"Thank you for a most enjoyable and informative day," said one of the stakeholders, expressing a sentiment shared by many of her co-forumites who attended Kruger's first stakeholder forum meeting that took place on May 19, 2006. About 32 stakeholders convened at the game capture auditorium in Skukuza to kickstart a series of workshops.
These, together with other processes, will eventually enable the Park to draw up a holistic management plan comprising values, strategies, measurable objectives and key result areas that will give effect to the new Protected Areas Act (57 of 2003) through the Kruger National Park's broader Park Management Plan.
According to Helen Mmethi, head of the people and conservation department, "the public engagement process around the park management plans under the PAA to promote wide and representative sharing of the setting of each park's desired state, through acceptable defined processes."
Already on the day, Helen and Sue Eber, project manager of Kruger's management plan, briefed the park forum representatives about the background, the PAA, terminology and the process to be followed in compiling the plan.
The group then listed its ideal values for Kruger – qualities regarded or perceived as worthwhile or desirable, as well as what the Park should strive for. It also listed qualities that were perceived as undesirable and what to steer away from. These will be evaluated by the KNP planning committee and incorporated into the management plan where appropriate.