Transboundary protected area

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Flags of Canada and the United States in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

A transboundary protected area (TBPA) is an ecological protected area that spans boundaries of more than one country or sub-national entity. Such areas are also known as transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) or peace parks.[1][2][3]

TBPAs exist in many forms around the world,[4] and are established for various reasons. The preservation of traditional animal migration patterns, ensuring sufficient food and water sources for population growth, is a critical reason for the creation of TBPAs. However, TBPAs also encourage tourism, economic development and goodwill between neighbouring countries, as well as making it easier for indigenous inhabitants of the area to travel.[5][not specific enough to verify]

Types of Transboundary Protected Areas[edit]

TBPAs exist in various types of geographic configuration, with various levels of ecological protection, and with various levels of international cooperation. Additionally, different organizations employ different definitions for TBPAs. Julia Marton-Lefevre broadly defines TBPAs as "areas that involve a degree of cooperation across one or more boundaries between (or within) countries."[6] The Southern Africa Development Community's Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement defines Transfrontier Conservation Area as "the area or the component of a large ecological region that straddles the boundaries of two or more countries, encompassing one or more protected areas, as well as multiple resources use areas."[7] The Global Transboundary Protected Areas Network (GTPAN) lists four types of "transboundary conservation areas:"

  • Type 1: Transboundary Protected Area;
  • Type 2: Transboundary Conservation Landscape and/or Seascape;
  • Type 3: Transboundary Conservation Migration Area; and
  • Special designation: Park for Peace.[8]

GTPAN defines a Transboundary Protected Area as "a clearly defined geographical space that includes protected areas that are ecologically connected across one or more international boundaries and involves some form of cooperation." GTPAN defines a Transboundary Conservation Landscape and/or Seascape as "an ecologically connected area that includes both protected areas and multiple resource use areas across one or more international boundaries and involves some form of cooperation."[8]

GTPAN defines a Transboundary Conservation Migration Area as "wildlife habitats in two or more countries that are necessary to sustain populations of migratory species and involve some form of cooperation."[8]

GTPAN defines a "Park for Peace" as "any of the three types of Transboundary Conservation Areas [that is] dedicated to the promotion, celebration and/or commemoration of peace and cooperation."

In many instances, individual TBPAs are part of broader international environmental or cultural programs. TBPAs can be World Heritage sites, Ramsar Wetlands, and/or UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

History of Transboundary Protected Areas[edit]

In 1932, the governments of Canada and the United States passed legislation creating the first international peace park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This action followed from a joint resolution of the Rotary Clubs of Montana and Alberta calling for the creation of the peace park.[9]

On 1 February 1997, Anton Rupert, together with Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and Nelson Mandela, founded the Peace Parks Foundation as a Nonprofit organisation to facilitate the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs).[10]

A 2001 study by the World Conservation Union found "there were 166 existing transboundary protected area complexes worldwide comprising 666 individual conservation zones."[6]

In 2007, the Global Transboundary Conservation Network published a global inventory of transboundary protected areas identifying 227 transboundary protected areas.[11]

Established Transboundary Protected Areas[edit]

Africa[edit]

Victoria Falls--National Parks in Zambia and Zimbabwe for a TBPA.

Transboundary World Heritage sites[edit]

Transboundary Ramsar Wetlands[edit]

Transboundary Biosphere Reserves[edit]

  • Delta du Fleuve Senegal is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Mauritania and Senegal.[20]
  • Mono is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Benin and Togo.[20]

Transboundary Conservation Complexes[edit]

