A framework for regional estuarine management : a South African case study
Thesis (MSc (Geography and Environmental Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
In South Africa, as a result of limited resources and capacity, the governance and management of estuaries occur on an ad hoc basis, with decisions about an estuary’s freshwater-flow requirements, water quality, living-resources management, mouth management and protection status being made on a largely uncoordinated and non-strategic basis. This study is aimed at developing an understanding of the opportunities and constraints affecting estuarine management at a regional scale. The objectives of this study were to: Review relevant policy and legislation governing estuarine management in South Africa; Discuss the current status of regional estuarine management in South Africa; Review international literature for potentially applicable management guidelines; Construct a management protocol for estuarine management in South Africa; Apply this protocol in a South African setting; and Recommend improved measures for regional estuarine management. The main outcome of the study was the development of the proposed National Estuarine Management Protocol, which is currently in the process of being incorporated into the National Environmental Management: Coastal Zone Bill. The CAPE Estuaries Programme was developed to test the proposed Protocol in a regional setting. The study concluded that there was an urgent need for a more holistic regional approach to estuarine management but that the proposed framework and protocol would be successful only if, in addition, they were supported by an understanding of the biophysical estuarine processes and management constraints operating at the local level.