Special Session: Definition, delineation and protection of the Zone of Influence of protected areas

It is essential that the "Zone of Influence" of protected areas is appropriately delineated and managed, yet there is no common understanding on how to do this. This session will seek to come to a shared understanding of the purpose, delineation and incorporation into land use planning of the protected area Zone of Influence.

The land use surrounding a protected area has a direct impact on the achievement of the protected area’s purpose and objectives. It is essential that this "Zone of Influence" is appropriately defined, delineated and managed, including through land use planning mechanisms, in order to achieve protected area conservation outcomes. However, there is no common understanding nor guidelines on how to do this. In addition to improved effectiveness of management at a protected area level, and with a shift towards ecosystem and landscape level thinking, the Zone of Influence can also contribute towards improved outcomes-based implementation of systematic conservation plans, improved focus by authorities on compatible land and water use, and protected area expansion opportunities.

The aim of this session is to facilitate an interaction with the emerging community of practice on the delineation of protected area Zone of Influence, specifically to:

  • share and improve understanding of the purpose and approaches for delineating Zones of Influence to support protected areas values and objectives;
  • consider the development of standardised criteria for application nationally by management authorities to guide the delineation of this zone towards the requirements of the NEM: PAA Norms and Standards for the Management of Protected Areas in South Africa (Notice 528 of 2014) and the METT-SA; and
  • explore the potential for Systematic Conservation Planning and land use planning frameworks to entrench a Zone of Influence and associated compatible land use into policy and practice.

Closed session - no external presentations will be included, but participation in the session during the Symposium is open to all. All submissions not linked to special sessions will be structured into logical groupings in the remainder of the programme. Please contact the Secretariat to be put in touch with the convener if you feel that you have a useful contribution to add to this special session.

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extended to
Tues 23 October!!

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