United Nations Development Programme Global Environment Facility Full Project – Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity on the South African Wild Coast



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PART I: SITUATION ANALYSIS

Context and global significance



National context


  1. South Africa is recognized as one of 17 megadiversity countries, mainly due to its extraordinary floristic diversity and the high level of endemism. South Africa occupies about 2% of the world’s land area, but is home to nearly 10% of the world’s plants (estimated at 23,420 species) and 7% of the reptiles, birds and mammals. Three of the world’s 25 most threatened biodiversity hotspots are found within the country’s boundaries (Cape Floristic Region, Succulent Karoo and Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany). The South African coast, straddling two oceans, is home to almost 15% of known coastal and marine species.




  1. South Africa has a reasonably well-developed system of formal protected areas. The draft South African National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (NSBA, 2004) has classified South Africa’s terrestrial PAs into 3 broad types:

  1. Type 1 protected areas (equivalent to IUCN categories I, II and IV), including National Parks, Provincial Nature Reserves, Local Authority Nature Reserves and Forest Reserves, have strong legal protection and are primarily managed for the maintenance of biodiversity;

  2. Type 2 protected areas (equivalent to IUCN categories III, IV, V and VI) including Wildlife Management Areas, Private Nature Reserves, National Heritage Sites, undeveloped State land (excluding Type 1 protected areas), Bird Sanctuaries, Botanical Gardens, Mountain Catchment Areas (excluding Type 1 protected areas), Protected Natural Environments, Coastal Conservation Areas and Indigenous State Forests (excluding Type 1 protected areas) have an intermediate level of legal protection and are primarily managed for sustainable use and development without compromising their ecological, landscape and cultural integrity;

  3. Type 3 protected areas (equivalent to IUCN category VI), including Private Game Farms, Private Game Reserves (excluding Type 2 protected areas) and Conservancies (excluding Type 2 protected areas), are often more informal protected areas with a moderate to low legal status and are primarily managed as productive enterprises.




  1. Currently 6% of the land surface of South Africa is under some form of protection. The conservation estate comprises 479 Type 1 protected areas and 471 Type 2 protected areas. Table 1 shows the number, distribution and extent of these protected areas for the nine provinces. Only a few protected areas are greater than 100,000 ha in size with the vast majority ranging between 1,000 and 10,000 ha in total area.

Table 1: Distribution, extent and type of protected area per province



Province

Type 1

Type 2

Type 3

Total Area

Eastern Cape

94

94

51

1,071,427

Free State

18

1




262,545

Gauteng

23

41

1

201,341

KwaZulu Natal

84

5




737,633

Mpumalanga

45

76

3

2,416,696

Northern Cape

14







1,433,705

Limpopo

41

43

9

2,949,273

North West

22

8

2

349,443

Western Cape

138

203




1,786,325

Total

479

471

66

11,208,491




  1. In most parts of South Africa, the current terrestrial protected area estate is biased in favor of landscapes where the opportunity costs of conservation are low. The protected area network is thus not uniformly distributed in the landscape and there are substantial gaps that need to be addressed to ensure the representativity of the protected area network. Currently, the forest, fynbos and desert are the most protected biomes in terms of percentage total area, while the Nama-karoo and grasslands are the least protected biomes. The gaps are accentuated when assessed at a finer scale. Out of a total of 441 vegetation types for South Africa, 110 are not protected at all. Furthermore, an additional 90 vegetation types have less than 5% of their target area for biodiversity conservation protected. More than 300 vegetation types have less than half their biodiversity target protected within statutory protected areas (NSBA 2004).




