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South Africa






% Protected

South Africa is divided almost equally into three separate protection level categories. The northwestern deserts are still largely intact, and therefore in the “could reach half” category. The northeastern grasslands have been severely degraded by overgrazing and ploughing, and are imperiled, while the southern forests and shrublands could still recover.

Touws River, South Africa. Photo by Isabella Juskova.

South Africa's Ecology

South Africa’s biodiversity is legendary. In fact, South Africa is one of just 17 countries that, combined, are home to over 70% of the planet’s lifeforms. And the challenges to intact and healthy natural habitat here are immense. Intense population pressures alongside the destruction wrought by poaching is taking a toll on nature in this region. Incentives, such as conservation-related jobs, are critical to the expansion of Nature Needs Half goals in this country.

Half (Mission Achieved)

Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.

Can Reach Half

Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.

Could Be Restored

Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.


Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.


Frankfurt Zoological Society

We conserve wildlife and ecosystems focusing on protected areas and outstanding wild places.

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London Zoological Society (ZSL)

Working to protect wildlife around the world, ZSL is inspiring action while innovating on-the-ground work that values and supports all communities, human and ecological.

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Wilderness Foundation Africa

Protecting wildlife through innovative programs that reduce demand for ivory and provide for the basic needs of human communities, Wilderness Foundation Africa is deeply committed to Nature Needs Half principles.

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Wilderness Foundation Global

An international alliance of wilderness conservation groups working together to protect wild nature while meeting the needs of human communities - for the benefit of all life on Earth. <p> WFG is a founding member of and an active proponent for Nature Needs Half.

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The Nature Needs Half movement is only as strong as its member organizations. Discover more about the individuals and organizations who have committed to protecting 50% of the planet by 2050.
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Kruger National Park, South Africa. Photo by Jamie Muller.
Kruger National Park

South Africa’s first national park, it encompasses some of the last remaining wildlands of the northeast and is home to iconic species, including cheetah, wild dogs, and rhinos.

Table Mountain, South Africa. Photo by Joshua Earle.
Table Mountain National Park

There are more species of plant in this 221 square kilometer biodiversity hotspot than exist in all of the British Isles. The rare amphibian, the Table Mountain ghost frog, also lives here.

Southern white rhino, South Africa. Photo by Marc Witzel.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park

The Imfolozi began as South Africa’s oldest game reserve. The hunting grounds of Zulu kings from a past era, this land is of enormous cultural significance.

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