Maputaland’s conservation corridor


The Maputaland Centre of Endemism is region in Eswatini (Swaziland), Mozambique and South Africa that is globally recognised for its conservation value. However, this biodiversity is threatened by the spread of agriculture and over-harvesting of natural resources, so the three range states are committed to developing a Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) that will conserve this important region, while also creating jobs through ecotourism. The spatial prioritisation was used to support this process, guiding where new conservation areas should be established based on the distributions of 44 landcover types, 53 species and 14 ecological processes. The results have been used to block unsuitable developments in priority conservation areas, inform the development of a conservation corridor between Maputo Special Reserve in Mozambique and Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa, and to guide funding priorities by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. 


This was a transfrontier conservation planning project that used habitat transformation risk as the cost layer, which acted as a metric of opportunity cost from subsistence agriculture.

Who were the partners?

Eswatini National Trust Commission, Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação in Mozambique and Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife in South Africa

Implementation status

This work began in 2005 and continues to inform the design of conservation corridors, prioritize investments in conservation and guide land-use planning in the region.



Smith et al. 2008. Designing a transfrontier conservation landscape for the Maputaland centre of endemism using biodiversity, economic and threat data

Contact Information:
Robert J. Smith

Robert J. Smith

Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent