Acacia mearnsii management in a South African National Parks: SWOT analysis using hot topics in biological invasion as a guide


Abstract The assessment of the policy framework governing Invasive Alien Species (IAS) control is of critical importance in conservation. The undertaking of a SWOT analysis of such a framework is necessary because it enhances the efficacy of IAS control. The aim of this study is to carry out a SWOT analysis of the policy framework guiding the control of the spreading of Acacia mearnsii and other IAS in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in South Africa, as well as the implementation of restorative measures in the park and adjacent communities in line with the recommendations of the Convention on Biodiversity. A comparative analysis of this framework and the hierarchical framework that was developed during the European Union Conference on Freshwater Invasives - Networking for Strategy in 2013 is undertaken. The results indicate the need to strengthen park-community relations, upgrade existing legislation, and boost the technical capacity of South African national parks to identify, detect, monitor and predict IAS invasions, both within the parks and their surroundings. This knowledge is important for developing future policies on IAS control in South Africa.

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