ITTO-funded transboundary and other conservation area initiatives

Land managers are increasingly realizing that what happens outside protected areas can affect the integrity of the protected areas themselves. Successful conservation initiatives, therefore, need to influence land management across the broader landscape and empower local communities to improve their livelihoods.

One way of doing this is through transboundary conservation, which is the management and conservation of ecologically important areas that straddle international borders. Transboundary conservation can include a wide variety of conservation approaches, from the coordinated management of two protected areas in different countries sharing a common border, to a mosaic of land-uses in two or more countries contributing to biodiversity conservation.

ITTO's conservation area program assists in the protection of nine transboundary and other conservation areas spanning about eleven million hectares of protected and adjoining forest.Through this program, ITTO assists countries to establish and manage protected areas, cooperate with other countries in the management of transboundary conservation areas (TBCAs), and improve the management of forests adjoining protected areas (sometimes called "buffer zones").

Condor Range (Ecuador-Peru)

Area of influence :  2.42 million hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 2/00 Rev.2 (F) [Ecuador]
PD 3/00 Rev.2 (F) [Peru]
Countries :  Ecuador & Peru
Funding sources :  [Ecuadorian component]
Japan, USA
[Peruvian component]
Japan, Switzerland, USA, Korea
Implementing agencies :  [Ecuadorian component]
Ecuadorian Ministry for the Environment in cooperation with the NATURA Foundation and Conservation International - Peru and with the participation of local organizations
[Peruvian component]
INRENA in cooperation with Conservation International - Peru and with the participation of local organizations


Photo:© Conservation International

The objectives of the projects ('Bi-national Peace and Conservation in the Condor Mountain Range Ecuador-Peru' - ITTO Project PD 2/00 Rev.2 (F) in Ecuador and ITTO Project PD 3/00 Rev.2 (F) in Peru) was to contribute to the landuse management of the area, to consolidate a network of transboundary protected areas in the region and to establish a subsystem of natural protected areas within the context of a conservation corridor. The total area of influence of the two projects, including protected areas and buffer zones, is about 2.42 million hectares, most of which is on the Peruvian side in the newly created Santiago-Comaina Reserve.


[Ecuadorian component]
Sr. Xavier Bustamante
Director Ejecutivo Nacional
Fundación Natura
Avenida República 481 y Almagro, Quito
Tel: (593-2) 2545-633, Ext.425
Fax: (593-2) 2545-633, Ext.219 E-mail :
[Peruvian component]
Mr. Carlos F. Ponce
Field Vice President, Andean Regional Program
Conservación Internacional Perú
Malecón de La Reserva 281
Miraflores, Lima 18
Tel: (51-1)-264-6466
Fax: (51-1)-264-6466 E-mail :

Tambopata (Peru) - Madidi (Bolivia)

Area of influence :  2.85 million hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 17/00 Rev.2 (F)
Countries :  Peru & Bolivia
Funding sources :  Japan, Switzerland
Implementing agencies :  INRENA (Peru) and SERNAP (Bolivia) in association with Conservation International and with the participation of local organizations


Photo:© Haroldo Castro, Conservation International

The System of State-Protected Natural Areas (SPNA) of Tambopata - Madidi comprises the Tambopata Candamo Reserved Zone and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park in Peru and the Madidi National Park in Bolivia. In its first, 2-year phase, this project is collecting environmental and socioeconomic information on the SPNA and incorporating such information into a geo-referenced database. These data will form the basis of coordinated participatory processes between the two countries to ensure the planning and management of conservation areas and the development of sustainable economic alternatives such as ecotourism and, in buffer zones, the supply, processing and marketing of forest products.


