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Nature Conservation Law In KwaZulu-Natal

The KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Board is established as a juristic entity in terms of the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Management Act,(Act 9 of 1997) and has as its primary functions the management of nature conservation, not only within the protected areas but within the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Board is also charged to direct the development and promotion of ecotourism facilities within the protected areas.

The KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service (KZN Wildlife) is likewise established in terms of the above Act and essentially comprises the staff compliment of the Nature Conservation authority in KwaZulu-Natal. KZN Wildlife therefore carries out the day to day operation of the nature conservation in KwaZulu-Natal and as such is accountable to the Board. The above Act is essentially enabling Legislation creating the legal structures necessary to carry out the above mentioned functions.

Although the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Amendment Act, which prescribes the law relating to the protection of flora and fauna, has been passed, until such time as regulations necessary to supplement the Amendment Act are finalised the Amendment Act will not be enacted and the law enforcement provisions are still dealt with by the remaining sections of the Natal Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974 and the KwaZulu Nature Conservation Act, 1992. Once the Amendment Act is put into operation the above mentioned Ordinance and the KwaZulu Nature Conservation Act, 1992 will be entirely repealed.

The Amendment Act schedules specially protected indigenous animals and plants and provides certain legal protections for the scheduled species so as to assist Conservation officials in the protection of Biodiversity. It also deals with professional hunting and non indigenous species and sets out a system of permitting for certain activities. The Amendment Act also designates the powers of KZN Wildlife officials and provides for the appointment of Honourary Officers who provide their services free of charge. The Amendment Act also specifies categories of protected areas and provides a mechanism for the proclamation and de-proclamation of protected areas.

Apart from the above law enforcement provisions KZN Wildlife is also affiliated to CITES and as such grants permits for the export and import of CITES listed species to and from the Province.

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