  1. The NSBA has divided the marine protected areas (MPA) into three categories:

    1. Category 1 areas are ‘no-take’ marine protected areas in which compatible recreation is permitted;

    2. Category 2 areas are other MPAs in which some extraction is permitted under strictly controlled conditions and compatible recreation is permitted;

    3. Category 3 areas are seasonal or permanently ‘closed areas’ for harvesting of certain marine resources




  1. Table 2 provides an overview of the protection status of the South African coastline within the five coastal bioregions. Although 23% of South Africa’s coastline falls within category 1-3 MPAs, only 9% of this area is no-take. This 23% is further not truly representative of the regions coastal and marine biodiversity and there are currently no offshore MPAs. The total area covered by the MPAs constitutes some 9980 km2, currently only 0.41% of South Africa’s Economic Exclusion Zone, of which only 0.16% of this is no-take. Two of the six supratidal biozones – West Coast and Transkei Coast supratidal do not reach their targets of 20% in category 1 MPAs.

Table 2: Overview of the protection status of South African coastline




Bioregion

Length of coastline (km)

Category 1MPA

Category 2 MPA

Category 3 MPA

Coastline not in MPAs

Total length

Namaqua

0

0

0

629

684

SW Cape

51

163

0

207

420

Agulhas

197

78

52

1379

1706

Natal

43

100

0

550

693

Delagoa

43

110

0

0

153

Total

334

451

52

2764

3656




  1. The South African Government has stressed its commitment to ensuring that the protected area network provides adequate protection to South Africa’s nine biomes and that the network of type 1 protected areas is expanded by year 2010 to 8% of South Africa’s terrestrial land surface and from 5% to 20% of the marine and coastal environments (Yawitch, Mancotywa and Naude, 2003). In expanding the protected area network, South Africa is focusing on biomes and ecosystems that are currently under-protected to bring the country closer to the ideal of a representative sample of all ecosystems in protected areas. Five inter-linked sets of actions are envisaged for the conservation of South Africa’s biodiversity, namely: working with production sectors; strengthening bioregional programs; minimizing loss of habitat in threatened ecosystems; preventing and managing the spread of invasive alien species and expanding protected areas to achieve representation targets.




  1. Historically, the South African Government has sought to expand the terrestrial protected area estate through the reservation of public land, and more recently, the purchase of lands from private landholders. A number of new approaches are currently being trialed to formalize protected areas on private lands under various management systems1. South Africa has been a world leader in developing and experimenting with new models for PA management, including partnerships with private land owners, private utilities and the business sector. The NSBA (2004) however estimated that 30-50% of the total communal lands in South Africa occur in priority areas for conservation and the government has underscored the urgent need to expand and adapt the current mechanisms and models to facilitate conservation in communal lands. The mechanisms and models must be founded on the principle that PAs are jointly managed by the communities and protected area authorities with the objective of expanding opportunities for conserving biodiversity in these communal areas whilst providing tangible benefits to local people and especially, alleviating poverty. Given the high social and cultural heterogeneity evident in the country, a number of different approaches to the incorporation of communal land into a conservation estate are needed to accommodate different historical circumstances and social and economic landscapes. There is a particular need to nest PA management in regional development strategies and into local economies, and to establish effective collaborative management systems involving PA authorities, local government and local communities




  1. South Africa’s high biodiversity and heterogeneity of ecosystems amplifies the challenge of establishing a representative protected areas system, as numerous protected areas need to be established to achieve the established conservation targets and the management models have to be adapted to suit socio-economic and institutional specificity. The challenge is particularly high in the Eastern Cape, as both beta and gamma diversity is high (seven of South Africa’s nine biomes are represented in the Province).


Provincial and regional context


  1. The Wild Coast forms the Eastern part of the Eastern Cape Province, and stretches along the 245 km coastal strip from the Kei River in the south, to the Umtamvuna River in the north (see Section IV, part V: Map of the project site)2. The Wild Coast includes portions of five of South Africa’s nine biomes. The major biomes of the Wild Coast, encompassing the largest areas, are the forest, grassland and savanna. The Wild Coast is located within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany ‘hotspot’ (Myers, 2003) and is listed along with Upper Guinea, Cameroon Highlands, Albertine Rift, Ethiopian Highlands, Eastern Arc and coastal forests, Madagascar and the Cape Fynbos - as having a deficient protected area system, which needs to be urgently expanded and strengthened to improve the bio-geographic coverage of protected areas in Africa. The Wild Coast falls within a marine (Agulhas Current) and terrestrial (Drakensberg Montane Shrublands and Woodlands) ‘Priority Ecoregion for Global Conservation’ (Olson and Dinerstein, 2002). Finally, the Maputaland-Pondoland region has been identified in the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (NSBA) as one of nine national priority areas for conservation action.




