Special Session: Effective management of protected areas - what is required to ensure their viability?

Most of the serious risks to the human population are as a result of our impact on our natural ecosystems, while strong evidence suggests that protected areas are one of the most effective tools for slowing the rate of biodiversity loss and many species continue to survive only because of protected areas. In the light of significant development needs in South Africa, limited resources are being made available for securing new protected areas. With the development of new protected areas, it is critical to ensure that these areas are effectively resourced and managed.

Effective protected area management relies on a number of key elements, including:

  1. A national framework for the support of protected areas and initiatives to support them
  2. Well-resourced biodiversity assessments and long-term monitoring, through formal and citizen science initiatives, such as the CREW programme
  3. Innovative support to landowners in the best-practice management of these protected areas, including innovative financing solutions, enterprise development and employment opportunities
  4. Better 'selling' of the linkages of human survival to the environment in order to prioritise resources
  5. Promotion of environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas

We have entered a critical point in our conservation efforts, as we have the opportunity to influence the way conservation is rolled out in the context of a mosaic of development needs. We cannot continue with 'business as usual'. This session explores innovative ways in which protected areas can be more effectively managed, and encourages conservation practitioners to provide meaningful inputs into this dialogue through a series of presentations and a discussion panel.

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.

Navigate between Special Sessions 

Data Management
Elephant Conservation
Indigenous Knowledge
Lead in Wildlife
Maloti-Drakensberg Exposition
PA Management Effectiveness
Protection via Partnerships
Species in Crisis
Vulture Conservation

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