In the South African MPA sector there many role players that is involved and contributes to the success of effectively managing the country’s 23 coastal MPAs and the mid ocean MPA, Prince Edward Island. This diverse group of people and organizations include SA MPA staff, researchers, scientists, SA government, national conservation agencies, provincial conservation agencies, municipalities, institutions of higher learning, research organizations, coastal communities, NGOs, tourism industry and commerce. In order for this partnership to work, we have to strengthen communication between partners. The annual MPA Forum fulfils that function. Other innovative ways of strengthening these partnerships where MPAs benefit, can include universities using their Honours and Masters students to provide quality research in MPAs free of charge. This data then contributes to assisting MPAs in being managed more effectively.

The importance of partnerships is vital to ensure the success of our MPA’s and the following is a list of partners that are involved in the South African Marine Protected Areas sector.


The Secretariat operates across the entire SA MPA sector and our partners include:

  • Government – DEA O&C (Department of Environmental Affairs Oceans and Coast)
  • National conservation bodies like SANParks,
  • Provincial conservation bodies i.e. CapeNature, ECPTA, KZN Wildlife,
  • Municipalities that manage MPA’s i.e. City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
  • Funders i.e. DEA and Rand Merchant Bank
  • Institutions of higher learning i.e. UCT, CPUT, NMMU
  • Research institutions ie SAEON, ORI, SAIAB