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Privately-owned lands and biodiversity conservation : analysing the role of Private Conservation Areas in the Little Karoo, South Africa.

Pasquini, Lorena (2007) Privately-owned lands and biodiversity conservation : analysing the role of Private Conservation Areas in the Little Karoo, South Africa. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The number of privately-owned parks has dramatically risen in recent decades across the world. Increasingly, these areas are attracting the attention of academia, government and non-governmental organisations because of their potential to combine biodiversity conservation with sustainable development, which is of particular relevance in developing countries. Little comprehensive information on private reserves, however, exists. This thesis investigates the role that private conservation areas fulfil in the Little Karoo region of South Africa, exploring the politico-economic and socio-cultural reality of private reserves, as well as their contribution towards protecting key elements of biodiversity. An interdisciplinary, political ecology-based research framework was adopted, combining questionnaire surveys, GIS-analyses and interviews. Key findings revealed that the private protected area sector is substantially contributing to the representation of key elemen'ts of biodiversity patterns and processes in the region. Private reserves show high variability and are closely tied to the changeable circumstances of their owners. However, they are principally used for personal leisure, / and further, profit does not constitute a primary driver to their establishment. Rather, complex· networks of human and environmental processes interact across different levels of analysis to drive the growth in private reserves. Landowners perceive themselves to fill a legitimate role in the conservation landscape and increasingly demand recognition from conservation authorities. Successful strategies and policies for optimising the valuable contribution that private reserves make to conservation need, first, to be sensitive to both the ecological and social dimensions of conservation areas. Second, they should focus on raising social capital between landowners, and providing recognition for the conservation role they fulfil, through the provision of extension services. Private conservation areas worldwide are likely to continue increasing in years to come; their potential to provide positive and long-lasting contributions to biodiversity protection warrants increasing interest and support from the wider conservation community.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Geography (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.487614
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 13:11
Last Modified: 31 May 2016 13:11
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12856

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