The Garden Route National Park

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National conservation targets South Africa’s National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan. Dept. Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Pretoria.

Garden Route Protected Areas

  • Ha 11200 23500 42380 34520 25200 43744 32250 34300

  • 252,600 ha - total of all Protected Areas including MPA’s

  • 157,000 ha - currently managed by SANParks

  • 86,260 ha - currently managed by CapeNature and ECPB

Area currently managed by SANParks

  • SANParks

  • management areas

What makes the proposed GRNP unique?

  • Diverse biomes ( from mountain to ocean)

    • The largest continuous complex of indigenous forest in the country
    • Aquatic systems: The Knysna estuary (no 1) and Wilderness Lakes (No 6)
    • Fynbos: The Garden Route falls within the Cape Floristic Region which is designated as a global biodiversity hotspot.
    • Marine: Oldest MPA in Africa & one of the most important marine conservation areas.
  • The Garden Route is ranked as the 3rd most preferred tourism destination in SA.

What makes the proposed GRNP unique?

  • Footprint straddles between two Provinces; two District Municipalities; and four Local Municipalities;

  • The Garden Route is regarded as one of the country’s biggest development nodes and balancing development and conservation will require innovation that will promote responsible sustainable tourism (DEAT process).

What makes the proposed GRNP unique?

  • Boundaries (Administrative/ cadastral & Ecological )

    • Administrative: Proclaimed cadastral
    • Ecological: Patterns and processes
  • Conservation within the ecological boundaries requires multi- stakeholder partnership (‘Conservation without boundaries’ )

Legislative framework for the GRNP

  • National Parks managed in terms of NEMPAA (Act 57 of 2003).

  • Additional to NEMPAA - The National Forest Act and the Marine Living Resources Act will also apply.

  • NEMPAA makes provision for “dual designation” of protected areas, mainly for the purpose of management effectiveness


  • 1912 : Stevenson-Hamilton first initiated the concept of

  • National Parks.

  • 1926 : Kruger NP established.

  • 1936 : Indigenous Forests proposed to be National Park

  • 1964 : Tsitsikamma NP proclaimed.

  • 1985 : Wilderness NP & Knysna National Lake Area

  • proclaimed.

  • 2005 : GR Protected Area planning processes

  • 2005 : Delegation of indigenous forests to SANParks.

  • 2007 : Minister’s media launch

  • 2008 : Proposed GRNP gazetted.

Areas gazetted

Benefits of a GRNP

  • Ecological services: how our natural habitat contributes towards human well being.

    • Management MCAs
    • Maintain natural open spaces for recreation and tourism
    • Carbon sequestration (storage) that is important for reducing the impacts of climate change

Benefits of a GRNP

  • Sustained Socio-economic

    • Aesthetic value contributes towards sustainable
    • tourism and economic growth.
    • SANParks second largest employer in region
    • (372 permanent & 750 contract personnel.)
    • The total economic contribution of SANParks towards the region are calculated at R 94 636 539 p. annum

Process of proclamation

  • Intention to proclaim GRNP gazetted 21 November 2008.

  • GRNP to be proclaimed towards mid 2009.

  • Management plan for GRNP to be submitted within 12 months after proclamation.

Management plan for the GRNP

  • First draft for public comment : June 2009.

  • Management Plan to include:

    • Land consolidation/inclusion strategy
    • Fine scale biodiversity map to inform land use planning
    • Integrated fire management plan
    • Alien plant mapping and costing
    • Tourism development and implementation plan
    • Socio-economic study

The Garden Route National Park… ‘Conservation without boundaries’ is everyone’s responsibility.



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