DEPROCLAMATION: AN ALTERNATIVE TO CO-MANAGEMENT IN LAND CLAIMS ON PROTECTED AREAS?
Ruth Krüger and Georgina Cundill
Rhodes University, Department of Environmental Science

 

Abstract
The Sydney-on-Vaal land claim near Kimberley in the Northern Cape, South Africa, represents an alternative to the co-management systems typically adopted in order to resolve land claims on protected areas. In this case, the claimed Vaalbos National Park was deproclaimed and its game was relocated to a nearby game farm bought for SANParks with funds from the Land Claims Commission. This study aims to explore the benefits associated with this method of resolving a land claim, as well as the challenges experienced. Qualitative data was collected through key informant interviews and focus groups, and quantitative data was collected using household surveys. It was found that while SANParks viewed this case of deproclamation and relocation as a success story, most of the Sydney-on-Vaal claimants feel that they have not received any benefit from the associated land claim. This lack of benefits was linked to misconceptions of the claimants as a “community”, as well as weak leadership and a lack of post-settlement support. Given that these challenges have also been seen in co-management cases, I argue that challenges associated with land claims are more fundamental than the question of the form of land ownership that is ultimately taken. The lessons drawn from the Sydney-on-Vaal case will be used to suggest methods for the refinement of land claim processes on protected areas.

 

Presentation Topic

DEPROCLAMATION: AN ALTERNATIVE TO CO-MANAGEMENT IN LAND CLAIMS ON PROTECTED AREAS?
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