The recent in-depth review of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) found that Parties were far behind in targets, particularly in Element 2 on governance, participation, equity, and benefit-sharing. A workshop on “Improved Protected Areas Governance for Livelihood Security and Rights in Southern Africa”, hosted by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), aimed to begin to address these gaps. From April 12-16, Holly Shrumm (Natural Justice) attended the workshop in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area along with representatives of governments, NGOs and communities from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Mozambique. They discussed not only challenges such as the lack of enabling legal and policy frameworks, but also opportunities for enhancing protected area governance through rights-based approaches. They also provided recommendations on the PoWPA to southern African delegates with specific reference to Element 2. Delegates attending the upcoming Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in Nairobi will be tasked with incorporating state and regional recommendations into a revised PoWPA to be adopted at the Conference of Parties in October.