“Land stewardship is an ancient concept which refers to the wise use, management and protection of land that has been entrusted to an owner/user. Biodiversity stewardship is about landowner/users being custodians of their land (including natural resources and biodiversity) through the sustainable use, management and protection of resources. The biodiversity on this land is secured through a biodiversity stewardship agreement and incentives may be provided to the owner/user to enable this to occur.”



These are different categories of stewardship, which afford different levels of conservation protection. Stewardship usually takes the form of voluntary, negotiated partnership between private landowners or communal land entities and the government conservation agency.

A number of different forms of stewardship arrangements are reflected in the Magaliesberg Biosphere zonation.

The Convention on Biological Diversity  saw the drafting of  the Aichi Biodiversity Targets for the 2011-2020 period. These aim to ensure at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas are conserved through Protected Area (PA) agreements. 

“ Most of South Africa’s biodiversity is found on private land. That’s why it’s vital to work with private landowners, many who farm for a living, to encourage greater buy-in to conserve our natural world.” and contribute to the expansion of protected areas and South Africa’s achievement of protected area targets. Stewardship is thus an important mechanism in South Africa’s National Protected Area Expansion Strategy.

National policy, guidelines, and norms and standards for biodiversity stewardship are currently evolving.