Slide 19: Total costs of expanding protected area network
The total costs of expanding the protected area network are considerable. The basics for the protected area network would be a new reserve system based on the 6182 hectares of state-owned land, which has in principle agreed to donate the land for free. Capital costs and operating costs for this land would be relatively low, but clearing aliens off the land is likely to be an expensive and time-consuming affair, weighing in at over 10 million US$. The reserve would then be connected by a matrix of contractual reserves on private land, allowing for gene flow, and movement corridors for the species under consideration. This area is by far the bulk of the expanded protected area network, and establishment of contractual reserves is estimated to cost as much as 240 000 dollars, with another 780 000 dollars set aside for annual monitoring. However, once again the alien control and removal costs are likely to be the bulk of the damage, weighing in at a snip under 394 million US$! Furthermore, the conservation policy needs to take into account those species which are predicted to go extinct, and therefore can only be preserved through gene and seed banking. The total costs for this process (there are no initial capital requirements because SANBI already has a gene bank in operation) are approximately 95 000 dollars - a fraction of the cost of setting up and running the reserve and conservation matrix. In total, then, this theoretical process would cost nearly 406 million dollars, which is considerably more than the Western Cape is likely to assign to a conservation budget in the near future.