The proposed Gariep Transfrontier Conservation Area : conservation overlay evaluation of the South African section

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The Gariep Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) was identified by the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) as one of seven potential TFCAs in southern Africa. Conservation of the Gariep TFCA would provide protection to the Nama-karoo biome, thereby improving the representativeness of South Africa's reserve network, a national conservation goal. However, the land in the Gariep TFCA is privately owned and land purchases or contractual agreements with landowners will be required before conservation activity can be carried out. With limited resources available for conservation, and competition between conservation and other activities for a limited supply of land, it is necessary to focus conservation efforts on land with the greatest value to conservation. Creation of the Gariep TFCA should therefore be the outcome of a deliberate and rational planning process which is based on all relevant available information. Accordingly, the aim of this dissertation is to produce a decisionsupport instrument which can be used for planning of the Gariep TFCA. The COVER evaluation is a rapid, coarse-filter approach, necessitated by the level of detailed environmental information available. The main source of environmental data for the evaluation was the biophysical and socio-economic information collected for the Feasibility Study (1998). This was supplemented by first-hand knowledge of the Gariep area, a literature review, and interviews with conservationists. The overlay method used for the evaluation is a means of including environmental factors into land use planning. A conservation overlay (COVER) approach was used to evaluate the Gariep area for Because an integrated approach to conservation was adopted, both scientific and socio-political criteria were selected for the evaluation. The scientific criteria evaluate biodiversity, while the socio-political criteria evaluate land availability and tourism potential, and the threat to present conservation value. These criteria were used to evaluate eight environmental factors for conservation. The results of the evaluation are displayed on a series of maps showing the geographic location and extent of the various value zones. The separate maps show the biological conservation value, tourism value, the threat which human activity poses to conservation, and the social cost of conserving the Gariep area.

Bibliography: leaves 82-88.