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National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 2003 (South Africa)

Category: Legislation
Binomial Name: Government of the Republic of South Africa
Date: 11 February 2004
Sub Category:Legislation
State/Country:Republic of South Africa
Summary Information:
The National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003 (RSA) ('the Act') was passed by the National Government of South Africa on 11 February 2004.

The purposes of the Act include to:

  • 'provide for the protection and conservation of ecologically viable areas representative of South Africa's biological diversity and its natural landscapes and seascapes' (long title);
  • 'promote sustainable utilisation of protected areas for the benefit of people, in a manner that would preserve the ecological character of such areas' (s 2(e)); and
  • 'promote participation of local communities in the management of protected areas, where appropriate' (s 2(f)).

    The Act defines a 'protected area' as including wilderness areas, nature reserves and world heritage sites.
  • Detailed Information:
    The Act provides for the co-management of protected areas between South African National Parks and local communities in certain circumstances. It also provides that one of the reasons for which a nature reserve may be declared is 'to provide for a sustainable flow of natural products and services to meet the needs of a local community' (s 23(2)(c)).

    The Act talks about the rights held in protected areas by 'local communities', which it defines as 'any community of people living or having rights or interests in a distinct geographical area', which potentially may exclude communities who were displaced during apartheid and so no longer living in their traditional areas.

    Related Entries

  • Government of the Republic of South Africa
  • South African National Parks
  • Legislation
  • Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Apartheid

  • Glossary


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