Co-management as an option for private protected areas : a case study of the Shongweni Resource Reserve.
Since the establishment of the first protected area in 1872, the Yellowstone National Park, the concept of protected areas and their management have witnessed several controversies and conflicts. Generally, ownership and management of most of these protected areas has in the past been restricted to state -governments. Other stakeholders and particularly local communities neighbouring these areas were excluded from their management and ownership. Since the last three decades, however, conservation bodies have been trying to encourage various other protected area governance (management) approaches to address failures in the existing management approach (in which state governments almost solely managed and owned these protected areas ) to achieve the conservation goals. Some of these include co-management and private protected area management approaches. In Component A of this study, "Co-management as an option for private protected areas: A case study of the Shongweni Resource Reserve", attempts were made to explore a selection of literature in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the concepts of private protected areas and co-management. Through this documentary review of literature from various sources (internet, libraries, personal communication, etc) the study identified, examined and documented various issues associated with the concepts. It also explored and documented the historical and current perspectives as well as the legal and policy context of these concepts in South Africa. In addition, the study examined the study area and the methods explored in the study. The study concludes in this Component that: 1. Protected area co-management is a pluralistic approach to the management of protected areas. It recognises a variety of stakeholders that are conducive to the achievement of sustainable conservation goals. 2. Private protected areas have tremendously increased in South Africa, with a total of 13% of the land surface under private protected area management. This is more than double the land surface under public protected area management. 3. South Africa has adequate legal and policy framework provisions that encourage comanagement as well as private protected area management.
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