The challenge of creating an effective and equitable legal regime to cover transboundary protected areas considering the challenge through the lens of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Contemporary recognition of the need to expand existing protected area systems has culminated in the formulation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 by the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This Strategic Plan incorporates 20 ambitious 'Aichi Biodiversity Targets'; with Target 11 specifically requiring that by 2020 'at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas, as well as, other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape.' Target 11 requires compliance with a number of preconditions, two of which will be discussed in this dissertation. First, well-governed protected areas provide an established mechanism for both safeguarding habitats and populations of species, as well as, delivering important ecosystem services. It is, therefore, imperative that governance and planning measures are implemented effectively and equitably. Secondly, protected areas are required to be well-connected to the wider landscape through the use of corridors and ecological networks facilitating connectivity, adaption to climate change and the application of the ecosystem approach. Transboundary Natural Resource Management (TBNRM) provides a unique opportunity for realising both conditions.

Includes bibliographical references.