4 - A New Approach to Conservation in Southern Africa

As the primary role of conservation authorities is the protection and management of biodiversity, it should also be involved in the identification and transfer of services, benefits and value distribution.

This can only done if parks and conservation areas are viewed as a form of land use, that needs to be integrated into regional land use patterns.

This form of land use is based on the distribution of ecosystem services. Please see above and below the two maps depicting the distribution of ecosystem services in SADC as well as South Africa. These maps are based on various projects I have been involved with over the last few years.

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For too long have parks been protected by a fence. A fence that became the dividing line between conservation and communities. The zone for transferring benefit and value should become the boundary.

It is clear that conservation as a form of land use could then play a large role as an agent in the development of the rural regions of South Africa.

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