Rethinking protected area co-management in the Makuleke Region, South Africa (SA)

Maluleke, Gezani (2018-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The conservation of biodiversity over past centuries been characterized by exclusion and to some degree the forced removal of people for the creation of the protected areas. In the post-apartheid period, South African conservation practices went through a process of transformation whereby the conservation policies were reviewed. On this basis the Makuleke community adopted a principle of co-management by which they resolved to retain the conservation status of the northern portion of the Kruger National Park (KNP) formerly known as the ‘Pafuri Triangle’ when they had regained their land after a successful land claim process and concluding a co-management agreement with South African National Parks (SANP). Given the fact that the co-management agreement is for a period of 50 years but is subject to review after 25 years, an assessment as to whether this co-management agreement is functional or not should become a priority so that some remedial measures may be put in place just before a mandatory review gets started to ensure that both the integrity of the Makuleke community and those of the SANP are not undermined. In attempting to rethink this protected area co-management arrangement, this study had to establish whether the existing co-management agreement in the Makuleke Region (the name by which the Pafuri Triangle is now known) is real or rhetoric, and whether it is meeting its intended objectives or is merely a paper model. Since co-management does not necessarily imply equality, particularly in the context of the knowledge and the financial capacities of the parties to the agreement, this study investigated the balance of power between the Makuleke community and SANP. This study consequently argues that community goals should be pursued by strategies that emphasize the role of local communities in the decision-making process in relation to their natural resources. This study presents the need to change the governance structure and develop a business model in a way that will promote equal contribution from both sides to the conservation of biodiversity and socio-economic development in the Makuleke Region.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die bewaring van biodiversiteit oor die afgelope eeue is deur uitsluiting en ook soms deur gedwonge verskuiwing van mense vir die skep van bewaringsgebiede gekarakteriseer. In die post-apartheid periode het Suid-Afrikaanse bewaringspraktyke deur ‘n transformasie-proses beweeg waarin bewaringsbeleid hersien is. Op hierdie basis het die Makuleke-gemeenskap ‘n beginsel van samewerkende bestuur aangeneem om die bewaringstatus van die noordelike deel van die Nasionale Kruger Wildtuin, voorheen bekend as die ‘Pafuri-driehoek’, te behou nadat hulle hulle grond na ‘n suksesvolle grondeiseproses herwin het en ‘n ooreenkoms vir samewerkende bestuur met die Suid-Afrikaanse Nasionale Parke (SANP) gesluit het. Gegewe die feit dat die samewerkende bestuursooreenkoms vir ‘n periode van 50 jaar geld, maar onderhewig is aan hersiening na 25 jaar, behoort ‘n assessering oor die funksionaliteit van die ooreenkoms ‘n prioriteit te word sodat remediërende maatreëls in werking gestel kan word voordat ‘n verpligte hersiening begin word, om te verseker dat die integriteit van beide die Makuleke-gemeenskap en die SANP nie ondermyn word nie. In ‘n poging om hierdie samewerkende bestuursreëling ten opsigte van ‘n beskermde gebied te herbedink, moes hierdie studie vasstel of die bestaande samewerkende bestuursooreenkoms in die Makuleke Streek (die huidige naam van die Pafuri Driehoek) ‘n werklikheid of bloot retories is en of dit sy beoogde doelstellings bereik of slegs ‘n papiermodel is. Aangesien samewerkende bestuur nie noodwendig gelykheid impliseer nie, veral nie in die konteks van kennis en finansiële kapasiteit van die partye in die ooreenkoms nie, het hierdie studie die magsbalans tussen die Makuleke-gemeenskap en die SANP ondersoek. Hieruit volg dat die studie argumenteer dat gemeenskapsdoelwitte deur strategieë nagestreef moet word wat die rol van plaaslike gemeenskappe in die besluitnemingsproses ten opsigte van hulle natuurlike hulpbronne beklemtoon. Die studie toon aandat daar ‘n behoefte is om die bestuurstruktuur te verander en om ‘n sakemodel te ontwikkel op ‘n wyse wat die gelyke bydrae van beide partye tot die bewaring van biodiversiteit en sosio-ekonomiese ontwikkeling in die Makuleke Streek sal bevorder.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/103576
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