  • ǀAi-ǀAis/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Namibia and South Africa.[11][27]
  • Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. It is partially composed of Mozambique's Limpopo National Park, South Africa's Kruger National Park and Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park and Sengwe Corridor.[11][28]
  • Greater Mapungubwe is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.[29]
  • Lower Zambezi - Mana Pools is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.[30]
  • Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland.[11][31]
  • Kavango Zambezi is a transboundary conservation complex on the borders of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the world's largest TBPA and encompasses the Mosi-oa-Tunya World Heritage site listed above.[11][32]
  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Botswana and South Africa.[11]
  • Kidepo is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of South Sudan and Uganda. It is composed of South Sudan's Kidepo Game Reserve and Uganda's Kidepo Valley National Park.[11]
  • Kilimanjaro is a transboundary conservation complex centered around Mount Kilimanjaro and on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. It is composed of Tanzania's Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Kenya's Amboseli National Park.[11][33]
  • Malawi-Zambia TFCA is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Malawi and Zambia. It crosses the border at multiple locations.[11][34]
  • Niokolo Koba-Badiar is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Guinea and Senegal.[11]
  • Serengeti-Masai is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Kenya and Tanzania.[11]
  • A transboundary conservation complex crosses the border of Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire. It is composed partially of a Ramsar wetland in Burkina Faso and the National Park of Comoe in Cote d'Ivoire.[35]
  • The Global Transboundary Conservation Network's 2007 inventory lists additional TBPAs on the borders of:
    1. Liberia and Sierra Leone;
    2. Guinea and Liberia;
    3. Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia;
    4. Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana at three locations;
    5. Cameroon and Nigeria at two locations;
    6. Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea;
    7. Central African Republic and Sudan;
    8. Congo and Gabon;
    9. Democratic Republic of the Congo and what is now South Sudan;
    10. What is now South Sudan and Uganda;
    11. Kenya and Uganda;
    12. Kenya and Somalia;
    13. Burundi and Rwanda;
    14. Rwanda and Tanzania;
    15. Tanzania and Uganda;
    16. Tanzania and Zambia;
    17. Mozambique and Tanzania; and
    18. Angola and Namibia.[11]
Uvs Nuur Basin is a TBPA in Mongolia and Russia.

Asia[edit]

The Danube Delta is a TBPA and home to pelicans and cormorants.

Europe[edit]

Transboundary World Heritage sites[edit]

Transboundary Ramsar Wetlands[edit]

Transboundary Biosphere Reserves[edit]

Of the world's twenty transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserves, twelve are in Europe. Spain, Portugal, Poland, and Ukraine each contribute to three reserves.

  • Danube Delta is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Romania and Ukraine.[20]
  • East Carpathians is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.[20]
  • Geres - Xures is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Portugal and Spain.[20]
  • Meseta Iberica is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Portugal and Spain.[20]
  • Mont Viso / Area della Biosfera del Monviso is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of France and Italy.[20]
  • Mura Drava Danube is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Croatia and Hungary.[20]
  • Tatra is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Slovakia and Poland.[20]
  • Tejo/Tajo Internacional is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of Portugal and Spain.
  • Vosges du Nord / Pfalzerwald is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the border of France and Germany.[20]
  • West Polesie is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve crossing the borders of Belarus, Poland, and Ukraine.[20]

Transboundary Conservation Complexes[edit]

North America[edit]

Flags of Canada and the United States fly on the Peace Arch in Peace Arch Park.

Canada and the United States[edit]

Canadian interprovincial Parks[edit]
United States interstate parks[edit]

Mexico and the United States[edit]

Central America[edit]

  • Maya Tropical Forest Complex is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. It is partly composed of Guatemala's Parque Nacional Sierra Del Lacandon, Parque Nacional Laguna Del Tigre, Parque Nacional El Mirador and Reserva Biosfera Maya, Mexico's Reserva la Biosfera Calakmul, and Belize's Rio Bravo Conservation Area.[11]
  • Montecristo Trifinio Transboundary Protected Area Complex (also known as Trifinio Fraternidad) is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve on the border of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. It is composed of El Salvador's Parque Nacional Montecristo, Guatemala's Reserva Biologica Trifinio, and Honduras' Parque Nacional Montecristo Trifinio.[11][20][72]
  • Parque Internacional La Amistad is a UNESCO World Heritage site on the border of Costa Rica and Panama. A bi-national Transboundary Protected Area Commission coordinates conservation efforts in the area.[73]
  • San Juan River Basin is a transboundary conservation complex on the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. It is composed of Costa Rica's Parque Nacional Tortugeuro and Refugio de Vida Sylvester Barra del Colorado, and Nicaragua's Reserva Biologica Indio Maiz and Reserva Natural Punta Gorda.[11]
  • Volcan Tacana is a transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve on the border of Guatemala and Mexico.[11][74]
  • A transboundary Ramsar wetlands complex lies on the border of Costa Rica and Panama, and is composed of the Guanaco-Manzanilla site in Costa Rica and the San San-Pond Sak site in Panama.[75][76] The Global Transboundary Conservation Network includes this site as part of Parque International La Amsted in its 2007 global inventory.[11]
  • A transboundary Ramsar wetlands complex lies on the on border of Belize and Guatemala, and is composed of Belize's Reserva de Usos Multiples Rio Sarstun and Guatemala's Sarstoon Temash National Park.[77][78]
  • The Global Transboundary Conservation Network's 2007 inventory lists additional TBPAs on the borders of:
    1. Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico;
    2. Guatemala and Honduras; and
    3. Honduras and Nicaragua at two locations.[11]
Iguazu Falls--National Parks in Argentina and Brazil form a TBPA.

