Spanning an area of Africa almost the size of Italy, the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, or KAZA, will encompass 36 national parks, game reserves, wildlife-management areas, and tourism areas, according to WWF, a conservation organization offering both technical and financial support to the initiative.
In 2011 presidents of five African nations—Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—signed a treaty establishing the huge protected region, which has been in the works for several years. (See "Five-Country Conservation Area Would Aid Africa's Largest Elephant Herd.")
"It's quite unique, in that you have five countries coming together with a shared vision, and it's a vision based on conservation," said Lisa Steel, director of WWF's Namibia Program.
"The intent is to make it a leading conservation area and tourist destination in the region ... where communities are the main beneficiaries."
Government and non-government officials have varied opinions on the plan ranging from devil's advocate to cautiously optimistic to enthusiastic fans. Read more about KAZA and see some awesome photographs at National Geographic News. Link -Thanks, Marilyn Terrell!
(Image credit: Chris Johns, National Geographic)