Karoo and West Coast Biodiversity Corridors

Full Title:

Conservation as a tool for Rural development
Karoo and west coast Biodiversity corridors

Author: Willem Louw & Karen Harrison
Publication: SANParks Park Planning and Development:
Date: April 2016


The purpose of the SANParks Rural Development Programme and its two pilots –

the West Coast Biodiversity and Karoo Corridor Initiatives – was to demonstrate the

potential of conservation as an instrument of rural development. The programme

was funded by the Green Fund for a two-year period between June 2013 and May

2015, and supported by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The aim

of the pilots was to show that the protection of biodiversity and heritage can result in

job creation, SMME development, spatial integration, broad-based economic

participation, inclusion and empowerment, and the improved living standards of

marginalized rural communities. The pilots took place within the Buffer Zones of three

national parks, namely West Coast, Mountain Zebra and Camdeboo. The identified

pilot Corridors within these Buffer Zones are recognized as national biodiversity

“hotspots”. SANParks’ mandate to promote conservation-led development outside

the borders of its national parks comes from the National Environmental

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