  1. The Pondoland Center of plant endemism is located within the Wild Coast, along the Msikaba Formation sandstone belt north of Port St Johns and represents one of seven centres of endemism in South Africa, and one of only 235 sites on Earth recognised for their global importance as repositories of floral biodiversity (WWF and IUCN, 1994). Although limited surveys have been carried out, Davis et al. (1974) recorded more than 130 endemic vascular plants in the Pondoland Center - many of which are thought to be paleoendemic relictual species - including one monotypic family and six monotypic genera. The best known of these is probably the highly localized and rare Pondoland Coconut Palm which grows only on the northern banks of the lower Msikaba and Mtentu rivers.




  1. The terrestrial ecosystems of the Wild Coast comprise the primary coastal vegetation types of the region - the grasslands of the Transkei Coastal Belt, the Pondoland-Natal Sandstone Coastal Sourveld and the Scarp Forests. Within this band of vegetation types, patches of Mangrove Forest, Subtropical Coastal Lagoons, Subtropical Estuarine Salt Marshes, Subtropical Seashore Vegetation and Subtropical Dune Thicket are also found. The Transkei Coastal Belt, Subtropical Estuarine Salt Marshes and Pondoland-Natal Sandstone Coastal Sourveld are unique to the region and are mostly limited in distribution to the Wild Coast area. A remarkable 34 endemic tree species and 16 endemic shrub species have been recorded in the 50,000 ha of indigenous forests of the Wild Coast. The forests are also home to a number of rare species such as the Cape Parrot, Mangrove Kingfisher, Giant Golden Mole, Samango Monkey and Tree Dassie. The Wild Coast also has the most southerly distribution of mangrove forests, linked to the warm sub-tropical marine currents. There are 16 mangrove forest parcels, covering nearly 300 ha (Ward & Steinke 1982), with the most southerly forest in the Nxaxo River area. In addition to the diverse coastal forests, at least 80 grassland-associated endemics have been recorded.




  1. The Wild Coast is fed by three major catchments (Umzimvubu, Mbashe and Kei Rivers), two medium-sized catchments (Mtata and Mtamvuna Rivers) and nearly 100 minor catchments that stretch no more than 60 km inland. There has been little research on the freshwater aquatic ecosystems of the Wild Coast, but they are also likely to show important endemism and biodiversity. For example, two new Barbus fish species have recently been discovered. The Eastern Cape Province contains more than half (57%) of the country’s estuaries with the Wild Coast containing nearly 60% (122) of these estuaries. Moreover, this section of coast contains the highest proportion of estuaries in a good to excellent condition. The frequency of occurrence of South African endemics is particularly high along the Wild Coast, partly due to its central geographic location in the country, and partly because the coast contains the transition zone between two of the country’s three marine biogeographical zones.




  1. The Wild Coast area forms part of an important transition zone between the warmer, sub-tropical waters off KwaZulu Natal Province and the cooler warm-temperate waters of the Eastern Cape Province. A number of Indo-Pacific species are found at their southernmost limit of distribution (e.g. Stylophora), while some warm-temperate species occur at the northernmost limit of their distribution range (e.g. Chrysoblephus laticeps). Southern Africa has a total of 227 endemic coastal fish species, with the number of endemics reaching a peak in the Eastern Cape Province generally and the Wild Coast specifically. In a recent visual survey of shallow reefs between Port Edward and Port St Johns, 137 species fish species from 49 different families were identified, with a high proportion of endemic species (26%) (Mann and Celliers, 2004). Importantly the Wild Coast represents the center of distribution for a number of over-exploited endemic line fish. The most important endemic fish species are in the three families the Clinidae (klipfishes), the Gobidae (gobies) and the Sparidae (sea breams). Nearly 80% of the world’s sea bream species occur in South African waters, half of them endemics. The Wild Coast is central to their distribution, but recent findings place most of them in the critically overexploited category. Among marine invertebrates and algae there is also a unique transition zone along the Wild Coast. In a recent survey of a 150 km length of the Wild Coast, 10 species of seaweeds (representing 35% of SA "restricted endemics" and including two undescribed genera) were described as appearing to be locally endemic.




