The road towards effective governance and management of marine protected areas in South Africa: evolving policies, paradigms and processes

By SP Kirkman, P Kowalski, BQ Mann, GM Branch, MG van der Bank, KJ Sink, P Fielding, JB Mann-Lang, MC Pfaff, D Kotsedi, R Adams, S Dlulisa & SL Petersen

“The efficacy of marine protected areas (MPAs) depends on their governance and management. We review their history in South Africa and recognise four periods. Period 1 (1964–1994) provided initial protection but was based on exclusionary, preservationist policies, was ad hoc in the absence of a national plan, and neglected social considerations. Period 2 (1994–2010) began introducing people-oriented policies, focused on ecosystems rather than species, and was strengthened by the formation of a national coordinating body. Period 3 (2010–2019) heralded improvements in design, ecosystem representation and stakeholder engagement, yet fractured governance hindered coordination and management. Period 4 (Since 2019) added challenges in managing new offshore MPAs….”

Photo: Sense Atelier, Unsplash

Related SDGs:

  • Life below water