Biodiversity Stewardship Fiscal Benefits Project

Photo Credit: Enkangala Grassland Vista by Heather Dugmore

Background

Biodiversity stewardship is a novel and key means to formally protect biodiversity found on privately owned land and is part of the national response to secure the future of the variety of life found in South Africa. The success of biodiversity stewardship rests on the commitment of private landowners to conserve biodiversity on their properties.

The Fiscal Benefits Project was launched in 2015 with the aim of testing the use and applicability of biodiversity tax incentives as a benefit for South African landowners declaring protected areas, through the biodiversity stewardship initiative. The project began with the achievement of introducing a new tax incentive into national legislation. This achievement sees the first effective use of tax deductions as a means to bolster the long-term protection and effective management of areas vital to conservation and ecosystem functioning in South Africa.

The Fiscal Benefits Project has successfully tested biodiversity tax incentives with a range of landowners at selected pilot sites across the country, paving the way for other privately owned protected areas to receive recognition through fiscal means. The work being done by the Fiscal Benefits Project is highly innovative and has received international recognition.

The WWF Nedbank Green Trust recognised the potentially massive impacts of the Fiscal Benefits Project. By engaging landowners and encouraging them to participate in the project, we stand a chance of securing our water sources, our food production areas and ensuring the continued existence of a plethora of remarkable animal and plant species crucial to South Africa’s biodiversity.

For more information visit www.birdlife.org.za.

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