Political and administrative boundaries seldom completely encompass or coincide with ecological boundaries. Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) create an enabling environment for collaborative management of shared species and ecosystems, and provide a platform for the development and management of cross-border tourism. Whilst ecologically desirable, and conceptually simple, cross border collaboration and achieving the objectives of connected landscapes together with an upscaling of economic benefits can be exceedingly complex. Although the core of TFCAs consist of formal protected areas, communities live in the buffer, and it is important for the sustainability of TFCAs to invest in sustainable and environmentally sensitive development. This session will showcase a range of achievements and challenges from transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa, including the synergies and challenges between rural development and conservation, and an evaluation of the impacts on communities living in and around TFCAs. Confirmed presentations include The role that Boundless Southern Africa plays in implementing cross-border events in the TFCAs and the impact that they have on communities and The implementation of the Biodiversity Management Plan for Bearded Vulture in the Maloti-Drakensberg Park TFCA.

This is an open session and authors are encouraged to contribute presentations on this subject. Submit your abstracts for consideration online and choose the Theme – Special Session: Transfrontier Conservation Areas: Catalysts for Enhancing Conservation and Socio-Economic Development.