A Trans-frontier Conservation Area is an area or component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries, encompassing one or more protected areas, as well as multiple resource use areas.’
The two countries, Zambia and Malawi made a joint decision to add NLNP to the TFCA in order to enhance the Zambian component and make it more effective in promoting cross border tourism and socio-economic development between the partner states. This will also enhance the ecosystem viability of the TFCA that contributes to biodiversity conservation. Because of its biological and economic importance, the National Park will serve as an anchor, on the Zambian side, in the same way Nyika National Park does on the Malawian side.
NLNP is approximately 4,636 square kilometres and is situated in the Mpika district of Zambia. It was declared a National Park in 1971. It has a high diversity of Wildlife and is currently the only park in Zambia with the big five, including Black Rhinos, whose number has grown to 29. It is accessible throughout the year both by air and road and offers unique wilderness experiences for high level nature tourism. It is also an important water catchment area to the great Luangwa river system.
With the inclusion of the NLNP, the size of theTFCA has increased from 28,152 to 32,788 square kilometres.
Other key benefits of adding the park to the TFCA are that the increase in cross border tourism will contribute to more income generation and more employment opportunities for the locals in both countries and also tourists will be afforded with a wide variety of attractions occurring in different protected areas.
In a bid to increase diversity in animal species in the TFCA, a game sanctuary called Bambada-Zaro sanctuary has been established between the two countries where different species of animals from areas outside the TFCA have been translocated. The purpose of the sanctuary is to serve as a breeding site. But eventually, the wire fence shall be removed to allow the animals to disperse all over the TFCA area.
Zambia and Malawi signed a Memorundum of Understanding (MOU) in August 2004 to establish the Malawi-ZambiaTrans-Frontier Conservation Area (TFCA). At the time of signing the MoU the areas on the Zambian side, included Lukusuzi National Park, Musalangu Game Management Area (GMA), Nyika National Park and Lundazi, Mitengi and Makutu national forests. On the Malawian side, the areas included, Nyika National Park and Vwaza Game reserve..
Article by: The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA)