Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Transboundary Protected Area is a protected area that spans across boundaries of multiple countries, where the political border sections that are enclosed within its area are abolished. This includes removal of all forms of physical boundaries, such as fences, allowing free migration of animals and humans within the area. A boundary around the area may however be maintained to prevent unauthorised border crossing. Such areas are also known by terms such as Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) or Peace Parks.
The preservation of traditional animal migration patterns, ensuring sufficient food and water sources for population growth, are the primary reason for the creation of peace parks. Peace parks however also encourage tourism, economic development and goodwill between neighbouring countries, as well as facilitating travel of indigenous inhabitants of the area.
TFCAs in Africa
The Peace Parks Foundation was set up by the WWF and Dr Anton Rupert in February 1997 to encourage and facilitate the establishment of TCFAs, and is actively supported by Dr Nelson Mandela. The following is a list of established and proposed (with significant progress made toward completion) TFCAs coordinated by the foundation with their years of establishment:
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (2000)
- |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Park (2002)*
- Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area (expected in August 2004)
- Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (expected at end of 2004)
- Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area (expected in 2006)
- Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa Transfrontier Conservation Area (proposed)*
- Limpopo/Shashe Transfrontier Conservation Area (proposed)*
* - The official name has not yet been decided upon.
The best known of these is the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. It links national parks in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and covers an area of 35,000km², including the famous Kruger National Park.
International Peace Parks
The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park across the United States/Canada border is the world's first "International Peace Park", formed by the merger of the Waterton Lakes and Glacier National Parks in 1932. In contrast to other peace parks, the primary purpose of the union was to serve as a symbol of friendship and peace between the two countries.
Efforts are under way for a U.S./Mexico international park with a similar purpose, joining the Big Bend National Park in the United States with the Maderas del Carmen and Cañon de Santa Elena protected areas in Mexico, as well as a USA/Russia international park in the Bering Strait, highlighting the shared heritage of Russians and Americans of the area.
Numerous other peace parks have been proposed throughout the world, such as in the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea. However, cooperation between countries, such as in the European Union is reducing the need for the establishment of such parks.
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