Dr. Clara Bocchino is an independent consultant, who has dedicated her professional life to the study for Transfrontier Conservation in Southern Africa as driver for sustainable socio-economic development. Her first research visit to Zimbabwe at the end of 2001 introduced her not only to the role of Community Based Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Use, but to a new phenomenon in the region: the establishment of Peace Parks in the form of Transfrontier Conservation Areas.
Since then, she has specialised in this field through a Master in Environmental Management at the University of Nottingham (UK) and a PhD in Human Geography (Environmental Quality and Regional Economic Development) on the impact of TFCAs on existing socio-economic cross-border networks, using the Great Limpopo TFCA as a case study, at the University of Bologna (I). In the past decade, she has worked both as a researcher and as consultant in the Southern African Region to support the good governance and sustainability of regional TFCAs and has contributed to the study of TFCAs as complex socio-ecological systems in multi-disciplinary contexts including Disaster Risk Reduction, One Health, and law. She has done so firstly as a Post-Doctoral Fellow of the Faculty of Law, and as an associate of the African Centre for Disaster Studies, both at the North West University (Potchefstroom Campus). She has coordinated for 3 years the GTLFCA Chapter of the Animal and Human Health for Environment and Development Network, for the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria, and the SADC participation at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress. She has worked with a selected team of regional legal experts to create the first International Law Legal Register for Conservation and Development in SADC TFCAs, focussed on South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. More recently, she has created the first Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the SADC TFCA Programme, a unique multi-scalar M&E system, which has recently been approved by the Ministers of Environmental Affairs of the SADC region.
For several years now, she has been an active member of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods, and the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Groups. Since its establishment in 2015, she has been a member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy Theme on Governance Equity and Rights. From inception, she has been a member of the SADC TFCA Network, and is now serving as the Secretariat for its Capacity Building and Training Community of Practice. She is currently an extra-ordinary Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the North West University (Potchefstroom).
Specialty: legal review, natural resources management, scenario planning, conflict mitigation, network development.