Special Session: Exploring the mechanisms available to ensure the long-term viability and resilience of protected area expansion efforts

This session will explore the mechanisms to support the establishment and ongoing support of protected areas, and will explore new ideas and approaches to protected area expansion and effective management, including the development of better synergies with government programmes and the private sector.

There are an increasing number of mechanisms available to support the establishment of new protected areas, and the provision of ongoing support to them once they have been established. These mechanisms often relate to and contribute towards key government imperatives and priorities including economic development, poverty alleviation, job creation, ecological resilience, and climate change adaptation. These mechanisms are important, as they may ensure the long-term viability and resilience of the protected areas that are created. This session will explore the mechanisms that are available, including the presentation of examples and case studies, focusing on the advantages and challenges associated with them. The aim of the session will be to develop the thinking and explore new approaches to protected area expansion, and the effective management of newly created protected areas, with specific objectives to: 

  1. Discuss the range of mechanisms available to support protected area expansion and the effective management of such areas.
  2. Determine synergies with key government programmes and priorities and how these can be further developed to support protected area expansion efforts.
  3. Discuss the role of the private sector in the creation and management of protected areas. 

Key themes that will be explored as part of the session will include: 

  • The role of protected area expansion in rural development and land reform, particularly as a driver of rural economic development.
  • Related to the above, the need to develop innovative approaches and new markets that are based on sustainable resource use and the utilisation of biodiversity and ecological resources.
  • The role of offsets as a finance mechanism for protected area expansion efforts.
  • The role of the private sector in driving and supporting the creation of protected areas and their long-term management.
  • The need to develop co-management models that effectively empower and benefit landowners, neighbouring communities and other stakeholders.
  • New and emerging trends in protected area expansion and the effective management of private and communal protected areas. 

Presentations will be based around these key themes.  Presenters will include those involved in biodiversity stewardship within South Africa’s provinces and nationally and will also include those with an interest in: 

  • The protected area expansion efforts of biodiversity stewardship programmes.
  • The Biodiversity and Wildlife Economy Programmes.
  • The Land Reform and Biodiversity Stewardship Initiative.
  • The development and implementation of South Africa’s offsets policy.
  • Land-user Incentive Programmes and their relation to protected area expansion efforts.
  • Private sector and philanthropic efforts that contribute towards protected area expansion efforts.
  • The development of legislatively-based financial benefits for protected area expansion such as those related to municipal property rates exemptions and income tax benefits.

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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