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This Week's Feature

Protection Worthy Areas

Following Swaziland's ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994, it developed a national Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP). This BSAP highlighted an urgent need for increased protection of representative examples of biodiversity, and conducted a preliminary field assessment of protection worthy areas of Swaziland, with the objectives of 1) to rapidly assess a set of identified areas in order to determine their conservation value, and 2) of these, to identify a set of top priority areas where field surveys should be done to collect necessary biodiversity information. In 2002, a field assessment of priority protection worthy areas was conducted. Areas worthy of considering for this study were identified based on 1) areas previously identified as protection worthy and 2) areas with virtually no human settlement considered to have potentially high biodiversity value by local biodiversity experts. Using these criteria, 44 potential PWAs were identified. This rapid assessment involved brief visits to the 44 areas and later, an additional 12 areas, to prioritize them for further more detailed evaluation. The assessment highlighted 16 areas of high priority to be surveyed. This included nine areas of high overall priority (Mdzimba, Ntungulu, Nyonyane, Ndlotane, Mahuku, Jilobi, Shewula, Manzimnyame and Makhonjwa), with an additional two areas of biological priority (Mahamba and Muti Muti) and an additional five areas of socio-economic priority (Sinceni, Maguga, Sibebe, Gebeni and Panata).

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Protection Worthy Areas

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SNTC Headquarters: Parliament Road. P O Box 100, Lobamba, Swaziland. Tel: (+268) 2416 1516, 2416 1489, 2416 1179. Fax: (+268) 2416 1875, 2416 1480. Email: info@sntc.org.sz
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Mlawula Nature Reserve:
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