MPPOA Voice 30th May
MPPOA and members of the Marloth Park Forum were invited to attend a meeting at Skukuza in May in order to participate in a Focus group concerning Conservation areas open and adjacent to KNP and the KNP Management Plan review process for the next 10 Years.
MPPOA committee member Evan Powell who is also the Chief Honorary Ranger in Marloth Park along with MPPOA member and Chairman of Marlothii Conservancy Derrick Bruins-Lich attended this event, other attendees included representative from Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Balule Nature Reserve, Sabi Sand Wildtuin, Mjejane Game Reserve and other reserves & organizations.
The following feedback was supplied by our representatives
MARLOTH PARK AS A BUFFER ZONE, FEEDBACK FROM SANPARKS MEETING – EVAN POWELL
MPPOA had previously corresponded with SANPARKS to explore what it takes to be included as a Buffer zone which resulted in an invite to the meeting at Skukuza.
The term Buffer Zone is a term that refers to a number of areas, namely Priority Natural Area, Catchment Protection Area, View shed Protection Area, Provincial Nature Reserves and Private Nature Reserves. According to a map incorporated in the current KNP Management Plan, it appears Marloth Park is designated as a Priority Natural Area and a View shed Protection Area (to be confirmed with SANPARKS). We need to investigate what impact that could potentially have and how we can use this moving forward.
All reserves, buffer zone and protected areas are governed by 3 National Environment Management acts: NEMA (National Environment Management Act), NEMBA (Biodiversity) and NEM: PAA (Protected Areas).
One important learning from the meeting and subsequent research is the possibility of being registered as a Protected Area. Marloth Park currently does meet criteria to apply for registration as a Protected Area (which can be done by property owners) and it is strongly advised that we pursue this route - a great deal of research will need to be done and legal advice sought, however the advantages are significant: Protection of property values, retaining unique nature reserve environment, comprehensive Management Plan (among others, Game Management, Biodiversity, Security, Law Enforcement, etc.).
There are a number of standards that must be adhered to before applying, most importantly Access Control and Law Enforcement. It needs to be stressed that unless the community works together to achieve these standards we would fail at the first step.
A start and still a long way to go, further meetings with SANPARKS are planned and additional details on this important development will follow.