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KZN BIODIVERSITY SPATIAL FRAMEWORK
The KwaZulu-Natal province, which is approximately 92 000 square km in extent (7.6% of South Africa) has two World Heritage Sites and over 100 formal protected areas. It also forms the central component of the Maputoland – Pondoland – Albany hotspot as identified by Conservation International. However, less than 47% of the more than 4000 species found here, not to mention the diverse landscapes and vegetation types are conserved in the current system of protected areas. Most of these areas are being rapidly transformed or degraded at an alarming rate, as the province has a high rainfall and extensive well-drained deep soils, ideal for intensive agriculture. Many of these areas need to be secured in the short term if we are to meet our obligations of maintaining a representative sample of the diversity of life or to sustain ecosystem functioning that supplies critical ecosystem services to the people of the province. A further 1.4 million ha or 14.5% of the area of the province is required in order to ensure representative protection of the province’s biodiversity.
KZN Biodiversity Spatial Framework -
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife in partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the KZN Planning Commission embarked on the development of a province wide conservation plan in 2002. The express aim of this plan was to contribute to the Municipal planning process, highlight critically important biodiversity assets in the Province, provide a focus for protected area managers and provide a rational and transparent framework for evaluating the impact of proposed developments, on biodiversity. In addition it aims to preserve an acceptable and productive environment for all the people of KZN. The primary product of the planning process is a map showing those parts of the province where conservation action is required to prevent further loss and degradation of critical biodiversity.