Nature reserves go commercial in Limpopo

POLOKWANE – It is envisaged that the policy framework will achieve the optimisation and utilisation of the nature reserves in a more sustainable manner and to generate and plough back revenue that will contribute positively in the management of the reserves.

It is also planned that operational efficiencies, management capacity, and service delivery in the reserves will be improved.

Resource allocation is another aspect which will be monitored to ensure resources are correctly allocated for reserves with significant biodiversity importance and those with viable commercial value to reduce the negative fiscal impact on reserves.

Limpopo Provincial Government Spokesperson, Phuti Seloba, said at a media conference held Tuesday that protected areas and or reserves are managed under very difficult circumstances and conditions due to declining budgets, aging personnel, lack of adequate infrastructure, and mounting demand from communities for tangible economic benefits, mainly from communal reserves.

“The management effectiveness of the reserves is not adequate and the credibility of the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism as a management authority continues to decline due to a lack of capacity such as operational budgets, personnel, and supporting infrastructure,” Seloba said.

He added that revenue generated from the reserves is not ploughed back into the management of operations of the reserves, but deposited into the Provincial Revenue Fund.

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Nelie Erasmus

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