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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9852

Title: Land reform and biodiversity conservation in South Africa: complementary or in conflict?
Authors: Kepe, Thembela
Wynberg, Rachel
William, Ellis
Keywords: Biodiversity
land reform
land use
reconciliation
South Africa
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management, 1, 3–16
Abstract: In South Africa, following decades of apartheid, which included racially-based land dispossessions, the post-apartheid government has implemented a land reform programme, which allows people to re-claim the land they were forcefully removed from. Many of these land claims are targeting conservation areas, and this has resulted in the conservation and land reform sectors often coming into conflict. The paper analyzes current experiences in South Africa with regard to land reform in conservation areas, and, through the use of case studies, explores synergies and tensions, which currently exist between these two seemingly disparate objectives. The paper concludes that South Africa has achieved minimal success in reconciling these objectives. First, the divergent goals of the land and conservation sectors result in conflicts, which often lead to delays in the process of resolving land issues. Second, the joint management model used in South Africa to resolve land claims in protected areas appears unsuitable given current power imbalances between conservation agencies and poor rural people. Third, with the retention of the conservation status of land in all cases, land and resource rights remain unclear. Stronger and more secure land rights for the local people are therefore needed. Also needed are flexible strategies for resolving this dilemma, which may include alternative land uses other than ecotourism, and broader bioregional strategies for conservation that look beyond protected areas in terms of planning, conservation and economic development.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/9852
Appears in Collections:Geography

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