Ensuring environmentally sound development adjacent to protected areas

A special case can be made for paying attention to areas adjacent to protected areas, given that activities occurring in such areas may be critical to the protected area's success because the ecological landscape is often a continuum between designated protected areas and surrounding regions. The viability of protected areas is thus dependent upon the extent to which such areas are socially, economically, and ecologically integrated into the surrounding region.
These issues are especially pertinent to protected areas in South Africa, several of which fall within some of the most populous and poverty-stricken parts of the country. As protected areas are often centres of economic activity, social and economic conditions within and outside of these areas contrast starkly. These discrepancies are aggravated by the fact that in the past some protected areas were established at severe cost to communities. In the creation of protected areas, many communities were forcibly removed without adequate compensation. In the past, a "fences and fines" approach resulted in people being denied access to resources upon which they depended. Aggravating these circumstances is the fact that protected areas have remained inaccessible to the majority of South Africa's people, and are perceived to be playgrounds for a privileged elite, from which few local benefits are derived.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas with a view to furthering protection of these areas.

Develop and introduce appropriate strategies, mechanisms and incentives to integrate protected areas within the broader ecological and social landscape, and encourage conservation in adjacent private and communal areas. This may include the establishment of biosphere reserves; buffer zones; community-based wildlife management schemes; multiple use areas; tourism plans; development projects; or the introduction of conservation grants and other economic incentives.

Conservation zones
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies