Zandvlei Trust

Terms of Reference for Establishment of a Protected Area Advisory Committee – City of Cape Town Nature Reserves.

The City of Cape Town as the management authority of its network of Nature Reserves and Protected Environments will establish Protected Area Advisory Committees (PAAC) in terms of the Regulations for the Proper Administration for Nature Reserves (2012). PAACs will be established to promote a participative approach towards protected area management and shall represent the interest of all stakeholders, internal and external. Stakeholders are defined as all constituencies affected by or interested in the existence of the Protected Area.

What is a Protected Area Advisory Committee?

A PAAC provides a means for a legitimate platform through which to communicate City Nature Reserve and Protected Environment issues to ensure participation of all stakeholders on matters of mutual relevance affecting the Reserve. It is expected that the PAAC will facilitate a constructive interaction between the Reserve and the surrounding communities / stakeholders. PAACs are established to encourage the building of constituencies in support of the natural and cultural heritage conservation goals of the City.


The objectives of PAAC are to:

  • Facilitate constructive interaction between the Protected Areas and surrounding communities and stakeholders.

  • Serve as a channel for communication and managing conflict.

  • Assist each Protected Area to engage with neighbouring communities and stakeholders to identify strategic issues and areas of mutual interest and concern and work towards finding equitable solutions that benefit both the community or stakeholder and the Protected Area.

  • Serve as a vehicle towards developing strategic partnerships with stakeholders.


The City will invite government organisations, community organisations, NGO’s, residents of and / or neighbouring communities, academic institutions and individuals with special interests through direct invitation or through advertisements in at least two local newspapers and any other agreed upon manner by the Biodiversity Management Branch in order to reach the greatest number of residents of and, neighbouring communities or stakeholders to the Protected Area. The invitation shall specify the method of submission and a date by which the nominations contemplated should reach the City. Interested and affected parties will be required to complete the City PAAC application forms.

Minimum requirements and other criteria

Any member of the PAAC must be based on a real interest demonstrated by the member in respect of the relevant Protected Area. The sitting member must be the nominated delegate from the organisation the member is representing and is expected to provide feedback to his/her organisation in terms of meetings progress and outcomes.


The City, after considering any nominations submitted will appoint members in writing to the PAAC. At least one employee of the City’s Biodiversity Management Branch, nominated by the City will be an ex-officio member of the PAAC.

The advisory committee should reflect the interest of the following groups:

  • Local communities

  • Organs of state (National and Provincial)

  • Neighbours

  • Land Owners

  • Ward Councillors

  • Ward Committee

Other affected/interested parties such as:

  • NGOs and Community Based Organisations (CBO)

  • Tourism

  • Cultural/Natural heritage e.g. Rastafarian, Traditional Leaders and traditional healers

  • Botanical and / or zoological

  • Water quality/aquatic environment

  • Nature-based recreation

  • Academic institutions

  • Research institutions

  • And any other interested and affected party / stakeholder

Term of office

  • Each member is expected to serve for a fixed three year period as determined by the City’s management but the respective organisation’s rights and procedures with respect to member representation will be allowed as long as it is in the interest of conservation and good governance.

  • Nominees representing organisations and formally constituted groups must be nominated by their organisation / group on official letter heads, signed by an executive authority, and be duly appointed to act in the interest of their organisation. Organisations must also nominate a second member to attend and represent the organisation when the primary nominee is not available. Any second nominee must on their attendance ensure that they are fully informed of the current affairs in the PAAC to ensure positive participation in the discussions. The nomination letters from the organisations must be accompanied by the application forms.

  • Membership is voluntary and no remuneration will be provided to PAAC members.

  • As part of good governance, all PAAC members will be required to adhere to the code of conduct and any member who does not adhere to the code of conduct stipulations, maybe removed from the PAAC and be reported to their organisations for further action.

Termination of Membership

Members of the PAAC, wishing to terminate their service will submit a letter of resignation to the Protected Area Manager, which will then be tabled during a PAAC meeting. A record of the resignation shall be sent to the Director: Environmental Resource Management or his nominee.

Suspension and Removal from PAAC.

Members may be suspended, or requested to vacate their positions from the PAAC on grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour, contrary to the code of conduct of the City.

Terms of Reference for PAACs

The PAAC will be constituted as an advisory, rather that a decision making body.

The committee will be expected to:

  • Input into strategic management decisions relating to protected area management;

  • Act as a vehicle to provide advice on high-level protected area issues;

  • Play a role in educating the community and various interest groups about the importance of preservation, protection and management of natural resources and the objectives of the reserve management plan that are intended to pursue these goals;

  • Monitor and evaluate progress on implementation of programmes in the reserve management plan;

  • Make recommendations on how the City can improve programmes and policies;

  • Promote involvement in decision-making around the management of natural and cultural heritage resources and tourism facilities within the scope of the reserve management plan;

  • Promote the integration of conservation activities within the nature reserve with those of surrounding areas and possible synergies;

  • Establish and maintain links between the City and other stakeholders.

  • Where possible, comment on environmental impact assessment reports in the area abutting the protected area.

Functioning of the PAAC

The committee will meet quarterly. At the first meeting a Chairperson shall be elected. The Protected Area will act as secretariat for the PAAC. The committee will be expected to submit a copy of the minutes for each meeting and a full report, to the management authority (the Regional Manager for submission to the Director: ERM through the Branch Manager: Biodiversity Management and local Sub-council), highlighting issues and making recommendations on matters flowing from the implementation of the relevant Protected Area Management Plan. The Chairperson may at his / her discretion form working groups when required. Minutes of all working groups meetings must be kept and submitted through the Chairperson to Reserve Management. The Protected Area will provide logistical and resource support for the PAAC.


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