[Peruvian component]
Ing. César Àvarez Falcón
Jefe del INRENA
Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA)
Ministerio de Agricultura
Calle Diecisiete No. 355Urb. El Palomar
San Isidro, Lima 27
Tel: (51-1) 475-2368/225-3287
Fax: (51-1) 224-3218 E-mail :
[Bolivian component]
Mr. Hugo Centellas Ariñez
Director del SERNAP
Servicio Nacional de Areas Protegidas (SERNAP)
Av 20 de octubre 2659
(entre Campos y Pinillas)
Tel: (591)22434472
Fax: (591)22434540 E-mail :

Cahuinarí National Park

Area of influence :  600 000 hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 11/93 Rev.1 (F)
Countries :  Colombia
Funding sources :  Austria, USA, Denmark, Norway
Implementing agencies :  Colombian National Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and the Environment; Puerto Rastrojo Foundation; Bora-Mirañ Indigenous Peoples

This project, which was completed in 2002, served to strengthen the relationship between the State and the indigenous communities that live in the buffer zone of the Cahuinari National Natural Park and to define strategies for the sustainable development of the indigenous reserves. At the onset of the project the indigenous communities viewed with suspicion the motives of the environmental NGOs and the State for supporting a national park that partly overlaps their autonomous indigenous territory. Time-consuming negotiations and a participatory approach towards the development of a modified workplan for the implementation of the project were required prior to the initiation of the project's activities. These delays may have been avoided had the project been developed in a more participatory manner in the first place, and the remoteness and isolation of the project area also hindered project implementation. Any future project of this kind should clearly consider these aspects at the planning stage. Nevertheless, the project made some significant achievements, including:

  • the development, through workshops and informal meetings, of a "common language" between indigenous communities and park managers in order to merge, to a certain extent, the western and traditional indigenous concepts of sustainable resource management;
  • the production of a comprehensive report and several thematic maps containing detailed background information on the Park's ecological zoning, its sociocultural configuration and inherent values, the economic activities and pressures on the area, its flora and fauna and their uses, and general guidelines for the management of the park; and
  • the finalization of an "Inter-Administrative Agreement for the Coordination of the Public function for the Conservation and Management of the Cahuinari National Natural Park" between the Ministry of Environment and the Public Authority of the Mirañ indigenous communities for its immediate implementation.


Dr. Fabián Navarrete
Director de Ecosistemas
Ministerio de Ambiente,
Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial
Calle 37 No. 8-40
Bogotá, D.C.
Tel: (57-1) 3406-274/3323-434
Fax: (57-1) 3406-206/212 E-mail :

Phatam Protected Forests Complex, Thailand (with the aim of increasing cooperation between Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in forest protection in the region)

Area of influence :  130 000 hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 15/00 Rev.2 (F)
Countries :  Thailand
Funding sources :  Japan, Switzerland, USA, France
Implementing agencies :  Royal Forest Department


Photo:© ITTO

The Pha Taem Protected Forests Complex (PPFC), located in Ubon Ratchathani Province in northeast Thailand, covers an area of about 174 000 hectares and comprises four protected areas - the Pha Taem, Kaengtana and Phu Jong Na Yoi national parks and the Yot Dom Wildlife Sanctuary - and the proposed Buntrik- Yot Mon Wildlife Sanctuary. The area slopes gently towards the southeast and is drained by the Mekong River, which forms the border between Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. The PPFC's buffer zone contains 82 villages populated by about 89 000 people, but the PPFC itself contains no human settlements.

ITTO Project PD 15/00 (F) is being implemented by the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation to strengthen the management of the PPFC and to initiate cooperation in transboundary biodiversity conservation between Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Under its first phase, which started in October 2001, the project has initiated a management planning process for the PPFC in a framework of transboundary biodiversity conservation. This involves establishing an effective organisational and management system for the PPFC, collecting basic data, the installation of an information system and database, and the commencement of a process of cooperation between the three countries.


Mr. Somyos Kijkar
Royal Forest Department
61, Paholyothin Road
Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900
Tel: (66-2) 940-7134
Fax: (66-2) 940-7134/561-4809

Kaeng Krachan National Park buffer zone

Area of influence :  348 000 hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 16/97 Rev.3 (F)
Countries :  Thailand
Funding sources :  Netherlands, Japan, Australia
Implementing agencies :  Thailand Environment Institute

This project is working with communities in the buffer zone of the Kaeng Krachan National Park, the largest national park in Thailand. One of the primary aims is to develop a working model for effective buffer zone development for uptake at other conservation sites in Thailand and possibly elsewhere in the region. Using participatory approaches, the project promotes social forestry and sustainable rural development within the communities in an attempt to protect and encourage the natural rehabilitation of the forest adjacent to the national park.


