oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Legal strategies to optimise conservation of natural ecosystems by private landowners - Restrictive legislation
Without the continuous goodwill of landowners themselves the nature area as a concept can fail in the long term, in a similar manner to the failure of he 'virgin soils' provision of the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act. Both these largely restrictive conservation measures rely to a substantial extent on landowners' participation in, and assistance to, the statutory management committees central to their long term implementation. There is clearly a pressing requirement for legal reforms to help encourage private landowners to a more spontaneous adoption of: (a) conservation independent of 'legal coercion' and (b) retention of conservation measures over the long term. Legal conservation restrictions which are backed by neither effective policing nor personal-gain incentives such as financial compensation, therefore become close to being merely symbolic. It is more harmful in the long run to have these relatively 'inexpensive paper conservation measures' than it would be to omit them, as they can lull both authorities and the general public into a dangerous sense of false security. Without critical reforms which include financial incentives, in combination with extension communication to landowners, little hope exists that legal restrictions per se will achieve long term conservation objectives.
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