Incorporating biodiversity priorities in Natural Resources Management (NRM) prioritization at a national scale

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Moore Malatji

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The Natural Resource Management (NRM) programmes of the National Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries are a series of different intervention programmes namely: Working for Water, Working for Wetlands, Working for Ecosystems, Working on Fire. A need to prioritize spatial areas for interventions was highlighted as an important exercise in order for the programme to efficiently focus and direct NRM investments. In response to this, a more integrative approach of addressing environmental challenges across the NRM programmes has been applied and spatial priorities have been identified for each of the nine provinces. The prioritization process was done at a quinary catchment scale, where all quinary catchments in a province were assigned a score based on their biodiversity importance. Catchments with high biodiversity importance were identified as priority areas for intervention. Areas of high biodiversity importance are also referred to as biodiversity priority areas. These are natural or semi-natural areas in the landscape that are important for conserving a representative sample of ecosystems and species, for maintaining ecological processes, or for the provision of ecosystem services. Incorporating these areas in the prioritization process not only aligns with the aims of the NRM programmes but it also ensures that priority is given to areas with high biodiversity importance. The presentation will highlight how biodiversity priority areas have been used systematically in identifying priority areas for NRM investment.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration