National Geographic : 2001 Sep
AFRICA'S NEW CONSERVATION VISION Protected Areas National park S Proposed transfrontier conservation area (TFCA) GISDATASOURCE: PEACEPARKSFOUNDATION Population Density (People per square mile) m More than 260 130-260 S65-129 Protected Areas National park Other protected area 0mi 500 Okm 500 NATIONALGEOGRAPHICMAPS SNAMI Windhoek PROPOSEDGAZA KRUGER-GONAREZHOU TRANSFRONTIER PARK - LUBOMBO KWAZULU-NATAL MALOTI-DRAKENSBERG "Political boundaries," says T Cape TowI Willem van Riet of the Peace Parks Foundation, "are the scars of history." In southern Africa national borders partition ecosystems, block animal migration routes, and divide ethnic commu nities. One such scar was healed on May 12, 2000, with the formal opening of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, uniting South Africa's Kalahari Gemsbok and Botswana's Gemsbok National Parks. Run as a single ecological unit, the 14,669-square-mile park allows people and animals to move freely between the two nations. Built on a half century of informal cooperation, Kgalagadi is Africa's first "peace park." Elsewhere conservation leaders are seeking UNITING AFRICA S WILDLIFE RESERVES to meld more complex - * land mosaics-parks, pub lic and private game and forest reserves (upper map), plus hunting and tourism concessions, and communal and tribal lands-into transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs, lower map). Enhanced wildlife protec tion and sustainable community development are chief TFCA objectives, but many propo nents hope these initiatives will serve a less tangible goal: promoting a "culture of peace" among countries devastated by decades of political and ethnic conflict. Working together on practical goals, says van Riet, will encourage "the development of trust, which is fundamen tal to peace between countries."