Slide 16: Providing incentives to private landowners
One possible alternative to buying land would be to persuade private landowners to conserve biodiversity on their own land. This could be achieved through offering landowners incentives to do so, and an initial study to assess the responses of landowners to this suggestion met with a good response, with 92.5% of the landowners agreeing that incentives might persuade them to engage in conservation. Furthermore, 87% of them thought that conservation of plants and animals outside the bounds of reserves should be the responsibility of private landowners, although nearly 8% disagreed with this. Interestingly, though, whilst they thought they should be responsible for conservation, more than half of the landowners also thought that some branch of governance should bear the costs of conserving renosterveld fragments on their land. This issue was more divided than most, however, with fully 35% saying the costs should not be borne by government.