The partner states of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) launched the first-ever KAZA-wide coordinated aerial survey of elephants on Thursday in Windhoek.
Speaking at the launch, Namibia’s Environment Ministry executive director Theofilus Nghitila said the survey is a demonstration of the partners’ concerted efforts to implement the KAZA Treaty, which calls for regionally integrated approaches towards harmonizing policies, strategies, and practices for managing shared natural resources straddling the international borders of KAZA partner states.
“The survey is a fundamental component of the KAZA Strategic Planning Framework for the Conservation and Management of Elephants. The elephant population of KAZA represents more than 50 percent of the remaining savanna elephants (Loxodonta Africana) found in Africa, a species recently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as globally endangered,” he said.
The KAZA elephant population is the largest contiguous transboundary elephant population in the world, inhabiting KAZA’s diverse landscape which has a geographic scope of approximately 520,000 square kilometers.
Nghitila said the survey will start in July to August 2022 and run for 4 months, with an expected cost of nearly 3 million U.S. dollars.
“Results from the survey will contribute significantly towards the decisions on the sustainable management of KAZA’s elephant population. The survey will be coordinated by the KAZA secretariat in close collaboration with designated teams in each of the partner states and will be based on the recently revised Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants aerial survey standards,” he said.