A Conservancy is defined as:
THE VOLUNTARY CO – OPERATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT OF AN AREA, BY ITS
COMMUNITY AND USERS, AND IN RESPECT OF WHICH REGISTRATION HAS BEEN GRANTED
BY THE RELEVANT PROVINCIAL NATURE CONSERVATION AUTHORITY.
Why form a Conservancy?
The first conservancy in South Africa was formed in 1978 in the Balgowan
district of KwaZulu – Natal because landowners in the area were experiencing
indiscriminate poaching of the game on their properties, and uncontrolled
use of indigenous trees and shrubs in the natural area for muti purposes.They
realised that if no effort was made to control such utilisation, and bring
it to sustainable levels the wildlife would soon disappear from the area
and the natural bush would become too badly damaged to be of any use at
all. Other Conservancies have been formed, in the first instance for the
security of the inhabitants of an area as well as its environmental assets.In
industrial areas it was found that sound environmental management not
only produced more pleasant and comfortable working environments, but
also lead to the return of wildlife to the most unlikely places. In an
urban environment it has been found that by encouraging the planning of
suitable indigenous plants in a garden and along streets wildlife soon
returned. Conservancy members also often form useful environmental lobby
groups. And promotion of environmental education by Conservancies has
been most successful. Many National Heritage Sites and Sites of Conservation
Significance are also administrated by, Conservancies.