  1. Only 4.7% of the Eastern Cape Province is formally protected. Nearly 23% of the coastal zone (5 km inland and seaward of the shoreline) of the province is under some form of protection. The distribution of these formal protected areas is however highly variable, with, for example, only 2.2 % of the grassland biome under formal protection but 38% of the forest biome under protection.




  1. The Wild Coast has several types of protected areas which vary in terms of their management, as well as the constraints and opportunities they offer to conservation.




    1. Provincial Nature Reserves are managed as Type 1 protected areas (IUCN management category IV). The Eastern Cape Parks Board (ECPB) is the delegated management authority and the areas are administered in terms of the Protected Areas Act (2003). The Eastern Cape Provincial Environmental Conservation Bill, currently in draft format, will further reinforce the protected area status of the reserves. There are currently five provincial nature reserves in the Wild Coast (Mkambati, Dwesa, Cwebe, Hluleka and Silaka)3;

    2. Marine Protected Areas are managed as Category 1 (‘no take areas) and Category 2 (controlled extraction) protected areas. The MPAs are currently managed by the Marine Coastal Management (MCM) branch of the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and administered in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act (1998). There are three Marine Protected Areas4 (Dwesa-Cwebe, Hluleka and Pondoland) in the Wild Coast.

    3. Trust Forests are indigenous State Forests managed as Type 2 protected areas with a variety of biodiversity and livelihood management arrangements applying. These indigenous forests were either reserved for forestry under the Native Trust and Land Act or demarcated as State Forests under the National Forests Act. Within the Wild Coast there are approximately 50,000 ha of indigenous forest, comprising 687 discrete patches, of which 46,245 ha are DWAF managed State Forests. These State Forests are currently managed by the national Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) and administered in terms of the National Forests Act (1998). The remaining smaller patches of indigenous forest are under the control of local tribal authorities and referred to as Headman’s Forests. The underlying land tenure of most of these State Forests is communal. Although consumptive use of the forests for commercial purposes requires authorization from DWAF, local people are able to enter forests to gather produce for domestic, cultural, health or spiritual reasons without a permit or license;

    4. Coastal Conservation Area (CCA) is a 1-km strip of limited development along the coast managed as a Type 2 protected area. The CCA is established in terms of the Transkei Environmental Decree (1992) with the aim of protecting the environmentally sensitive coastal zone from uncontrolled development activities. Any proposed development within 1000 m of the high water mark or within 1,000 m of a river is subject to the permission of the Provincial Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism (DEAET). The CCA is not surveyed or demarcated and extends over all the different types of State land found in the coastal zone which in most cases comprise communal land, State Forest and resort nodes. The CCA is administered through co-operative governance arrangements between DEAET, Department of Land Affairs, Department of Local Government, Housing and Traditional Affairs (DLG&H) and the local authorities in terms of the Transkei Environmental Decree and the Wild Coast Tourism Development Policy (2001).




  1. The management effectiveness of the current protected area network across the Wild Coast is generally moderate to very low. Table 3 provides a an overview of the PAs targeted by the current project, their type, size, main threats and METT (Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool) baseline score.

