STRIKING THE BALANCE

BIOSPHERE ZONES

Biosphere zones are an attempt to reduce conflicts arising between conservation and development. There are opportunities for conservation and sustainable development that may help mitigate the vulnerability of the biodiversity and marginalised communities within the biosphere. The zones demarcate areas where appropriate activities are permitted.The core zone is formally protected for conserving biological diversity and monitoring minimally disturbed ecosystems and is limited to use for environmental education, research, and low impact nature based eco-tourism.

Buffer zones surround or adjoin the core areas, where activities that are compliant with the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations should occur. Ideally these should be low to medium impact land-uses that maintain biodiversity integrity, such as game and livestock ranching and some tourism, although practically, nature based recreation, primary dwellings and new developments mindful of conservation objectives would also be permitted.

Flexible transition zones would also include larger tourism developments, cultivated lands, irrigation, orchards, agro-industries, human settlements, support services and infrastructure, mining and industrial development, with an emphisis on cooperative sustainable utilization of the larger transition area to ensure the protection of the natural and heritage resources of the core zones and enhance this as a benefit to communities.

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