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The primary aim of conservation planning is to provide scientific information and advice required by KZN Wildlife to achieve its overall vision, mission and policies. The branch coordinates scientific research and development planning within KZN Wildlife. Emphasis is placed on gaining a good understanding of biodiversity and the factors influencing its distribution and status, including those of a social, economic or developmental nature. Strategies are developed and advice given so that appropriate measures may be applied to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Extensive collaborative networks have been created with other institutions to augment our research capacity, and wherever possible external funds are solicited. The following disciplines are pursued in the terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and marine environments throughout KwaZulu-Natal:
- conservation biology
- veterinary science
- biodiversity research
- plant conservation
- resource economics
- ecotourism project planning
- integrated environmental management
- regional planning
- geographic information systems (GIS)
- protected area management planning
Structurally and administratively, Conservation Planning comprises three divisions:
Biodiversity Research assists with the development of corporate and provincial conservation strategies and provides information underpinning these strategies.
The Planning Division. The KZN Wildlife Planning section consists of a multidisciplinary team of dedicated, specialist staff, dealing with a wide range of planning and development issues.
Ecological Advice now forms part of the Conservation Management structures but still has links with Conservation Planning.