Certification standards for sustainable game ranching in the Northern Province, South Africa

Du Toit, Engela A. (2000-03)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Formal systems of environmental management and certification for activities associated with extensive land use, relate mainly to forestry. The emergence of forest certification largely originates from the issue of tropical deforestation and the associated boycott campaigns against tropical timber. At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, a new set of international norms were set in the form of Forest Principles. These were non-binding and together with international initiatives, such as the Tropical Forestry Action Programme and the International Tropical Timber Organisation have failed to decrease deforestation. New efforts to encourage sustainable forestry through forest certification were made by Non Governmental Organisations which collaborated with the private sector in developing new policy instruments. They followed the trend of eco-labelling in an attempt to link green consumers to producers whose aim it is to improve management practices. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was established. The FSC system relies on forest management principles and criteria approved by itself and is based on performance standards. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) also developed a management standard based on the principle of continuous improvement. ISO developed the ISO 14001 standard for the certification of Environmental Management Systems which is applicable to any industry concerned with the environment. From questionnaire surveys carried out among a sample of private game ranch owners/managers in the Northern Province, current standards of management were established. It was found that private owners/managers rely mostly on their own experience and knowledge. Information about management on game ranches is rarely available and only major concerns and most visible problems are attended to. Guidelines with standards for an Environmental Management System (EMS) according to the ISO 14000 series were drawn up from the results of the surveys and a literature review. A checklist of principles and criteria which could be used for the certification process was also developed. The final objective is to attain quality game ranch management which is environmentally sensitive, socially aware/beneficial and economically viable. This is crucial for the conservation and preservation of the natural systems in South Africa in which private land owners playa major role.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Formele omgewingsbestuursisteme en sertifisering vir aktiwiteite wat geassosieer word met ekstensiewe grondbenutting, word hoofsaaklik gekoppel met bosbou. Die konsep van sertifisering het tot stand gekom as gevolg van die omstredenheid rondom ontbossing en die gassosieerde sanksies teen tropiese hout. By die Verenigde Nasies Konferensie oor Omgewing en Ontwikkeling in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 is 'n nuwe stel internasionale norme daargestel in die vorm van Bosbeginsels. Hierdie was nie-bindend en saam met internasionale inisiatiewe soos die Tropiese Bos Aksie Program en die Internasionale Tropiese Hout Organisasie het hulle gefaal om ontbossing te verminder. Nuwe pogings om volhoubare bosboupraktyke aan te moedig is aangewend nadat Nie-Regering Organisasies en die privaatsektor saamgewerk het om nuwe beleidsinstrumente te ontwikkel. Hulle het die neiging vir die "eko-etiket" nagevolg in 'n poging om omgewingsbewuste verbruikers in kontak te bring met produseerders wat gemoeid is met verbeterde bestuurspraktyke. Die Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) het tot stand gekom en hulle sisteem sluit bosbestuursbeginsels en kriteria in wat deur hulleself goedgekeur is en gebaseer is op werkverrigtingstandaarde. Die Internasionale Standaarde Organisasie (ISO) het ook 'n bosbestuurstandaard opgestel gebaseer op die beginsel van kontinue verbetering. ISO het die ISO 14001 standaard opgestel vir Omgewingsbestuursisteme wat van toepassing gemaak kan word op enige industrie wat gemoeid is met die omgewmg. Na afhandeling van vraelys opnames onder privaat wildsplaas eienaars/bestuurders, is daar vasgestel wat die standaard van bestuur tans in die Noordelike Provinsie is. Privaat eienaarsIbestuurders maak meestal staat op hulle eie ondervinding en kennis. Inligting oor die bestuur van die wildsplase is nie geredelik beskikbaar nie en slegs die mees sigbare en grootste probleme word bestuur. 'n Riglyn met standaarde vir 'n Omgewingsbestuursisteem volgens ISO is opgestel vanaf resultate van die opnames en 'n literatuurstudie asook 'n "Checklist" wat beginsels en kriteria insluit wat gebruik kan word in die sertifiseringsproses is ook ontwerp. Die finale doel is om kwaliteit bestuur te bewerkstellig wat omgewingsensitief, sosiaal bewus/voordelig en ekonomies lewensvatbaar is. Laasgenoemde is uiters belangrik aangesien privaat grondeienaars 'n sleutelrol speel in die bewaring en preservering van die natuurlike sisteme in Suid-Afrika.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51648
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