schemes, recovery meaning restoration of the population to a point where it is a "viable self-sustaining componant of their ecosystem so as to allow downlisting" (US Fish and Wildlife Service 1990). A 1988 amendment to the ESA requires that recovery plans for listed species be developed and implemented by the Department of the Interior. Reports are made to Congress every two years. These recovery plans are intended to provide a blueprint for private, Federal and State interagency cooperation on implementation.

At present the ESA is under some threat. In 1995 a moratorium on new listing was called, but a year later certain cases were pushed through. Several bills have been introduced to Congress that aim to weaken the protection of national endangered plants; these will make it more difficult for the USA to fulfil its obligations with CITES (De Ferrari 1996).

Another Federal law in the USA, the Lacey Act, gives Federal support to state conservation laws. Since 1981, the Lacey Act has prohibited interstate trade or export of wild native plants collected or possessed in contravention of the State or, in the case of Indian lands, the

Reservation, of origin. States which have legislation regulating the collection of cacti and succulents are Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas.

Zimbabwe is another country which has good legal provisions protecting succulent plants both from collection pressures and habitat destruction. The Parks and Wildlife Act, 1975, as amended lists the genus Aloe and ten other succulent species as specially protected. The Act also allows for the constitution of botanical reserves to protect rare or endangered indigenous plants or representative plant communities growing naturally in the wild.

Unfortunately, protective legislation for succulent plants is not enforced in Zimbabwe due to lack of personnel and the absence of any active and full-time inspectorate. No reserves have yet been created specifically to protect representative communities of succulent plants which are specially protected by law. A recommendation to create a network of succulent reserves under the Parks and Wildlife Act, 1975, is given in Chapter 4 of this Plan, the Action Proposals.

In South Africa, the Forest Act 122 of 1984 is a national statute which gives protection to a number of listed succulents. The most important legislation for the protection of native plant species is, however, provided by the four provincial ordinances (Glavovic 1993). Under these ordinances, plants on or along public roads are protected and no native plant can be picked without the landowner's permission. Possession and trade in indigenous plants is generally regulated and certain species are given special protection.

In Natal all native flowering plants are regulated with certain species classified as specially protected. The Transvaal also has a list of specially protected species, together with lists of endangered and rare species. Importation and exportation of endangered and rare species is controlled. The Cape legislation lists endangered flora and protected flora. Succulent species given special protection under the South African state ordinances are listed in Table 3.8 in the Southern Africa Regional Account in Chapter 3.

A recent review of plant conservation legislation in South Africa has pointed out that the existing laws do not take into account traditional rights and harvesting practices. Controlled access to plants used, for example, for medicinal purposes should be part of policy to encourage sustainable utilisation. Furthermore, it is pointed out that an integrated national legal system for flora conservation is needed with consistency throughout the regions. Perhaps of most importance, greater emphasis should be placed on in situ conservation so as to preserve representative and important plant communities wherever possible.

The development of conservation legislation protecting rare and threatened succulent species remains a priority in many countries, particularly in Madagascar. Ideally, legislation should aim to enhance the conservation status of individual species through the development of recovery programmes, as well as limiting habitat destruction and overexploitation. Implementation and enforcement of existing legislation also need to be addressed. One catalyst for improving national legal protection for succulents is the development of increasingly comprehensive international legal obligations to protect threatened species and their habitats.

International legislation

The Convention on Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity (Biodiversity Convention) was signed by 153 States, together with the European Community, during the UNCED meeting in June 1992. The objectives of the Convention are the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources. Parties to the Biodiversity Convention are required to identify components of biological diversity important for conservation and sustainable use; develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the sustainable use of biodiversity; establish protected area systems; develop or maintain threatened species legislation; and further biodiversity conservation by various other specified means.

The Biodiversity Convention will enhance the conservation of cacti and succulents in various countries through the identification of threatened species and development of the conservation measures outlined above. Country biodiversity studies have been produced for a range of countries including Kenya and Uganda as a preliminary step in implementation of the Convention. These form the basis for the development of the national strategies or action plans to protect biodiversity.

The Berne Convention

This Convention, applicable to the Council of Europe member states, was signed in 1979. The Convention provides for the conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats in general and for the special protection of listed species. Appendix I of this convention lists 490 specially protected plants including the succulents listed in Table 2.2, all of which occur in the Canary Islands except for Euphorbia stygiana which is endemic to the Azores.

Table 2.2 Threatened succulent species in Appendix I of the Berne Convention


Dracaena draco


Caralluma burchardii

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