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In general

What role does CapeNature play in the GCBC?
CapeNature has a proud heritage of conservation leadership and service built up over more than fifty years. It is considered one of the leading biodiversity conservation authorities in South Africa and has played a significant role in the formulation of conservation policies and management strategies.Looking forward, the challenge is to draw on the best of CapeNature's experience as we shape our strategy and ensure future success.

More recently, CapeNature has come to recognise that biodiversity conservation is relevant throughout the entire socio-economic fabric of society in the Western Cape. It affects all citizens - both urban and rural - all forms of economic activity, and all geographic areas - protected, public and private.

The GCBC gives CapeNature, as our implementing agency, the platform to engage with these challenges. Importantly, CapeNature and the GCBC are synonymous, the GCBC is a landscape scale conservation project that is being implemented through the West Coast Business Unit of CapeNature by a team of people that includes an externally funded project management unit whose activities are fully integrated with and supported by the CapeNature staff in the Porterville office.

Aligning the GCBC with a statutory agency such as this provides the opportunity for CapeNature to liaise with a wide and diverse range of communities; a variety of land-use activities; big industries, some only found in the GCBC domain in a variety of geographic areas ranging from the coast to the more arid Karoo region. CapeNature as the implementing agent and mandated organisation responsible for biodiversity conservation will ensure the long-term sustainability of the GCBC.

What is C.A.P.E. (Cape Action for People and the Environment)?
Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E.) is a programme of the South African government, with support from international donors, to protect the rich biological heritage of the Cape Floristic Region . C.A.P.E seeks to unleash the economic potential of land and marine resources through focused investment in development of key resources, while conserving nature and ensuring that all people benefit.

What is SKEP (Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme)?
The Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP) evolved as a bi-national initiative that seeks to develop conservation as a form of land use rather than an alternative for land use. SKEP ensures that the people of the Succulent Karoo take ownership of and enjoy their unique living landscape in a way that maintains biodiversity and improves livelihoods now and into perpetuity.

What is biodiversity?
  • Biodiversity is the number and variety of different organisms in the ecological complexes in which they naturally occur. Organisms are organised at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the biochemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses different ecosystems, species, and genes that must be present for a healthy environment. A large number of species must characterise the food chain, representing multiple predator-prey relationships.
  • Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.
  • Biodiversity is the diversity - or variety - of plants, animals and other living things in a particular area or region. It encompasses habitat diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity.
What is a corridor?
Corridors are continuous stretches of natural habitat between different land uses. These corridors help with the movement of species to keep the ecosystems healthy. The movement of species are increasingly important due to climate change due to the fact that species can move to comfortable temperatures. Corridors can reduce any risks to the environment, they can provide a save place for animals and plants and increase the beauty of a place.

What are the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor trying to achieve?
The principle goal of the GCBC is to maintain or restore connectivity across the landscape (from the coast to the mountains). To achieve this, the GCBC aims to stimulate the creation of additional protected areas through voluntary stewardship agreements; the introduction of more benign land-use strategies; and the restoration of degraded lands on key sites.

But, the corridor also seeks to improve protected area management, build management capacity in the region, and promote biological and socio-economic research that can reveal possible tools to reduce the threat of habitat loss and species extinction.

The aspirations of local communities and other stakeholders are taken into account as key elements of the conservation equation, to ensure the long-term sustainability of parks, reserves and stewardship sites.

GCBC Stewardship
What advantages does the GCBC hold for the landowner?
The main advantage is the creation of a partnership with CapeNature and attaining access to its wealth of expertise on natural resource management. This means that the GCBC will assist you in writing a management plan for the property and where possible assist you with habitat management. The contracted area is also 100% exempt from rates in the case of a contract nature reserve.

Will stewardship result in the transfer of ownership?
No, there is no change in ownership rights on the property. The conservation status of the contracted area however changes in the case of a contract nature reserve. A process is followed where the contracted area is declared under national legislation as a contract nature reserve and then has the same status as a provincial nature reserve. Importantly, entering into these contracts is done on a voluntary basis and can in no way be forced on the owner. Access rights to the property are by the owners' permission only.

Will the GCBC influence my farming practices when I enter into stewardship agreements?
No, the farming practices are zoned as private use areas during contractual negotiations. Best practice guidelines for the production area are encouraged to ensure that practices followed on the property do not result in significant impacts to natural habitats. The aim here is to seek viable solutions to running a good business while sustainably managing natural resources.