Table 3: Protected Areas in the Wild Coast




PA name

Type

Size

Main ecosystems

Date of proclamation


Legislation



Main threats


METT

Dwesa

Prov. NR

(Type 1)


3,500 ha

Coastal forest;

Coastal grasslands



1891 – Demarcated State forest

1975 – Nature Reserve



Transkei Nature Conservation Act, 1971


Illegal harvesting of forest products, poaching, illegal grazing, invasive alien plants

50

Cwebe

Prov. NR

(Type 1)


2,200 ha

Coastal forest;

Coastal Grasslands



1893 – Demarcated State forest

1975 – Nature Reserve



Transkei Nature Conservation Act, 1971

Illegal subsistence use, poaching, illegal grazing, invasive alien plants

50

Hluleka

Prov. NR

(Type 1)


450 ha

Coastal forest

Thicket; Coastal Grassland



1906 – Demarcated State Forest

1975 – Nature Reserve



Transkei Nature Conservation Act, 1971


Invasive alien plants, poaching, illegal grazing, illegal harvesting of forest products

38


Mkambati

Prov. NR

(Type 1)


7,720 ha

Coastal grassland;

Coastal Forest and Swamp forest



1977 – Nature Reserve

Transkei Nature Conservation Act,1971

Invasive alien plants, illegal collection of fuel wood and construction material

44

Silaka

Prov. NR (pending)

(Type 1)


340 ha

Coastal Grassland; Thicket; Coastal Forest

Final proclamation outstanding

n/a (Protected Areas Act, 2003)

Invasive alien plants, poaching and upstream afforestation and cultivation

47

Dwesa-Cwebe

MPA

(Category 1)



18,150ha

Marine

1991

Transkei Nature Conservation Act,1971;

Transkei Environmental decree, 1992 and 1994;

Marine Living Resource Act, 1998;


Excessive harvesting of inter-tidal marine resources and illegal fishing

50

Hluleka

MPA

(Category 1)



4,125ha

Marine

1991

Transkei Nature Conservation Act,1971; Transkei Environmental decree, 1992 and 1994; Marine Living Resource Act, 1998

Illegal harvesting and fishing of inter-tidal and inshore marine resources

38

Pondoland

MPA

(Category 1 and 2)



153,000ha

Marine

2004

Marine Living Resource Act, 1998

Illegal fishing and harvesting of inter-tidal and inshore marine resources

25

(Transkei) Trust Forests

State Forests

(Type 2)


46,245 ha

Indigenous forests

1998

National Forest Act, 1998

Unsustainable harvesting of construction materials and fuel wood, illegal clearing for crop production, illegal road development and fire damage from rotational burning of adjacent grasslands

25

Coastal Conservation Area

CCA

(Type 2)


25,000 ha

Coastal forests, coastal Grasslands, Thicket, Swamp forest, Estuaries

1992

Transkei Environmental Decree, 1992

Unsustainable coastal resort and urban development, off-road driving, sand mining, heavy mineral mining, illegal cottage development

27


Threats, root causes and barrier analysis
Threats and root causes


  1. During the project preparation stage, the project team conducted a threat analysis which is presented in Section IV, Part VI). A summary of the main threats is presented below5.




  1. Over-harvesting of marine and estuarine resources: Marine resources are exploited by a variety of users, including commercial, subsistence, illegal and recreational users, resulting in radical and often irreversible changes in community structure. Exploitation of marine resources in the intertidal and shallow subtidal areas has increased dramatically on the Wild Coast since the early 1990’s. Extensive mussel removal by local communities has, in certain areas, resulted in a coralline-dominated shoreline and reduced levels of parent mussel stock to the extent that mussel recruitment fails. Despite the paucity of long-term monitoring studies in the Wild Coast, it is considered by marine scientists that all inter-tidal mollusks are over-utilized across the entire extent of the Wild Coast.




  1. Over-exploitation of estuaries has affected various species through change in population size or biomass, change in body size, sex ratios, age composition, change in community composition and structure and change in life-history strategies. It has also indirectly led to habitat alteration or loss through, for example, extensive bait digging. Among the invertebrates, species such as bloodworm and pencil bait appear to be optimally or over-utilized throughout their range. Over-exploitation of plants is also evident in some estuaries close to settlements. Mangroves have been completely removed from one estuary in the Wild Coast –the Mnyameni - due to over-harvesting while in other systems, such as the Mngazana, there is a threat of over-exploitation due to ongoing harvesting pressure.




