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University of Limpopo (2020)

An assessment of the implication of involving local communities in biodiversity conservation : a case study of Blouberg Nature Reserve in Limpopo, South Africa

Rampheri, Mangana Berel

Titre : An assessment of the implication of involving local communities in biodiversity conservation : a case study of Blouberg Nature Reserve in Limpopo, South Africa

Auteur : Rampheri, Mangana Berel

Université de soutenance : University of Limpopo

Grade : Master of Science (MS) Geography 2020

Résumé
This work aimed at assessing the implications of involving local communities in biodiversity conservation in Blouberg Nature Reserve (BNR) in Limpopo Province, South Africa. To achieve this objective, firstly biodiversity status before and after involving local communities in conservation initiatives was assessed using multi-temporal medium-resolution Landsat series data and species diversity indices. The results showed that there were significant variations (α = 0.05) in tree species diversity in BNR for before and after involving local communities. For example, tree species diversity was low after involving communities particularly for the years 1996 and 2019. Secondly, benefits and costs of involving local communities in biodiversity conservation as well as their investigate views, perceptions and attitudes BNR management were assessed. The study demonstrated local communities do not obtain sufficient benefits or incur numerous costs from the nature reserve. Despite this, there was considerable support for biodiversity conservation (84.2%) since household respondents still held positive attitudes towards biodiversity conservation in the reserve. For, example most of them indicated that they would report illegal activities to the authorities. However, despite lack of participation by the majority of the household respondents (89.6%) in biodiversity conservation, they demonstrated understanding of the relevance of nature conservation. In contrary, the BNR Manager stated that the local communities received benefits in the form of fuel-wood for special occasions such as funerals and bush meat sold at treasury approved tariffs during culling. However, illegal activities like poaching are still experienced in the nature reserve. Thus, the study underscores the relevance the integrating satellite data and qualitative information in assessing the ecological condition of PAs. Such information can help in biodiversity monitoring and decision-making on conservation of biodiversity

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