6th People and Parks Conference
The Department of Environmental Affairs will be hosting the 6th People and Parks conference from 09 to 11 September 2014 with the official opening of the conference on the 9th at Dan’s Country Lodge in Umtata, Eastern Cape. People and Parks Programme emanated from the 5th World Parks Congress held in Durban in September 2003 which set the scene for an international drive towards increased community involvement in protected areas.
The conference adopted the Durban Accord which called for commitment and action from government to integrate local communities in the management of protected areas. Although people and conservation had been on the agenda of the South African government for some time, the World Parks Congress served as a catalyst to give further momentum, legitimacy, credibility and urgency to the efforts.
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) then acknowledged that the future of the protected areas and the communities surrounding them are inextricably linked and has since convened a series of People and Parks conferences with the aim of providing the platform and bringing together the role players from different spheres of government, conservation authorities, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, traditional leaders, private sector and local communities to discuss people and protected areas interactions.
The five conferences held previously, primarily served as a platform to discuss common strategies, practical case studies, experiences, lessons and pitfalls within the programme.
The overall theme of the programme has been, “Conservation for the people with the people” and this year’s theme for the 6th conference is "10 years of inclusive parks management".
- Media statement: Sixth National People and Parks Conference Concluded in Mthatha, Eastern Cape
- Speech: Minister Edna Molewa’s speech at the 6th People and Parks Conference.
- Media statement: The Department of Environmental Affairs to host the 6th People and Parks Conference in Umtata, Eastern Cape.