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Nature-based tourism in the Agulhas Plain: A vehicle for integrated biodiversity conservation and sustainable economic development

Year: 2010
Working paper number: 280
Author: Corbeira, Maria
Unit: SSU
Abstract:

With scarce funding and resources being prioritised to meet human development needs in South Africa, it is critical that biodiversity conservation benefits be packaged in a way that emphasises their economic contribution to such developmental goals. The Cape Action Plan for the Environment (CAPE) does this by positioning sustainable nature-based tourism as the conduit between the local community and the biodiversity that surrounds it. In this way, nature-based tourism acts both as a framework for the protection of the biodiversity upon which it depends and as a driver of economic development in the local community. It is in this context of biodiversity conservation and particularly since CAPE has pronounced the Agulhas Plain as a terrestrial pilot region within the Cape Floristic Region, that it is so important to attempt to put a value on tourism in the region. With these objectives in mind, this study has found that tourism in the Agulhas Plain could reap between R64 to R123 million per annum (or R418 - R803 per hectare), at current levels of protection and conservation. This value sits very well in the current South African literature, specifically with valuations for the Cape Floristic Region and Kruger National Park.


Publication file: wp280.pdf
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