Dr. Chamniern Vorratnchaiphan
Thailand Environment Institute (TEI)
210 Sukhumvit 64
Bangchak Refinery Building 4
Prakanong, Bangkok 10260
Tel: (66-2) 331-0047
Fax: (66-2) 332-4873 E-mail :

Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarawak, Malaysia Betung Kerihun National Park, Indonesia

Area of influence :  1.1 million hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 16/99 Rev.2 (F) (3rd Phase) [Malaysia]
PD 44/00 Rev.3 (F) (2nd Phase) [Indonesia]
Countries :  Malaysia & Indonesia
Funding sources :  Japan, Switzerland
Implementing agencies :  [Malaysian component] The Sarawak Forest Department
[Indonesian component] Park Management Unit of Betung Kerihun National Park, WWF-Indonesia


Photo: © Paul Chai

The Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak, Malaysia and Betung Kerihun National Park in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, which comprise the region's first tropical forest transboundary biodiversity conservation area (TBCA), share many common values in landscapes, watersheds, ethnographic history, culture, and plant and animal resources. Lanjak-Entimau occupies 187 000 hectares and Betung Kerihun about 800 000 hectares; recently the Batang Ai National Park, which abuts Lanjak-Entimau on the Sarawak side, was added to the TBCA after approval by the Sarawak government, boosting the total area to 1.1 million hectares. The TBCA constitutes the most important sanctuary in Borneo for orang-utan perhaps up to 10% of the remaining wild population-and other rare and threatened plant and animal species. Such biota don't recognise political boundaries and are therefore best managed through parallel and cooperative conservation efforts. Two ITTO projects are helping to raise management standards on both sides of the border. In Sarawak, the project is improving management inside Lanjak-Entimau, supporting sustainable livelihoods among residents living on its periphery, and developing a cooperative transboundary management arrangement with Betung Kerihun; this project began in 1993 and is now in its third phase. On the Indonesian side, the World Wide Fund for Nature (Indonesia) and the Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation are collaborating in the implementation of ITTO Project PD 44/00 Rev.3 (F), the first phase of which commenced in 1995 with similar aims.


[Malaysian component]
Dr. Penguang Manggil
ITTO Projects Coordinator
c/o Forest Department Headquarters
5th Floor, Wisma Sumber Alam
Jalan Stadium, Petra Jaya
93660 Kuching, Sarawak
Tel: (60) 82-319158
Fax: (60) 82-44 5639/5640 E-mail :
[Indonesian component]
Mr. Wawan Ridwan
Project Executant
WWF Indonesia
Jalan Mega Kuningan
Jakarta, 12950
Tel: (62-21) 576-1070
Fax: (62-21) 576-1080 E-mail :

Kayan Mentarang National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia Pulong Tau National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia

Area of influence :  1.57 million hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 38/00 Rev. 1 (F) [Indonesia]
PD 224/03 Rev. 3 (F) [Malaysia]
Countries :  Indonesia & Malaysia
Funding sources :  [Indonesian component]
Switzerland, Japan, USA
[Malaysian component]
Japan, Switzerland, USA, Norway
Implementing agencies :  [Indonesian component]
Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PKA) and World Wide Fund for Nature - Indonesia
[Malaysian component]
Forest Department of Sarawak

The conservation values of the 1.4 million-hectare KMNP in East Kalimantan are threatened by cross-border illegal logging and hunting. This project, which began in 2001, has commenced the process of establishing an operational management unit for the KMNP and improving cooperation on natural resource management between Indonesia and Malaysia. Project activities include the construction of a limited park infrastructure, a biodiversity expedition and a public and local communities' awareness program. On the Malaysian side, the Sarawak Government recently extended the 65,000-hectare Pulong Tau National Park to cover an area of about 165,000 hectares, including some ecologically important forests and Sarawak's highest mountain, Mt Murad. The extension also joins the park to the KMNP, thereby forming possibly the largest tropical forest TBCA in Asia. A new ITTO project, which will be implemented by the Sarawak Forestry Department in collaboration with local communities, will work to improve the management of the park and to increase transboundary cooperation. The new TBCA provides habitat for several endangered species, including Bulwer's pheasant, the clouded leopard and the Sumartran rhinoceros.


