National Biodiversity Stewardship Conference: Unlocking benefits through Biodiversity Stewardship

The conservation, management and sustainable use of South Africa’s biodiversity depends on a range of strategies. This includes expanding and consolidating the protected area network, reducing loss and degradation in biodiversity priority areas, and in some cases restoring biodiversity priority areas.

Biodiversity stewardship is an approach to securing land in biodiversity priority areas through entering into voluntary agreements with private and communal landowners. These agreements are led by conservation authorities and with conservation NGOs who play a key supportive role. Biodiversity stewardship has been identified as the most effective mechanism for securing land outside of protected areas and for meeting protected area targets established in the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy.

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), in collaboration with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), will be hosting the first National Biodiversity Stewardship Conference themed ‘Unlocking benefits through biodiversity stewardship’ in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on 27 and 28 September 2017.

The aim of this conference will be to provide a platform for high-level engagement between decision-makers, including Heads of Departments and CEOs of Conservation Agencies, to understand the benefits and obstacles with implementing biodiversity stewardship across South Africa, as well as to identify ways in which to unblock some constraints to improve access to resources needed to enable the provinces to implement their Biodiversity Stewardship Programmes effectively.

Outcomes of the conference include:

  • Provide a broad understanding of the benefits and existing challenges regarding biodiversity stewardship amongst high-level decision-makers, including Heads of Departments and Chief Executive Officers.
  • Hold interactive sessions with high-level participants to address some of the challenges to ensure that the provinces are adequately resourced, supported by DEA and SANBI, and that NGO support is enhanced.
  • Enable sustainable financing mechanisms for biodiversity stewardship drawing on ongoing initiatives to explore various sustainable finance solutions.
  • Strengthen linkages between biodiversity stewardship and the Wildlife Economy, Land Reform and the Natural Resource Management Programme.
  • Encourage participation of significant role players, such as the South African National Parks and National Treasury.
  • Illustrate the benefits of the latest biodiversity stewardship tax incentive initiative.

For updates and news of the National Biodiversity Stewardship Conference, follow SANBI on Twitter @SANBI_ZA with the hashtag #NBSC2017.

Alex Marsh
Natural Resource Management Co-ordinator
Tel.: +27 (0)21 799 8404
Cell: +27 (0)82 076 7837

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