Safeguarding Africa’s Natural Heritage: The Case of Mining in Protected Areas

Photo: Flickr, Philip Milne
Photo: Flickr, Philip Milne

Protected areas (PAs) are conservation management tools designed to safeguard the world’s most threatened species and protect essential ecosystem services and biological resources. Today 200,000 PAs, including national parks and indigenous and communal areas, cover approximately 14.6% of the world’s land surface and 2.8% of its oceans.

Protected areas (PAs) are conservation management tools designed to safeguard the world’s most threatened species and protect essential ecosystem services and biological resources. Today 200,000 PAs, including national parks and indigenous and communal areas, cover approximately 14.6% of the world’s land surface and 2.8% of its oceans. Africa is home to 7,000 registered PAs, of which only 41 are listed under UNESCO’s natural World Heritage (WH) site status. Although often imperfectly designed, PAs can legally enforce at least a degree of protection, making them the cornerstones of most national and international conservation strategies.

The use of prestigious conservation labels and an elevated environmental status creates a special ‘duty of care’ for extractive companies wishing to operate in ecologically sensitive areas, setting out guidelines to regulate intrusive activities while demanding standards that adhere to international best practice. However, despite these restrictions there is growing concern about the adverse impact of extractive industries on biodiversity in PAs.

19 May 2015
Download

File size: 140.64 KB

Research by
Series
SAIIA Policy Insights No 15, May 2015
SAIIA Programme
Governance of Africa’s Resources
Tags
Mining, PolInsight15
Scroll to Top