  1. Over-extraction of forest resources: Only three species of indigenous forest species, Drypetes gerrardii, Englerophytum natalense and Milletia sutherlandii occur at densities that suggest their continued exploitation for fuel wood might be sustainable. Stem debarking for medicinal purposes has been shown to be extensive in 10 forest species and has reached critical levels in Cassipourea gerrardii, Harpephyllum caffrum and Trichilia dregeana. Debarking appears to be sustainable in only one species, Macaranga capense. Wood carving material from tree species such as Milletia grandis have been heavily exploited with little regard to sustainable harvesting. Pole-size trees are targeted for fencing and construction irrespective of species type with M. grandis, Ptaeroxylon obliquum, Englerophytum natalense and D. gerrardii being the most important and hence the most heavily impacted.



  1. There is limited information available on the impacts of hunting. The existing protected areas are subject to regular problems of poaching by adjacent local communities. The illegal construction of new roads has also led to easy access to previously remote areas and large groups of well equipped outsiders have been reported hunting indiscriminately.




  1. Unsustainable harvesting or poaching of medicinal and ornamental plants has led to some plant species to become extinct outside of protected areas. Observations of the market indicate that a number of medicinal and ornamental plant species are becoming scarce, with concomitant price increases, increasing imports, irregular supply, reductions in the size and/or thickness of plant products, and increasing use of substitute plants.




  1. Habitat degradation: Overgrazing of grasslands and compensatory burning is leading to habitat degradation, changes in species composition and loss of productivity. Inappropriate rangeland management has degraded most of the grasslands leading to a loss of floristic diversity and an increase in the unpalatable grass Aristida junciformis.




  1. Invasive alien plants are having an increasingly significant impact on the biodiversity of the Wild Coast. Little is currently known of the full extent of invasions along the Wild Coast, but sites such as Port St Johns already show extensive colonization of triffid weed (Chromolaena odorata) and Barbados gooseberry (Pereskia aculeata). The high rainfall, rich soil and level of disturbance in some areas of the Wild Coast provide ideal conditions for the spread of invasives, and they could pose a substantial threat to biodiversity if allowed to multiply unchecked. The fact that their impacts are still relatively low makes control and eradication, within many of the region’s coastal catchments and conservation areas, feasible.




  1. Land clearing for agriculture, settlements and commercial forestry has led to increased fragmentation and habitat loss. Extensive and uncontrolled illegal sand mining along the coast contributed to the degradation of river beds, loss of benthic communities and erosion. Off-road driving along the coast resulted in increased erosion and loss of habitat of endemic species, such as African black oystercatcher and in “blow-outs” through the narrow coastal forest patches.




  1. Potential threats: A number of people have recently tried to illegally acquire permissions to build holiday cottages on prime sites along the coast, sometimes in exchange for a small gift to the local headman. As a result, cottages have sprung up across the Wild Coast without any measure of control and this has begun to impact negatively on both the biodiversity and the landscape qualities. Efforts have been made to prevent illegal development, remove existing illegal structures, direct development in approved nodes and ensure that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is carried out to limit the threat and any future development would need an EIA. There are currently no, or limited formal systems in place for the effective management of waste in most of the development nodes across the Wild Coast, including within the protected area estate. The systems that are in place are often poorly managed and are inadequate to deal with the growing waste problem. Two controversial future developments, the re-alignment of the N2 toll road between Port Edward and Umtata and the heavy mineral mining at Xolobeni, may lead to further fragmentation and habitat loss.