South America[edit]

Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve of the Mediterranean includes land in Morocco and Spain (light green), and part of the Strait of Gibraltar (dark blue).

Intercontinental TBPAs[edit]

Areas in the conceptual phase[edit]

The DMZ is a habitat for many threatened species on the Korean peninsula, including the black bear.

TBPA advocates by 2006 had identified additional sites for protection. Professor Saleem Ali of the University of Vermont noted that "numerous ecologically sensitive areas remain unprotected" and cites a 2006 "geographic information systems (GIS) study" that "found 104 transboundary wild areas involving 61 countries that are not formally part of any conservation park."[6] Specific sites for proposed TBPAs include:

As awareness of the importance of conserving the pristinity and ecology of Arctic region has increased,[according to whom?] there has been a global call to declare the Arctic region as a global sanctuary/international peace park. The Save the Arctic[91] campaign by Greenpeace, an environmental nonprofit organisation, has received online support from more than 5 million citizens from around the world.

Areas with treaty signed[edit]

Memorandums of agreement signed[edit]

Impacts on peace and conflict[edit]

Transboundary protected areas are also termed peace parks. They are supposed to facilitate cooperation and exchange between (adversary) countries, to improve livelihoods of local populations, to demonstrate the possibility of positive-sum interactions, and hence to support more peaceful international relations.[92] There are several cases documented in which trans-boundary conservation contributed to conflict resolution (although is was not the main driver), such as in the Virunga region between the DR Congo, Rwanda and Uganda,[93] around the Trifinio region between El Salvador and Honduras,[94] and in the Cordillera del Cóndor region between Ecuador and Peru.[95] According to a statistical analysis published in 2014, states that share a trans-boundary protected area are slightly less likely to engage with militarized disputes with each other. But the question remains whether the TBPA is a driver of consequence on better interstate relations in these cases.[96] A more recent analysis triangulates data from various sources to show that international environmental cooperation (in the form of TBPAs and water treaties) increases the likelihood for reconciliation between states in conflict. The effect is, however, modest and contingent on a number of context factors such as high levels of environmental attention, internal political stability, a tradition of environmental cooperation and already ongoing processes of reconciliation.[94]

However, a number of authors criticize that peace parks have a very limited impact on formal relations between states, but can accelerate conflicts on the local level, for instance by extending (authoritarian) state control, by prioritizing business and tourism over the interests of local populations, and by excluding local people from the protected areas.[97][2][98] TBPAs can also stimulate (low-level) international conflicts, for instance about the sharing of revenues or the presence of human populations in the parks.[99]

Massive Online Open Course on Peace Park Development and Management[edit]

A Massive Online Open Course on Peace Park Development and Management was developed by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), its Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative in partnership with UNDP and the NBSAP Forum. This free three-week course offered in five languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. Financial support is provided by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative funded by the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea.

This course will:

  • offer a comprehensive guide on Peace Park establishment;
  • teach participants to make a strong case for Peace Park development;
  • develop the skills to effectively plan, establish and manage Peace Parks;
  • address the challenges associated with the creation and management of these transboundary protected areas.

The course is designed for Peace Park development practitioners and environmental peacebuilding enthusiasts but is open to everyone.[100] Participants must create an account on Learning for Nature before registering for the course.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Media related to Peace parks at Wikimedia Commons