Systematic conservation planning and adaptive management

Stephen D. Holness, Harry C. Biggs
Koedoe | Vol 53, No 2 | a1029 | DOI: | © 2011 Stephen D. Holness, Harry C. Biggs | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2010 | Published: 11 May 2011

About the author(s)

Stephen D. Holness, South African National Parks, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Harry C. Biggs, South African National Parks, Skukuza, South Africa


This article argues that systematic conservation planning (SCP) is an intrinsic part of the adaptive management approach within SANParks and should not be seen as a separate or different initiative. SCP operates within a complex environment that requires a deliberately adaptive approach. The similarities in philosophy, structure and functional elements of the planning process and approach between adaptive management and SCP, as applied within SANParks, are highlighted. The article distils requirements for ensuring that SCP remains strategically adaptive in its approach.

Conservation implication: A deliberately adaptive approach to SCP improves its effectiveness in guiding the implementation of conservation actions and is a requirement for effective conservation planning in a complex environment.


complexity, Strategic Adaptive Management, change, learning


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