Establishing a conservancy

Conservancies promote and encourage habitat and species conservation.

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A conservancy is a group of landowners who join forces to collectively monitor and promote the conservation of ecosystems, animals and land. Conservation is also promoted through collaboration with local communities. This includes increasing, challenging and changing awareness of and approaches to conservation. Transformation of the landscape through development of agricultural land can also be monitored. A conservancy is empowered to ensure that sound economic principles are followed on all privately owned and communal land within the conservancy area.

A balancing act
The first conservancy was registered in Balgowan, KwaZulu-Natal, in 1978, with the then Natal Parks Board. The purpose of the conservancy was to protect the game on the owners’ farm lands. Conservancies can be registered with the Department of Environmental Affairs. There are now conservancies in all South Africa’s provinces. The National Association of Conservancies and Stewardship of South Africa (Nacssa) works with local nature conservation authorities to help those who want to form a conservancy, and tries to maintain some balance between conservation, economic development and agriculture.

Next week: how to form, register and promote your conservancy.

Contact Susan Pletts on 082 572 3724, or [email protected].

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