Conservation can competitively stimulate development
South African National Parks (SANParks) and the Department of Environmental Affairs have announced the findings of a two-year pilot programme that has demonstrated conservation as a growing and value-adding sector within rural development. “Whilst traditionally conservation is regarded by many as a ‘trade-off’ with development, the pilots have shown that conservation can actually competitively lead and stimulate development,” said SANParks CEO, Fundisile Mketeni.
The pilots were undertaken in some of South Africa’s identified biodiversity ‘hotspots’ in the buffer zones of three national parks in South Africa, namely Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra and the West Coast National Parks. Buffer zones are geographical areas delineated around national parks where the parks directly interface with their broader regional environments. The idea of a buffer zone is for planning and conservation authorities to co-operate in facilitating the integration of the parks within this space through facilitating community benefits from sustainable natural resource management, discouraging economic activity that is incompatible with conservation, and maximising the potential of the park as a regional economic asset.
Follow the link below to read more on the findings of the pilot project: