The second component of the Project focused on improving the management of land and natural resources, to ensure that priority biodiversity is able to persist in a healthy functioning state. Most of the biodiversity priority areas in the target districts are on land that is either privately or communally owned. Thus, the Project made use of the implementation of biodiversity stewardship agreements and biodiversity management agreements on private and communal land.

Biodiversity stewardship is an approach to entering into agreements with private and communal landowners to protect and manage land in biodiversity priority areas. Biodiversity stewardship programmes are currently underfunded. Through this Project, private and communal landowners were empowered to become custodians of important biodiversity on their land.

Outcome 2.1 Improved security for biodiversity priority areas.

  • 37 766 ha declared in new biodiversity stewardship sites, a further 43 832 ha in progress.

Outcome 2.2 Biodiversity management of threatened medicinal plant species and priority ecosystems enhanced.

  • First Biodiversity Management Plan for Ecosystems developed in the country.
  • A Biodiversity Management Plan developed for 6 highly threatened medicinal plant species.

Outcome 2.3 Pressure on biodiversity is reduced through better land and natural resource management practices implemented by private and communal land owners.

  • 284 000+ ha under better management across both private and communal land.
  • 3 certification schemes, for the sugar, fruit and forestry sectors, now incorporate biodiversity.
  • 100% of sugar producers in uMgungundlovu using the SUSFarms standard, uptake expanded nationally.
  • 1 642 fruit producers (55%) accessing the SIZA Environmental Standards.

Outcome 2.4 Financing mechanisms and incentives for biodiversity stewardship improved and capacity to implement incentives is strengthened.

  • Tax law amended (section 37 D) to create new tax incentive for biodiversity stewardship.
  • R200 million returned to conservation through tax incentives at biodiversity stewardship sites.
  • 13 landowners accessed new tax incentive for biodiversity stewardship sites.
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