San people 'key to conserving land'

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iol scitech april 16  Kgalagadi INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS The key finding is that the Khomani San will not impede conservation in the park. Picture: Andrew Ingram

Cape Town - New research shows that the Khomani San will be instrumental to the success of conservation efforts on land around the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

In a thesis on the subject, UCT researcher Johane Dikgang looked at poverty and land restitution as well as conservation and commercial opportunities for the Kgalagadi land.

He looked at factors including household income, housing services, farming activities, and migration patterns.

“The research project’s findings… may provide useful, policy-relevant information,” Dikgang said. The information could help decisions on “sustainable resource use, equity and poverty alleviation”.

The key finding is that the Khomani San will not impede conservation in the park. In fact, they must be involved for conservation to be successful.

The study found that 92 percent of respondents supported conservation on communal land. Dikgang also found that “there is scope to generate revenue that (the communities) could share (with) South Africa’s national parks”. - Cape Times

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