South Africa’s wildlife conservation is guided by a number of policies and strategies including the White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biological Diversity of 1997, the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of 2005, the National Biodiversity Framework of 2008 and the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy also of 2008, among others.
A policy is a set of principles, rules and guidelines formulated or adopted by to reach a long-term goal. Policies are designed to influence and determine all major decisions and actions regarding the specific aspect which the policy intends to address. All activities must take place within the boundaries set by the policy.
The key objective of the Wildlife Conservation Policy is to encourage the development of a commercial wildlife industry that is viable on a long-term basis. The specific objectives of the WCP are to realise the full potential of the wildlife resource, to develop a commercial wildlife industry in order to create economic opportunities, jobs and incomes for the rural population and to increase the supply of meat as a consequence of the further development of wildlife commercial utilisation.
The main strategy and policy that addresses wildlife conservation is the Wildlife Policy and Strategy of 2005 (WPS). This policy emphasizes development-oriented conservation. The main objective of the WPS is to create a conducive environment whereby the country’s wildlife and their habitats are protected and developed in a sustainable manner, and to enable the sector to play an important role in the economic development of the country.