Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on the South African Wild Coast

About the Project

South Africa has made tremendous strides towards establishing a well-managed national system of Protected Areas (PAs). However, the PA estate covers only 6 % of the national territory, and presently is not representative of the full range of major habitat types that demand protection. The country’s status as a mega diversity area, characterized by a high turnover of biodiversity across ecological landscapes, amplifies the inherent challenges in establishing and strengthening a representative PA estate. Traditionally PAs have been established on State Land and more recently on private lands under various management agreements with conservation authorities. There is however, an unmet need to establish PAs on communal lands, where several conservation hotspots demanding attention are located, the realization of which demands the development of new systems for co-management between Government authorities, local communities and the private sector. Such approaches, when coupled with other innovations being piloted in South Africa for conservation on private lands, will improve prospects for achieving conservation targets within the national protected area system, while also improving management effectiveness in PAs where public administration alone is inappropriate.

The Project seeks to develop a representative PA estate on communally owned land along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape Province. These protected areas will be managed under a range of collaborative management (co-management) agreements between Provincial, Local and National authorities, local communities and the private sector, as suited to the management challenges facing different sites

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