Towards a National Elephant Conservation Strategy for South Africa

This submission has open access
Submission Summary

Since the gazetting of the National Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in South Africa in 2008, its implementation has faced several challenges. African elephant (Loxodonta africana) numbers have increased in South Africa by more than 30%, landscapes and their use by people and elephants have changed, and socio-political expectations have evolved. A number of government stakeholder engagement processes, such as the revision of the Elephant Norms and Standards and the National Biodiversity Research and Evidence Strategy (NBRES) Indaba discussion, identified several areas not covered by the regulatory nature of the norms. These issues require a consolidated and coordinated national approach, which is focused and efficient, that enhances elephant conservation, but that also contributes to the well-being of South Africans. In other words, there is a need to develop a National Elephant Conservation Strategy, which would have a different purpose from the norms and standards, and the existing Elephant Research Strategy, which was published in 2014. The development of an effective national elephant conservation strategy will be done through defining a common vision, goals, risks, and outline how to best achieve these goals and will promote evidence-based conservation and management of elephants. This strategy will also enhance and leverage the potential economic value that elephants contribute to all South Africans. Moving from a single species conservation approach to a broader contextualisation of the role of elephants for society will promote more effective and robust planning and management decision-making, and highlight what this means for sustainable human beneficiation from elephants and their ecosystems. In other words, mainstreaming the benefits from a national elephant herd for social development, and contributing to achieving the goals of the National Development Plan and Global Sustainable Development Goals.

Submission ID :
Submission Type
Oral Presentation
Submission Topic
Closed Special Session: Feedback, reflections, and learnings from developing a National Elephant Conservation Strategy

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