Towards a spatial framework for transfrontier conservation planning in die SADC region

Van der Merwe, Nadia (2003-04)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) was established in 1997 to facilitate Transfrontier Conservation (TFCA) initiatives in the SADC region and thereby support economic development, conservation of biodiversity, as well as the promotion of regional peace and stability. To this effect, their regional planners require a thorough knowledge of the condition of areas in which the estimated actions will be carried out. To date, the PPF have used base datasets, such as land cover and population densities, in their GIS projects to support their decision making processes. However, they have realised the importance of developing rigorous methods for the extraction and generalization of biodiversity information for informed conservation decisions. The main aim of this study was, therefore, to develop a spatial framework for the generalisation and integration of data to become meaningful information that may be readily interpreted. The resultant framework represents a methodology for, firstly, identifying and, secondly, prioritizing core natural areas or units (CNU). CNUs were modelled to represent large blocks (minimum 100 km') of contiguous natural vegetation that are far from major roads and densely populated places. They were, then, ranked into three classes of importance (low, medium and high) according to an ecological value derived for each. This made the framework comprehensive in its considerations of regional biodiversity and robust enough to be used for planning at the SADC scale. By organising data and quantitative approaches logically in a robust, but rigorous, way, spatial frameworks provide the structure for combining specialized knowledge as well as scientific analysis and pragmatic politics in an effective planning process. This could guide plans which are proactive instead of reactive, visionary as well as pragmatic and well founded in research and understanding.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) was gestig in 1997 om oorgrens bewarings-initiatiewe in die SADC streek te fasiliteer en daardeur steun te verleen aan ekonomiese ontwikkeling, die bewaring van biodiversiteit asook die bevordering van vrede en stabiliteit in die streek. Om dit te behaal benodig die betrokke streeksbeplanners 'n grondige kennis van die toestand van die areas waarin die beoogdede aksies uitgevoer sal word. Tot op hede het die PPF basis datastelle, van byvoorbeeld landgebruik en populasie-digtheid, ingespan m hul GIS projekte om besluitnemingsprossese te ondersteun. Daar is egter besef dat dit van hoogste belang is om deeglike metodes te onwikkel vir die onttrekking van biodiversiteits-informasie sodat ingeligte besluitneming moontlik gemaak kan word. Gevolglik was die hoof oogmerk van hierdie studie om 'n ruimtelike verwysingsraamwerk te ontwikkel wat data kan veralgemeen en integreer tot betekenisvolle inligting wat geredelik interpreteerbaar is. Die daaruit-vloeiende raamwerk stel 'n metodologie voor wat Kern Natuurlike Areas (KNA) eerstens kan identifiseer en tweedens kan prioritiseer. Hierdie KNA is gemodelleer om groot blokke (minstens 100km2 ) van aaneenlopende natuurlike plantegroei, ver van hoofpaaie en dig bevolkte gebiede, voor te stel. Hulle is hieropvolgend gesorteer in drie range van belangrikheid (laag, medium en hoog) na gelang van 'n ekologiese waarde wat vir elk afgelei is. Hierdeur is die raamwerk, in terme van voldoende oorwegings teenoor streeks-biodiversiteit, omvattend gemaak en terselfdertyd robuus vir beplanning op die SADC skaal. Deur data en kwalitatiewe benaderings logies en in 'n deeglike en robuuste wyse te organiseer, bied ruimtelike verwysingsraamwerke die struktuur om gespesialiseerde kennis met wetenskaplike analise en pragmatiese politiek te kombineer in 'n effektiewe beplanningsproses. Hierdeur kan planne geformuleer word wat proaktief is instede van reaktief, visionêr sowel as pragmaties, en terselfdertyd goed gefundeer bly op navorsing en begrip.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49803
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