Palaeontology and the National Monuments Council
Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research
The National Monuments Council is the only statutory body that actively protects the palaeontological resources in South Africa. It does this in three ways: by issuing permits for excavation, collection and export of palaeontological material; by declaring sites of particular scientific importance national monuments; and by compiling a register of conservation-worthy property that can include palaeontological sites. It is important that palaeontologists in South Africa are aware of the terms of the National Monuments Act and that they assist the National Monuments Council in drawing up policy and guidelines. Close co-operation between the PSSA and the NMC can be of mutual benefit with regard to formulating principles and criteria for evaluating permit applications, identifying sites that may be affected by development, and predicting the implications that promoting palaeontology may have for site protection and management.