Mainstreaming biodiversity: the role of taxonomy in bioregional planning activities in South Africa

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Abstract:

Bioregional planning processes, which employ an essentially holistic view of the environment as far as current and proposed land-use practices are concerned, are justifiably gaining ground worldwide. This is also true for South Africa, a country that harbours remarkably rich biota. The concept of bioregional planning prominently includes aspects such as informed conservation planning and the sustainable use of biodiversity, among a range of other equally important environmental considerations. This paper argues that support of on-going, basic taxonomic studies in bioregions are critically important to ensure the comprehensive and accurate documentation and inventorying of biodiversity at any scale. As such, taxonomists fulfill an essential role in the initial and follow-up phases of bioregional planning processes. Insufficient attention to checklisting activities will severely hamper the implementation of workable bioregional plans.

Keywords: BIOLOGICAL INVENTORIES; BIOREGIONAL PLANNING; SOUTH AFRICA; TAXONOMY

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Office of the Chief Director: Research & Scientific Services, National Botanical Institute, Private Bag X101,Pretoria, 0001 South Africa. 2: Office of the Director: Research, National Botanical Institute, Private Bag X101, Pretoria, 0001 SouthAfrica.

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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