South African Formally Proclaimed Protected Areas (Reserves)
datasetposted on 14.06.2019 by Alta De Vos, Graeme S. Cumming
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Formal protected areas (PAs) in South Africa (ones that are counted towards the total conservation estate) are defined according to the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (2003), and include national parks, special nature reserves, nature reserves and protected environments (Department of Environmental Affairs 2015). World heritage sites and mountain catchment areas are also included in this act, though they are declared and governed by their own legislation (Department of Environmental Affairs 2015). World heritage sites were omitted from this dataset because their core areas overlap with other PAs. Protected environments can also overlap with other PA types and were thus excluded. All types of PAs can exist on private land (Cumming & Daniels 2014). Our final PA boundary dataset comprised GIS data, consolidated using ArcGIS 10.5 (ESRI 2017) from the national PA register (South African PA Dataset; PACA), provincial conservation authorities, and national gazettes (see Table S1.2, described in DEA 2013). PAs not included in PACA, but designated in other datasets were systematically added to the master PA data layer, after checking the online gazettes (accessed through https://www.sabinet.co.za) for any relevant PA degrading, downsizing or degazettement (PADDDing, Mascia & Pailler 2011; Mascia et al. 2014). A big data gap existed, however, due to older private nature reserves that were not well established in the national PA register. Since these areas do officially form part of the country’s conservation estate (Cumming & Daniels 2014), we mapped them by matching the farm names, numbers and portions designated in both current and retrospective provincial gazettes with those in a farm-portion-level cadastral dataset, obtained from AfriGIS (2012). Identified polygons were extracted from the cadastral dataset, and attribute data were edited to reflect the declaration date (and degazettement date, where appropriate), its gazette number, and ownership details. All datasets were projected to Albers Equal Area and consolidated using this projection. More details, references and metadata descriptions can be found in the “README” file.