Amanda Mugadza
North-West University



The establishment of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) has led to the development and packaging of historical, cultural and heritage products for tourism consumption. It was concluded at the First Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Tourism in African National Parks that tourism is one of the most effective ways to preserve Africa’s national parks and Protected Areas while creating jobs and income for local communities. Moreover, a number of the establishing agreements of the TFCAs in the region include tourism, particularly eco-tourism, as the means by which economic development and poverty alleviation are to be achieved.However, for developing countries, tourism in itself does not necessarily guarantee economic development, reduced poverty and environmental protection. In fact, large scale tourism may result in pressure on domestic resources, the environment and the preservation of cultural heritage. Thus sustainable tourism development, indeed, any form of development, provision of amenities or tourist activity that emphasises respect for and long-term preservation of natural, cultural and social resources and makes a positive and equitable contribution to the economic development and fulfilment of people living, working or staying in these areas should be employed in the TFCA initiative. This requires the existence of the following criteria: the protection of the environment and its resources; improved quality of life and economic benefits for local communities; and a quality experience for visitors. An analysis of the domestic legislation of TFCA participating countries, in particular countries comprising of the Greater Limpopo TFCA suggests that there is still much to be done in legislation to establish a link between the three criteria. In particular, there is a need for legislation that creates a platform to link socio-economic benefits for local communities with the other two criteria.


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