Marine conservation planning in South Africa: is achieving implementation a question of scale?

Lombard AT1, Harris JM2, Livingstone T2, Sink K3, Lagabrielle E4

1Nelson Mandel Metropolitan University (gemsbok@mweb.co.za)
2Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
3South African Biodiversity Institite
4University of La Réunion Island

Marine spatial conservation planning initiatives in South Africa have emerged at different scales. A national biodiversity assessment and plan, providing a very broad framework for biodiversity conservation planning exists and is in its second iteration but is limited in the availability of data for the whole planning region and scale of relevance to local management and buy-in from a diverse stakeholder group who are often at odds with both the authority and each other. This is particularly problematic in the inshore, specifically the shoreline, where relevant scales of biological pattern are at a much finer level, where variability in threats to the marine environment tend occur at the scale of m’s rather than km’s, and stakeholders are strongly invested in knowledge about the patterns of the biodiversity since they can see directly it. In this context broad plans suffer credibility crises when they do not incorporate information at the same scale as the local knowledge. Finer scale biodiversity assessments and plans for the shoreline of the south and east coasts of South Africa have been done. We compare the differently scaled plans, and explore the issues inherent in reconciling the differences in the identified priority areas for conservation action, the responses from non-governmental stakeholders in engaging in implementation of the plans, and the challenges in achieving co-ordination across different levels of government.

Presentation Topic

Marine conservation planning in South Africa: is achieving implementation a question of scale?


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