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Geoconservation versus legislation and resources policy: New achievements, new questions—Comment on Cairncross (Resources Policy, 2011) The National Heritage Resource Act (1999): Can legislation protect South Africa's rare geoheritage resources?

Authors
Journal
Resources Policy
0301-4207
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
37
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2011.12.005
Keywords
  • Geoconservation
  • Legislation
  • Geological Heritage
  • Mineral Resources
  • Museum
Disciplines
  • Law

Abstract

Abstract In his recent article, Cairncross identified problems with legislation relevant to the conservation of national geological heritage. This permits us to pose some more general questions, which are not addressed in the noted contribution. The example given by Cairncross indicates some pitfalls linked with the “all-inclusive” nature of legislation in which geological heritage is mixed with cultural heritage. Are such laws really helpful? Even if they are inevitable, they should be prepared with great caution. Moreover, it appears sensible to discuss whether particular geological objects or geodiversity as a whole should be legally conserved. Cairncross also proposes the interesting idea of a special fund/agency for purchasing rare mineral specimens for museums. This raises a set of questions about selection criteria for minerals to be purchased, types of market to be dealt with, number of fund/agency staff, necessary financial resources, and the administration of such purchasing schemes. Broad multi-stakeholder debates are necessary in order to establish the proposed fund/agency and to facilitate its efficient work.

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