Countries of this Region

Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea,Ethiopia,Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Réunion, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Capacity building is a continuous process. Changes are happening everyday in the natural and social environment. Innovation has led and continues to lead to technological changes and improvements. These changes warrant protected area managers or staff to continuously update their knowledge so as to respond to these changes in the management of protected areas.

It is the acknowledgement for the need for continuous capacity building that WCPA members in the region were called upon to support capacity building programs in the region in 2012. The response has been positive. Firstly WCPA members actively participated in the capacity building session of the International Rangers Federation Congress held in Arusha Tanzania. The session made a key recommendation on capacity building for decision-making levels about PA management. It was observed that while many rangers and middle managers undertake various trainings, senior managers, directors and board members often assume they already know yet we all agree that changes are happening every day. Sometimes, the senior level staff in PAs or at the Ministries responsible for PA management are un willing to try out new tools or approaches in management. Many a time decisions concerning PA management are made at political level, without sufficient technical knowledge on the socio-ecological processes. That was the basis for the recommendation to focus training effort on decision making levels.

WCPA members also participated in the BIOPAMA capacity building consultative workshop in late 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where among other priority levels for training, the decision making level was one. One of the priority training areas is land use planning to address a wide range of development issues affecting protected areas. BIOPAMA has continued to engage WCPA members in the region to contribute to development of the training plan, modules and content through 2013 that is planned for implementation in 2014 and WCPA members are again expected to feature in some of the training programs.

WCPA members are actively involved in other training programs in the region including marine protected areas trainings and UNESCO World Heritage training programs.

Meanwhile the Vice Chair also calls on members in the region to build one another’s capacity by sharing knowledge/experiences, assisting with proposal/project development, assisting with review of technical documents e.g management plans, helping with meetings/seminars/workshops, assisting with program implementation, undertake consultancy work. The vice chair also commends members who responded to requests for comment on a number of topical issues especially on the proposed Voi-Taveta road that will traverse Tsavo National Park in Kenya, the proposed road through the Serengeti National Park which is now understood to be hold and construction of golf courses in national parks in Uganda. Members are also informed that their active involvement in WCPA could open new opportunities at individual level e.g job opportunities with various protected area management projects, career growth with international inter-governmental or non-governmental agencies, exchange programs between PA agencies, access to further training, global recognition and reward e.g IUCN/WCPA awards.

A capacity building session in Lesotho, on World Heritage Nominations



In the run up to the 36th World Heritage Committee meeting in June 2013 in Cambodia, WCPA members in the region provided technical input in the various documents for discussion. These included nomination dossiers for new inscriptions, review of nomination dossiers, participation in evaluation missions and preparation of periodic reporting documents. In early 2013 the region was represented at the International Expert Workshop on “Enhancing the IUCN World Heritage Programme” in Germany. The aim of the workshop was to strengthen IUCN’s work on the World Heritage Convention during the new IUCN Programme 2013-2016, and specifically IUCN’s regional networks, World Commission on Protected Areas, and engagement with its partners UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOMOS. The outcomes of the meeting for specifically WCPA were: a clearer understanding of the role of WCPA members in providing technical input in assessing the state of conservation for World Heritage Sites using the Conservation Outlook tool. The assessment tool has been used to review management of World Heritage Sites in the region where WCPA members’ input has been invaluable.

At the June World Heritage Committee meeting the regional vice chair was part of the IUCN technical delegation helping with presentations on World Heritage Sites in Africa. 3 new inscriptions were added on the list from the region namely Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho, Lewa as an extension of Mt Kenya and Namib Sand Seas National Park in Namibia. Members continue to provide technical support for nominations, reviews and joint evaluation missions to properties in the region directly or indirectly by nominating experts.

A San Rock Art Exhibit in Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho

A San Rock Art Exhibit in Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho

Photo: Moses Mapesa

Ad-Interim WCPA Regional Vice Chair
  • Kathy MacKinnon

WCPA Regional Vice Chair for East and South Africa

Email: kathy.s.mackinnon@gmail.com