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Trans-boundary Natural Resource Management (TBNRM) Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Geography
Wordcount: 1856 words Published: 18th Oct 2017

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Trans-boundary natural resource management (TBNRM) can be defined as process of cooperation across boundaries that facilitates or improves the management of natural resources to the benefit all parts in the area concerned (Griffin et al, 1999). TBNRM it attempts to address the challenges of managing natural resources that are collaborated or shared across international or political boundaries and not ecologically, For instance the Albert national park was the national park across international border in Africa that was established by the Belgium colonial regime in 1925 to conserve natural resources occurring in two countries. It spanned the colonial state of Rwanda-Burundi and the Congo (Van der Linde, 2001). The Africans major fall in land, river, lake, forest and national parks (Lycklama à Nijeholt et al, 2001), and these are as follows:

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River as natural resources form a narrow or wide channel of water which pass across the country or form the boundary between countries, these rivers contain numerous valuable wildlife that migrate across borders (katerere et al, 2001). For example river Limpopo across boulders (Botswana, south Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) (Microsoft student, 2008), Orange river (Lesotho and Namibia), Congo river (DRC and Republic of Congo), Nile river from east Africa source in lake Victoria flow through Uganda, Egypt, Sudan to Mediterranean sea ( Microsoft student, 2008), the conservation of these rivers need cooperation and collaborations between nations.

National park is one of the major natural resource in Africa, since most of these ecological cuts across international boundaries for instance Kruger national park one of the national park in the world located in South Africa bordered by Mozambique and Zimbabwe,

The W-Aryl-Pendjari (WAP) is the national park that is complex straddles the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger and one of the largest continuous protected areas in Africa, the great Limpopo trans-frontier parks is the African largest protected area that spread through Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the mountain gorilla conservation in Virunga heartland in central albertine rift region of east central Africa span the borders of Democratic Republic of Congo( DRC), Rwanda and Uganda. Congo basin forest forms ecosystem shared by Cameroon, Central Africa, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in United Republic Tanzania the two neighboring trans-boundaries protected areas where every year herds of wildebeest Zebra and other herbivores migrate between Serengeti national park in Tanzania and Masai Mara game reserved in Kenya (Microsoft students, 2008).

Trans-boundary lakes, African continent has a plenty of shared lakes that cuts across international boundaries and some act international boundaries for example lake Tanganyika in the great rift valley that border on north by Burundi, east Tanzania, south Tanzania and west DRC. Lake Victoria found in east central Africa bordered by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Lake Chad located at the junction of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameron. Lake Turkana found in central Africa boarded in North West by Kenya with the northern most tip in south western Ethiopia. Lake Albert an elliptical lake in east central Africa located on western Uganda and north eastern DRC, Lake Malawi or Nyasa located in the great rift valley between Malawi on the west Tanzania and Mozambique on east (Microsoft student, 2008).

In spite of the African continent to have endowed with different trans-boundary natural resources across countries that contribute to the economic development, these resource posed a great challenge in terms of their utilizations/exploitation or their conservation and or management, hence the following are some of the challenges facing the management of trans-boundary natural resources in Africa:-

Differences in conservation policies, Kenya has long pursued aggressive prevention policies concerning wildlife, where as Tanzania has promoted consumptive use including sport hunting, licenses hunting which does not consider proper policies of hunting wildlife. Such differences obviously exacerbate or accelerate problem in natural resources management. Also there has been experimentation on a ground scale with resources which involves less or no consultation of the other member’s country and this cause conflicts (Serageldin and sfer-younis, 1996).

Management issues in resources are difficult to address at the scale of programs where additional requirements of seeking cooperation for example are cooperation on management of rhino and elephant poaching in Masai Mara in east Africa. Under this situation different sets authority among the stakeholders with different policies and laws find it difficult to unity and control the illegal activities in recourses (Lock wood, Worboys and Kothari, 2006).

Poor agreements that is timely, equitable and acceptable by all riparian countries. For example the Nile basin which its management find difficulties among members from the upstream and downstream as Egypt and the Sudan recently exchange threats over the use of the Nile river, also Tanzania and Malawi over lake Nyasa and Kenya and Uganda on the ownership of mountain Elgon. These result in constant conflict and mismanagement of natural resources. Also most of the agreements were either the agreements made by between colonizers or bilateral agreements which contradiction among those nations shared the natural resources (Malasse abtew and Stegn, 2014).

Protected areas managers and stakeholders find it difficult to determine those issues that have a specific trans-boundary element for example, it is self evident that trans-boundary protected areas must involve and benefit local people, but trans-boundary program may well involve many other aspects such as community who were previously divided by the imposition of an international border which also may associate with border conflicts among the nation involved for example the lake Victoria conflict between Kenya and Uganda on Mgingo island(Lock wood, Worboys and Kothari,2006).

Lack of international system to enforce agreements, there are many mechanisms for trans-boundary management that has been agreed among nations faces difficulties in its implementation. Among them are African agreements like African Conversion on the conservation of nature and natural resources of September 1968, river basin agreements which include the Niger basin Authority, the lake Chad basin commission, the Senegal river develop organization, the Gambia river development organization and the Zambezi river authority also specific agreements like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda agreements on management of lake Victoria. (Serageldin and Sfer-younis, 1996).

Lack of trust among stakeholders’, many stakeholders fails to trust each other on the conservation of trans-boundary natural resource especially in policies on conservations and utilization of natural resources for example stakeholders like community and community, government and government, community and Non-Government Organization, private sector and government (Goldman, 1998). Limited trust among stakeholders reduces cooperation and full participation among stakeholders. This limit the natural resource management conservation (Chifamba, 2012)

Different level of economic development, different level of economic development may impose challenges in trans-boundary natural resources management; different nations have difference contribution to trans-boundary natural resources management, for instance different between South Africa and Zimbabwe. The stages in economic development among neighboring countries lead to analogous different in priorities for trans-boundary natural resources management objectives which may sometimes not allowing compatible , hence make it difficult in collaboration on trans-boundary natural resources management programs (Chifamba, 2012)

In general trans-boundary natural recourses management is affected by lack of solid data about environmental issues makes cooperation difficult, absence of appropriate financing scheme for effective trans-boundary management also lack of international system in enforcing the agreement because the world has not yet found an adequate system to settle disputes related to trans-boundary programs. All those and other problems might be solved by ways such as ; proper involvement of stakeholders which is key to adaptive management, proper and clear statement concerning trans-boundary resources management also, enhancing or promotion of A forestation in riparian areas.


Chifamba, E (2012) Trans-boundary Natural Resource Management and distribution of rights and benefits to look communities on the Zimbabwe- South African Border. Zimbabwe . International journal of politics and good governance.

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