5 Aug 2012 Colin Rowles Questionnaire Klaserie NR Manager Private nature reserve buffer zone 6 Aug 2012 Craig Ferguson Questionnaire Balule NR Manager Private nature reserve buffer zone 7 Aug 2012 Danny Govender Questionnaire KNP Wildlife Veterinarian  Park employee 8 Aug 2012 Kathleen Saunders Questionnaire DEA Working for Water regional manager National Government 9 Aug 2012 Tony Swemmer Questionnaire SAEON Director Research, environmental monitoring 10 Aug 2012 Hannes Marais Questionnaire MTPA Wetlands Porgramme Manager Provincial government 11 Aug 2012 Jan Muller  Questionnaire MTPA Wildlife Protection Services Provincial government 12 Aug 2012 Dries Pienaar Questionnaire MTPA Wildlife Protection Services Provincial government 13 Aug 2012 Johan Eksteen Questionnaire MTPA Acting head, Scientific Services Provincial government 14 Aug 2012 Phillip Oosthuizen Questionnaire Hoedspruit Air Force Base NR Manager State-owned nature reserve 15 Aug 2012 Rina Grant Questionnaire KNP Scientific Services Research Coordinator Park employee 16 Aug 2012 Winners Masego Questionnaire DAFF Mariepskop NR Manager State-owned nature reserve    185 Table 24: List of Mental Model workshops  Date Mental Model Workshops Documentation Venue 1  Natural Resource Management Group  Captured in: Coetzee, M., Biggs H.C., and Malan, S. (2012) Sharing the benefits of biodiversity: a regional action plan to nurture and sustain the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services to livelihoods and resilient economic development within the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere. Report first officially presented on 16th November 2012 in Nelspruit.  2 31/8/2012 Protected Areas and Park Expansion  SAWC 3 17/8/2012 Wildlife Protection Service  Hoedspruit 4 28/8/2012 Production sector – Forestry  Nelspruit 5 7/9/2012 Production Sector- Water  Nelspruit 6  Biodiversity / Research   7  Capacity Building and Social Ecology   8  Veterinary Services   9 6/7/2012 Local Government  Bushbuckridge 10  Tourism      186 Table 25: List of other meetings and workshops Date Workshop/Conference/ Meeting Document Venue 1-4/3/2011 AHEAD Mopani Workshop report Mopani 17/3/2011 TB socio Stellenbosch Workshop report Stellenbosch 22-23/3/2011 Hans Hoheisen Open Day Audio Hans Hoheisen Research Station 5-9/3/2012 10th Network meeting Workshop report Skukuza 7/6/2012 Payment for Ecosystems Workshop report MTPA Nelspruit 7/3/2012 First K2C Network meeting Meeting minutes Skukuza 6/7/2012 Bushbuckridge Local Municipality meeting Meeting minutes Bushbuckridge 9/8/2012 K2C meeting Meeting minutes Hoedspruit 5/9/2012 Sabi Sand NGO meeting  Meeting notes Sabi Sand Wildtuin 16/11/2012 DEA meeting Meeting minutes Nelspruit 13/2/2013 K2C Technical Committee Meeting report Hoedspruit 4-9/3/2013 11th Savannah Network Workshop report Skukuza KNP 23-25/7/2013 AHEAD TFCA Socio-economic research workshop Workshop report SAWC 26/7/2013 AHEAD Interim Meeting Meeting minutes SAWC 1/8/2013 SAWC Open Day Workshop report SAWC 5/8/2013 GLTFCA Inst. Reform Workshop for JMB Workshop report Skukuza, KNP 6/8/2013 Lowveld PAs meeting Meeting minutes Skukuza, KNP 2/8/2013 Bilateral section ranger meeting Meeting minutes KNP Makhadzi picnic site on border 10/12/2013 Sanparks Policy Think Tank Report Sanparks Headquarters, Pretoria 22/4/2014 Policy Feedback meeting Report Pretoria, City Lodge Boardroom   187 APPENDIX D: DETAILED MAPS  Figure 43: Detailed map of the Greater Limpopo TFCA  (Source: SANParks brochure   188   Figure 44: The Greater Mapungubwe Concept Development Plan Phase 1  (Source: GMTFCA IDP 2010) 


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