Take a Survey Chapel 07 Nov 2019 Oral Presentations | Moderated Discussion
Parallel B - Chapel 11:00 - 13:00

Monitoring South Africa's protected areas management effectiveness using the web-based management effectiveness tracking tool (METT) Take a Survey
11:00 - 11:15

Assessing the management effectiveness of protected areas using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) has gained popularity in recent years, both in South Africa and internationally. This arose from the Convention on Biological Diversity Programme of Work in Protected Areas (PoWPA) in the late 2000s (https://www.cbd.int/protected/pow/learnmore/intro/). In response, South Africa domesticated the global METT into METT South Africa Version 1 which was used annually (baseline published in 2010) for assessments across the country, for submission to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) for collation and national analysis. The application of METT South Africa Version 1 drew attention to its limitations and then led to revision processes, ultimately resulting in an improved version, METT South Africa Version 3 (METT 3). First assessments on the new revision were undertaken in 2015 and data submitted to DEA. The revision highlighted areas of weaknesses, and also highlighted, for example, the suitability of the tool for World Heritage Sites (WHS) and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Since then, additional areas of the tool that require strengthening have emerged, such as catering for other kinds of protected areas, and having a tool that responds to different needs, which include, but are not limited to, private nature reserves, Ramsar sites, stewardship sites, GEF project sites and transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs). Other areas requiring attention include the development of the system that will respond to assessing sites with multiple designations or covering different kinds of protected areas. There was also a need for an integrated, online system that could be used remotely. Therefore, the web-based METT tool was developed as a centralized, automated repository of a data, and an analytical response system.

Citizen scientists contributing to government land-use decision-making Take a Survey
11:15 - 11:30

South Africa's Plant Conservation Strategy has nurtured a network of botanists, conservation agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academic institutions. The strategy includes 16 outcome-oriented targets, each of which, if implemented well, will support improved conservation of plants in South Africa. Target 4 of the strategy relates to securing biodiversity targets for terrestrial ecosystems through effective management. The Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) citizen science programme is aligned with the national Plant Conservation Strategy and makes an important contribution towards nine of the 16 targets, including Target 4. The Biodiversity Stewardship Programme (BSP) is a key initiative for conserving sites containing threatened plants as well as sites containing threatened ecosystem types that are underrepresented in South Africa's protected areas. Since the inception of the BSP in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, the CREW programme has forged strong partnerships and has contributed to working on management plans and landowner engagement for 173 sites. CREW citizen scientists conduct botanical surveys to identify sites that could/should enter the biodiversity stewardship process, and for sites that have entered the biodiversity stewardship process ground-truth priority species predicted to occur on the sites, develop species lists for the management plans, and, where appropriate, raise concerns based on an intimate knowledge and continuing engagements with sites. The integration of citizen scientists collecting plant data into government land-use planning and decision-making is novel globally. Without the ongoing collection of new plant data, national, provincial and local government planning and decision-making would largely exclude the consideration of recent, accurate and comprehensive plant species data. In the absence of this data, inappropriate land-use management activities would be approved that would lead to the loss of threatened species and their associated habitats. Citizen scientists could play a greater role in the management of protected areas by adopting state-owned land under municipal management as well as enhancing custodianship activities to manage and protect sites.

Making natural areas more profitable than modified ones without modifying them Take a Survey
11:30 - 11:45

The irrefutable findings of the recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report show that the loss of nature is happening at an accelerated rate. The expansion of protected area networks is a recognised and effective way that can assist in slowing down this rate. However, in a changing global socio-political context, this is no longer enough to ensure protected area security. Thus, through necessity, the conservation sector is being forced to find innovative mechanisms that combine sustainable economic benefits, social development targets and natural resource conservation, as well as explicitly demonstrating the linkages between them. Professor Brian Childs sums up this nexus with this question, "How do we make natural systems more profitable than modified ones?" But the profitability (or benefit flow) can only be sustainable if the natural system is not exploited. In the wake of South Africa's National Biodiversity Economy Strategy, and more recently, the African Wildlife Economy Summit 2019, it is broadly accepted that Africa's unique wildlife and ecosystems hold the potential to catalyse radical economic transformation, especially in rural economically-depressed landscapes. But what tools are at our disposal to enable this and which ones will work in landscapes which all have a nuanced context? By drawing on a few private-community-owned projects which Conservation Outcomes has been involved in, (which includes two possible new Big Five reserve developments in the uMfolozi Biodiversity Economy Node), we evaluate some of the constraints such as land ownership rights and responsibilities, institutional arrangements, community cohesion, communication, network and skills deficits, as well as the real opportunities, including best practice protected area management, job creation potential, driving economies, integrated business models, and innovative resourcing of the projects. As lessons learnt, we also share tools that have been used with varying degrees of success.

Improving the understanding of the linkage between human well-being and a functional natural environment, secured within protected areas Take a Survey
11:45 - 12:00

The pursuit of human wellbeing is one of the primary goals for society and is a key focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015. Many publications and studies have further highlighted the absolute reliance of the human population on a functional natural environment providing the ecosystem services required for our daily needs and general wellbeing. A key environmental feature, and ecosystem service, that is critical for the wellbeing of the human population in South Africa, and the world, is the provision of suitable quality and quantity of water. Much of the ecological infrastructure providing these water services has been severely impacted, as shown in SANBI's Biodiversity Assessment, with wetlands being the most threatened ecosystem. An excellent understanding of our strategic water source areas (SWSA's) exists in South Africa, which is the 10% of our land surface area that provides more than 50% of South Africa's water. The link of SWSA's to our survival (with the securing and better management of them) is a priority in the face of diminishing viable resources and climate change realities. In order to facilitate initiatives such as the development of a new grassland national protected area that is being proposed for the north-Eastern Cape, we need to improve the understanding of the values of securing new protected areas, not only for their biodiversity value, but their critical role in human wellbeing, driving economic growth with clear benefits to society.

Development of new income streams for protected areas: Driving the wildlife economy Take a Survey
12:00 - 12:15

In 2018 Conservation Outcomes began assisting South African National Parks (SANParks) in the development of a business plan for the Skukuza abattoir in the Kruger National Park. Subsequently, this work has broadened to include the entire open system with a view to establishing a game meat market under the auspices of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) Cooperative Agreement, incorporating other game meat abattoirs in the open system. This provides the opportunity to work with partner protected areas to create a Greater Kruger brand for game meat produced from the open system. This will enable a coordinated effort to develop game meat as an income stream for the protected areas and drive socio-economic development and support to communities living in the region. Participants that qualify to use the Greater Kruger brand will gain access to its market, thus providing an avenue for the sale of their products. Ultimately the development of the game meat market and the associated brand will act as a catalyst and driver for the development of a broad wildlife economy initiative in the region, encouraging the creation of new protected areas that can gain market access for their products through the Greater Kruger brand. This will extend beyond game meat and include other products and activities linked to tourism in the region. The game meat market embraces the principles of sustainable resource use. This is important, as the local communities living in the areas around the Greater Kruger are heavily reliant on natural resources as part of their livelihood strategies. Furthermore, these communities are the interface for human-wildlife conflict in the region. Accordingly, it is vital that they are able to participate in a meaningful way in the wildlife industry and are able to clearly appreciate its benefits.


Speakers
Department of Environmental Affairs
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
Conservation Outcomes NPC
Presenter
WWF South Africa
Conservation Outcomes NPC
Moderators
Conservation Outcomes NPC

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