[Indonesian component]
Mr. Mubariq Ahmad
Executive Director
WWF Indonesia
Jalan Mega Kuningan
Jakarta, 12950
Tel: (62-21) 576-1070
Fax: (62-21) 576-1080 E-mail :
[Malaysian component]
Dr. Penguang Manggil
ITTO Projects Coordinator
c/o Forest Department Headquarters
5th Floor, Wisma Sumber Alam
Jalan Stadium, Petra Jaya
93660 Kuching, Sarawak
Tel: (60) 82-319158
Fax: (60) 82-44 5639/5640 E-mail :

Nouabale-Ndoki National Park buffer zone, Congo (on the border with Cameroon, Central African Republic)

Area of influence :  1.69 million hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 4/00 Rev. 1 (F)
Countries :  Congo (on the border with Cameroon, Central African Republic)
Funding sources :  Switzerland, France, Japan, USA
Implementing agencies :  Wildlife Conservation Society


Photo: © Paul Elkan, Wildlife Conservation Society

Under this project, a participatory management approach for sustainable timber production and biodiversity conservation is being taken to the buffer zone (1,385,800 hectares) of the Nouabale- Ndoki National Park (390,000 hectares). A large timber concession holder (Congolaise Industrielle du Bois (CIB)) and an international conservation organization (the Wildlife Conservation Society) are working with local communities to reduce the hunting of wildlife, improve logging practices, develop alternative livelihood strategies for communities, and improve education, health and other facilities.


Dr. Paul Elkan
Project Leader
Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC)
B.P. 14537
Tel: 871-762-134-135
Fax: 871-762-134-145/137 E-mail :

Mengamé Gorilla Sanctuary, Cameroon (on the border with Gabon)

Area of influence :  137,000 hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 66/01 Rev. 1 (F)
Countries :  Cameroon (on the border with Gabon)
Funding sources :  Switzerland, Japan, USA
Implementing agencies :  Directorate of Fauna and Protected Areas, Cameroon Ministry of Environment and Forestry

This project is starting to put in place a collaborative management process for the gorilla sanctuary to ensure its protection and to initiate a process of cooperation between Cameroon and Gabon for the joint management of the sanctuary. Activities include the collection of reliable data for sanctuary management, raising the awareness of local communities, controlling poaching, and initiating joint data collection with counterparts from Gabon.


Mr. Françis D. Nna
Project Leader
Division de la Coopération et des Projets
c/o Ministère de l'Environnement et des Forêts
BP 5111
Tel: (237) 228 4448
Fax: (237) 222-1225 E-mail :
E-mail :,

Iwokrama Forest, Guyana

Area of influence :  371,000 hectares
ITTO projects :  PD 10/97 Rev. 1 (F)
Countries :  Guyana
Funding sources :  Japan, Switzerland, USA, Korea
Implementing agencies :  Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development, and Indigenous communities


Photo: © Fotonatura

The Parliament of Guyana recently passed legislation to create the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development as an autonomous institution and set aside 360,000 hectares of pristine forest (half of which is to be a wilderness preserve) to be managed by Iwokrama. The project has employed participatory approaches to establish the wilderness preserve and is designing, planning and initiating the commercial management of the other half of the Iwokrama Forest for multiple products and services. It is also working to integrate research, training and demonstrations into these operations, in order to improve practices in Guyana and elsewhere. The project is helping Iwokrama to produce a state-of-the-art forest management plan for multiple products and services, and feasibility studies for management and harvest based on this plan. It is also assisting in finding an appropriate business partner and negotiating contracts that will ensure adherence to principles of sustainable forest management. Demonstration, research and training in improved practices will be integrated into these model commercial operations.


Dr. Graham Watkins
Director General
International Centre for Rain Forest
Conservation and Development (Iwokrama)
67 Bel Air
P.O. Box 10630
Tel: (592) 2 51504
Fax: (592) 225 59199 E-mail :