South Africa has a wealthy heritage of Conservation Areas and Protected Areas. The story is that of beauty and wonder within the country’s national treasure of biodiversity assets and the inclusion of the unique and significant role of the Land Reform and Biodiversity Stewardship Initiative (LRBSI).
Community involvement is key to the success of the Biosphere Reserves, Other Area-Based Effective Conservations Measures (OECMs) and Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) programmes, especially from an ecotourism perspective, that enable tourists to drive across international boundaries into adjoining conservation areas of participating countries, with minimal hurdles or bother.
Equally important are the contributions towards jobs and revenue-generating opportunities, for many local and rural communities living within and around Conservation Areas, hence contributing towards biodiversity conservation and both economic and social advantages.
The landscape of preserving South Africa’s biodiversity entails conservation and agreements with local communities, private and public sector stakeholders, whilst holding a holistic view of the diversity and complexity of the Biodiversity Sector in South Africa.
Conservation is encompassed by a range of key areas including:
are defined as geographical areas that are formally protected by the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003). They are mainly used for biodiversity conservation and contribute to the protected area estate.
is an approach to securing land in biodiversity priority areas through entering into agreements with private landowners, Community Partnership Agreements (CPAs) and the occupiers of communal land.
Other Area-Based Effective (OECM) Conservations Measures...
An OECM is “a geographically defined area other than a Protected Area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the in-situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio-economic, and other locally relevant values”.