  1. The severity of the 14 identified threats to the current PA network in the Wild Coast (the ranking ranges from 1-5; where 1 is very low and 5 is very high while 0 = not applicable) are rated below:





Threat

Protected Area



Sand and heavy minerals mining

Clearing of land for agriculture

Illegal road development

Illegal harvesting of marine resources

Illegal harvesting of plant products

Illegal poaching of animals

Unsustainable levels of harvesting and grazing

Illegal off-road driving

Invasive alien plant species

Uncontrolled burning

IUCN Category IV































Hluleka NR

1

2

1

3

3

3

3

2

3

2

Mkambati NR

1

1

2

3

2

1

3

2

3

2

Silaka NR

1

1

1

3

3

3

3

2

4

2

Dwesa-Cwebe NR

1

1

1

3

2

3

3

1

3

2

Hluleka MPA

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dwesa-Cwebe MPA

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pondoland MPA (“no-take”)

2

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

IUCN Category V/VI































Wild Coast Coastal Conservation Area

4

4

3

3

3

4

4

4

3

3

IUCN Category VI































Indigenous State Forests (Trust Forests)

2

3

2

0

3

4

4

3

3

3

Pondoland MPA (“take”)

2

0

0

2

0

0

1

0

0

0


Barriers


  1. Three broad categories of barriers need to be removed in order to improve the efficiency of protected area management in the Wild Coast and contribute to the sustainability of South Africa’s national system of protected areas, as well as securing the globally significant biodiversity of the Wild Coast.




  1. The project has been designed to lift barriers to effective PA management in the Wild Coast, as follows6:

    1. Limited institutional capacity for protected area management in general and co-management in particular: The Wild Coast is characterized by weak capacity of the provincial, local authorities and the local communities to implement, enforce and monitor their conservation management mandate generally and administer co-management agreements specifically, both in the terrestrial and marine domain. There is a poor delineation of management responsibilities between different government agencies, the private sector and the communities. In addition there is an unclear mandate of various agencies responsible for enforcement, with two or three agencies having a mandate to enforce legislation over the same PA but with limited on-the-ground presence. Capacity weaknesses are a major determinant of weak management effectiveness in PAs. An analysis of Management effectiveness undertaken during project preparation using the WB/ WWF PA Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool found overall management effectiveness coefficients ranging from 27 to 50. While management effectiveness is sub-optimal across the PA estate along the Wild Coast, particularly low levels of effectiveness are apparent in the Type 2 PAs, and the Pondoland MPA. The highest levels of effectiveness are found in the Dwesa- Cwebe PA/ MPA complex.

    2. Weak Capacity at the Systemic Level: While there is strong PA legislation in South Africa, and the policy basis for devolving Government service delivery and functions to the local level is in place, there is a need for subsidiary regulations to codify rights responsibilities incentives and sanctions for PA co management. Further, the overall planning framework for PA management remains deficient. Strategic plans have not been drafted for individual PAs, and there is a consequent weak linkage between planning functions and operations. Moreover, biodiversity conservation objectives, and PA management strategies in particular are poorly integrated into regional development plans. This is leading to inappropriate location of infrastructure, unfocused provision of services and unsustainable distribution of land uses. The existing communication systems do not adequately provide for effective communication on conservation strategies between public sector agencies, community groups and the private sector. Materials are not translated in local languages or if they are, are not user-friendly.

    3. Knowledge barriers regarding parameters for sustainable use: The knowledge base concerning utilization of wild resources is not adequate to institute effective sustainable use management systems. There are currently no long-term monitoring programs in place to inform and update the knowledge base on levels of use of wild resources and their ecological impacts. The main barriers that need to be overcome in order to ensure sustainable natural resource use are: (i) the definition of the sustainable off-takes for different species; (ii) the optimum design for PAs to conserve the harvestable resources; (iii) the appropriate harvesting methods for various species; (iv) the benefit sharing schemes needed to ensure that access rights are equally distributed and tied to management obligations.

The main barriers that need to be overcome in order to ensure responsible and sustainable tourism are: (i) the lack of appropriate standards for tourism operators near PAs; (ii) the limited visitor management capacity; (iii) no monitoring system of tourism impacts on biodiversity; and (iv) the limited capacity among tourism operators to meet responsible tourism standards.

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