oa Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science - The Limits to Scarcity : Contesting the politics of allocation, Lyla Mehta (Ed) : book review



Resource use and the sustainability of resources constitute a significant concern for many scientists and field staff in South African National Parks (SANParks). According to its mission 'to develop, manage and promote a system of national parks that represents biodiversity and heritage assets by applying best practice, environmental justice, benefit sharing and sustainable use', SANParks is committed to sharing the benefits of the areas it protects with the wider society. This wider society, in immediate terms, primarily incorporates tourists and the communities living on park borders. Tourists require access to resources such as roads, water, energy, food and waste facilities, whereas people living on the boundaries of the parks require access to grazing, medicinal and food plants,wood fuel and bush-meat. Consequently, some of the biodiversity resources that SANParks was established to protect, are under severe pressure from 'the wider society' in general. For example many medicinal plants are threatened by over harvesting (both legal and illegal), whilst other resources, such as water, are threatened by pollution, changes in land use and increased demand for these. This book will be of interest to conservationists who are concerned with the ethics and sustainability of resource use, as well as the status of biodiversity health in the parks.


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