The Western Cape’s landowners can play an important role in the conservation of our natural heritage.
CapeNature works in partnership with private landowners, communities, agricultural businesses and other stakeholders to ensure biodiversity survives in a changing climate outside protected areas with tangible benefits to the local communities and shareholders.
As most of the province’s biodiversity is in private ownership, CapeNature initiated the Biodiversity Stewardship programme in 2003. This programme facilitates conservation on privately owned land by setting up agreements between the landowners and CapeNature.
Landowners undertake to protect and manage their properties or parts thereof according to sound conservation management principles. CapeNature undertakes to support this management by providing advice, management plans and assistance in planning invasive alien species clearing and fire management schedules. It also allows for the private landowner to benefit more from the biodiversity through ecologically sensitive income-generating avenues such as eco-tourism or green labelling of agricultural produce (e.g. Business and Biodiversity Initiatives).
Why should you become involved?
• You can assist in achieving the provincial and national conservation targets for threatened species and ecosystems;
• Better management of natural resources will contribute towards securing the future for society, through improved water quality and production in catchments, and reduced erosion and flooding;
• By becoming involved in conservation on your land, you will have access to support and advice from dedicated CapeNature staff;
• Your income base can be diversified through ecotourism and conservation associated opportunities.
The vision of Stewardship
• To ensure that privately owned areas with high biodiversity value receive secure conservation status and are linked to a network of other conservation areas in the landscape.
• To ensure that landowners who commit their property to a stewardship option, will enjoy tangible benefits for their conservation actions.
• To expand biodiversity conservation by encouraging commitment to, and implementation of, good biodiversity management practice, on privately owned land, in such a way that the private landowner becomes an empowered decision maker.
CapeNature’s four Stewardship options
The four Stewardship options that CapeNature promotes include:
1. Contract Nature Reserves – Contract Nature Reserves are legally recognized contracts or servitudes on private land to protect biodiversity in the long term.
2. Biodiversity Agreements – Biodiversity Agreements are negotiated legal agreements between the conservation agency and a landowner for conserving biodiversity in the medium term.
3. Protected Environments – Legally recognised contracts resulting in formally Protected Areas. Usually created by groups of landowners in areas buffering Nature Reserves or Parks or sufficiently large to be self-contained ecosystems.
4. Conservation Areas – Conservation Areas are flexible options with no defined period of commitment (includes conservancies).
These dedicated landowners currently work in close cooperation with CapeNature to conserve the phenomenal biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
For more information on CapeNature’s Biodiversity Stewardship programme, please contact Irene Steyn.
Tel: 028 314 0185
View Minister Anton Bredell’s intention to declare nature reserves below:
Conservation at Work is the umbrella body for all conservancies and conservation minded landowners of the Western Cape. Conservation on private land is essential to ensure connectivity of natural areas in our landscape and the conservation of our valuable biodiversity.
Conservation at Work encourages the sharing of conservation knowledge between conservancies and partners. If you have any questions, ideas or would like to get involved with Conservation at Work, visit their website www.conservationatwork.co.za.
Landowner guides and fact sheets are available in pdf format for download or viewing below.