The Government of Mauritius through the National Parks and Conservation Service (NPCS) of the Ministry of Agro-industry and Food Security is working with partners in the Government, NGO and private sector to expand protected area coverage and enhance PA management effectiveness under the UNDP-GEF Protected Area Network Expansion Project (the Mauritius PAN Project). One of the key elements of these efforts is the involvement of the private sector in protected area management.
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To ensure the balance between development and conservation, government at national and local levels, businesses and local population must develop and implement suitable tools including policies, guidelines and plans. The development of these tools must be participatory for all stakeholders to own and use them efficiently. The value of PAs must be ascertained and incorporated into these tools in order to make wise trade-offs between conservation and development.
Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was established in 1998 when land and resources were transferred from the City of Cape Town to SANParks. It is one of the world's most biodiverse and dramatically beautiful urban national parks, set entirely within a metropolitan Cape Town. The primary solution ensuring equitable access was the requirement in the founding agreements that the TMNP would forever be an “Open Access” national park. This came about through citizens insisting that most of the park remain free to the public, with only four sections where entrance fees are paid (Swanepoel 2013).
In alignment with national EIA regulations, and IFC performance standards on sustainability and the biodiversity conservation, Ambatovy and Qit Madagascar Mining have combined environmental and social impact assessments, a mitigation hierarchy and adaptive management to achieve “no net loss,” and preferably a net gain, for biodiversity.The mitigation hierarchy includes the processes of avoidance, minimization and restoration, with offsetting, to compensate for residual impacts.
The ongoing project “Incorporation of Sacred Forests into the Protected Areas System of Benin,” supported by UNDP and financed by GEF, preserves tracts of forest with religious and ecological significance in Benin. These sacred forests are at high risk, and the recent addition of Sacred Forest as a category of Benin’s protected areas legislation paves the way for greater protection of the forests included in the project scope as well as other forests around the country.