Agreement-based expansion of protected areas: requirements in terms of South African Environmental Law
Friedrich, Johannes Franz Otto
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Protected areas can be defined as "an area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection of biological diversity, and/or natural and associated culture resources and managed through legal or other effective means". In this dissertation, a critical review is made of the establishment and expansion of protected areas. This paper starts by looking at the importance of protected areas to communities and it gives direction on how to conserve South Africa's biodiversity. Reference is made to the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003 (NEMPAA), the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) and the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (NEMBA) in highlighting the role of protected areas. In undertaking this, the changing face of protected areas and the concept of contractual agreements to expand existing protected areas and National Parks will be discussed. The paper also considers South Africa's constitutional framework, and in particular the environmental right, which has largely been responsible for shaping and informing South Africa's contemporary conservation regime. This section is followed by a brief outline of the procedure to be followed to create or expand a protected area. Critical evaluation of the requirements needed to enter contractual agreements to expand a National Park will be performed with a special focus on selected case studies, namely the Richtersveld National Park and the Pafuri Region of the Kruger National Park. Finally, the research will conclude by discussing lessons learnt in entering contractual agreements between landowners and SANParks by looking at the expansion of the Mapungubwe National Park and Heritage Site.
- Law