A candidate for transboundary conservation planning?


1 Definition

A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is a protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity, where the political border sections that are enclosed within its area are abolished. This includes removal of all human-made 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 Global Transbounday Protected Areas Network cites five different types of TBPAs as follows:
  • Two or more contiguous protected areas across a national boundary
  • A cluster of protected areas and the intervening land
  • A cluster of separated protected areas without intervening land
  • A trans-border area including proposed protected areas
  • A protected area in one country aided by sympathetic land use over the border

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.

2 Policy of the East African Community

Over 5,000 protected areas professionals and other interested stakeholders from the public and private sectors met in Sydney, Australia from November 12-19-2014 for the once-per-decade International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress.

The East African Community was represented by the Deputy Secretary General, Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Jesca Eriyo. Hon. Eriyo is a member of the IUCN governing council. IUCN has a Memorandum of Understanding with the EAC and has been collaborating with the EAC Secretariat on biodiversity and natural resources conservation through the Policy, Adaptation, Research and Economic Development (PREPARED) project that is supported by USAID East Africa.

The IUCN World Parks Congress is a landmark global forum on protected areas held every ten years. The Congress articulated the vital role of protected areas in conserving nature while delivering essential ecosystem services. Protected areas provide a wide range of social, environmental and economic benefits to people and communities.

The East African Community is home to one of the highest concentration of mammals in protected and non protected areas, and on average tourism contributes 7 to 10% of the economies of the EAC member states. Despite this contribution, East Africa’s protected areas are threatened by poaching, illegal wildlife trade, habitat encroachment, deforestation and climate change.

Speaking at a high-level ministerial roundtable on the topic: How can we position protected areas at the heart of our economies and societies?, Hon. Eriyo told the Congress that managing and protecting ecosystems must be an integral part of development, and added that it is better to conserve rather than restore. On how protected areas should develop over the next decade, Hon. Eriyo stressed that it is crucial for countries to prepare Red lists of threatened species for every region and country to guide development. She added, “Create a framework and network for regional and continental Parks authorities to collaborate, share information, carry out enforcement jointly or collaboratively. Particularly in Africa, scale up trans-boundary ecosystems management and conservation.” Eriyo gave assurance of EAC’s commitment to supporting conservation initiatives in the region.

“Create a framework and network for regional and continental Parks authorities to collaborate, share information, carry out enforcement jointly or collaboratively. Particularly in Africa, scale up trans-boundary ecosystems management and conservation.”Hon. Jesca Eriyo.

__November 20, 2014March 5, 2015__ /__eacnature

Proceedings of the Regional Workshop on Transboundary Ecosystems Management and Conservation in East Africa (2012)

3 Mount Elgon


Slide show

Mount Elgon is a solitary extinct volcano straddling the border between Uganda and Kenya, 100 km north-east of Lake Victoria. The national boundary is the solid blue line running from north east to south west separating the regions of Male (Uganda) from Kitale (Kenya)..

Dominating the sky-line of the Uganda-Kenya border, Mount Elgon is the eighth highest mountain in Africa and has the largest base area of any freestanding volcano in the world. The mountain is vital to the social and economic functioning of the area, and is a water catchment supplying millions of people in Uganda and Kenya . It is also an important area for species conservation due to the richness of endemic plant and animal species which can be found on the mountain.

National Parks now exist on both the Ugandan and Kenyan sides of the mountain though they only merge on the north-east side of the mountain. Wagagai, the highest peak lies in Uganda and is 4321m. Despite its height, the average slope angle of Mount Elgon is less than 4 degrees. Mount Elgon is the oldest of the East African volcanoes, resting on the dissected peneplain of Pre Cambrian bedrock of the Trans Nzoia Plateau. The soils on Mount Elgon are from the Andisol order ("developed in volcanic ejecta") (FAO classification). The climate of Mount Elgon shows an approximately bimodal pattern of rainfall, with the wettest months occurring from April to October. The forest zone receives the maximum rainfall and is important in the mountain's role as a water catchment for several million people.

The combined area of the Ugandan and Kenyan parks are sufficiently large to maintain viable populations of many of the larger and rarer species of large mammals which are vulnerable to extinction in smaller National Parks. Overall, IUCN have listed 37 faunal species in the area as "globally threatened" (22 mammal, 2 insect and 13 bird species, of which nine species are endemic), making the area a priority for species conservation (IUCN, 1995).

Mount Elgon: a regional model of development

3 Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP)

Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Programme (MERECP) was designed in 2004/05 by IUCN and implementation started in September 2005 for a four year period with a committed budget of NOK 34.2 million shared in a ratio of 2:1 by the Governments of Norway and Sweden. A mid-term review (MTR) of MERECP was carried out in April 2008, which recommended a re-design of the programme refocusing resources towards grass root level communities living adjacent to the National Parks (NPs) and Forest Reserves (FRs) in the Mt Elgon Trans-boundary (TB) Ecosystem focussing on developing models by end of 2010 in four key output areas: a) Benefit sharing and co-management models b) Equity and benefit sharing models such as Community Revolving Funds (CRFs) c) Institutional strengthened in support of TB ecosystem management d) Linking livelihood improvement to climate change to mitigation/adaptation The MTR proposed shifting of the re-designed MERECP programme implementation from IUCN to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC). The re-design phase worked effective from work plan period 2009/2010 to 2010/2011. At the time of this End-Review Mission activities are on-going and there is a budget balance of some USD 0.8 million that remains unspent.


Land and timber services (LTS) report

Transfer of programme to Lake Victoria Commission
web pages 2015

REDD net Mt Elgon Case history

Carbon colonialism?

4 Transboundary protected area management:a critical analysis)

Jón Geir Petursson, Paul Vedeld and Arild Vatn have published an analysis of the perceived benefits of applying a transboundary protected area management (TBPAM) regime on Mount Elgon. They conclude that there are reasons to be critical to the perceived benefits of the TBPAM strategy in the form of one, fully integrated regional regime. They do not find evidence for such a regime providing a better fit to Elgon ecosystem attributes and a multitude of complex interplay challenges that constrain TBPAM approach. Nevertheless they believe that Elgon provides an informative case for studying the TBPAM challenges in detail and it allows for testing out the institutional analytical frameworks they have applied. They suggest that the analytical frameworks on which they have elaborated can be generally applied to study institutional landscapes when deciding upon a path toward more appropriate levels and types of cooperation between adjoining PAs.



5 The separate countries

......Land issues
......Political economy


....Land management compariisons

6 Specific isssues

...Triballism (2007)

...Restoring peace in Mt Elgon (2011)

...Chepyuk resettlement

...Transboundary biodiversity management

...Transboundary biodiversity management 2

...Tourism strategy (2000)

...Kenya Wildlife Service Marketing

...Rural liveliehood

...Project Elgon: people (1997)

...Mountain voices: Kenya

...Elimu Edcation Foundation Mount Elgon

...Integrated watershed management

...Climate change and land degradation

...Hydrological responses to climate change

...Mount Elgon Conservation Forum

...Appraisal of MERECP (2005)

...Project Elgon: Land use and population

...Uganda population policy

...Deaths from landslides

...Mount Elgon Kenya Strategic Plan (2005-10)