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The Prince Edward Islands Management Plan (PEIMP)


Purpose and Vision

The Prince Edward Islands (PEIs) have the highest level of protection afforded to any natural area under South African law. The islands were declared a Special Nature Reserve in 1995, to protect the islands’ ecosystems because of their ‘highly sensitive, outstanding’ nature (National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEMPAA), 2003, Section 18 (2)(a)). In terms of NEMPAA, the PEIs are reserved primarily for scientific research and environmental monitoring (Section 18 (2)(b)). The boundary and status of the nature reserve cannot be altered except by a resolution of the National Assembly (Section 19).

NEMPAA provides for the protection and conservation of ecologically viable areas that are representative of South Africa’s biological diversity and its natural landscapes and seascapes. The general purpose of a Special Nature Reserve is to protect highly sensitive, outstanding ecosystems, species, geological or physical features in the area, and to make the area primarily available for scientific research or environmental monitoring (Section 18). NEMPAA seeks to promote sustainable utilisation of protected areas for the benefit of people, in a manner that will preserve the ecological character of such areas and, where appropriate, promote participation by local communities (Section 2).

The specific objectives of the Prince Edward Islands Special Nature Reserve are to:

  • Ensure the protection, survival and biological diversity of the islands’ indigenous plant and animal species;
  • Maintain the integrity and healthy functioning of the total ecosystem;
  • Maintain diversity at every level, including the islands’ biological, species and genetic diversity as well as the ecological processes;
  • Protect geological and geomorphologic features, natural landscapes and wilderness attributes.


The strategic vision of SANAP, as it applies to the PEIs, is to support national sovereignty at the PEIs and to co-ordinate research activities, optimise and produce credible quality science and technology nationally and internationally, the utilization and conservation of natural resources and to further international relations in logistic, scientific and environmental issues pertaining to the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions.

This Management Plan was prepared by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University, with major contributions by Professor Steven Chown, Ms Sarah Davies, Ms Leonie Joubert and Dr Marienne de Villiers.


Structure of the Document

This document is divided into three parts.

Part 1 describes the framework within which the MP was developed. It contains an introduction to the Management Plan (Chapter 1), a policy framework (Chapter 2) and a description of the legal status of the PEIs in South African and international law (Chapter 3).

Part 2 contains the strategic plan for the Special Nature Reserve. It sets out in detail the provisions for environmental management of the islands, addressing administration (Chapter 4), biodiversity conservation (Chapter 5), historical conservation (Chapter 6) and waste management (Chapter 7). Each chapter in Part 2 consists of a legal and policy review followed by tables containing the environmental goals, objectives, targets, management actions, monitoring requirements, and remedial actions required to achieve efficient and effective management of the islands. The aim of the detailed tables is to explain and make clear the management methods and specific responsibilities of individuals and groups. Boxes are used throughout the text to carry specific sets of recommendations or guidelines. References are made throughout to supporting documents that can be referred to for additional information that is not required in the body of the management plan, but is nonetheless necessary reading for those involved in island management.

Part 3 of the Management Plan provides costing for the strategic plan and includes a current budget and estimation of additional future costs.

The eleven items that have been identified for inclusion in management plans according to the Act  are addressed in this PEIMP as follows:
•    Authorizations (1.1);
•    Consultation (1.2);
•    Purpose and Vision (1.3);
•    Expansion Strategy (1.4);
•    Policy Framework (Chapter 2);
•    Legal Status (Chapter 3);
•    Strategic Plan (Part 2, Chapters 4-7);
•    Access (4.6) and Facilities (4.9);
•    Zoning Plan (4.7);
•    Concept Development Plan (4.10);
•    Costing (Part 3).


The Prince Edward Island Management Plan document links:

Table of Contents

Part 1

Chapter 1 - Introdution,

Chapter 2 - Policy Framework

Chapter 3 - Legal Status.

Part 2

Chapter 4 - Administration,

Chapter 5 - Conservation Management,

Chapter 6 - Historical Conservation 

Chapter 7 - Waste Management.


PDF of the complete document.  (Large download of 4.4MB)

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