GCBC SMALL GRANTS PROJECTS – RELATING TO THE EXPANSION OF PROTECTED AREAS
A GCBC Small Grants Project: Developing a fire management map for the entire Greater Cederberg Fire Protection Association (GCFPA)
Organisation: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
The Greater Cederberg Fire Protection Association (GCFPA) was registered in February 2005, according to the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (101 of 1998). The main objective is to improve integrated fire management, which include proper planning based on scientific knowledge. The GCFPA will eventually cover the sections of fynbos where fires are known to occur in the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor as new regions join the GCFPA.
As the GCFPA is lacking scientific data they approached the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) to assist them in compiling a veld age map of the entire area and to produce a map with all fire-related infrastructure. Although landowners and communities have sufficient knowledge about the data, it has never been recorded and mapped. The NMMU use postgraduate students to engage with members of the GCFPA to determine and map this data to be incorporated into fine scale maps of the GCBC, CapeNature, municipalities and Working on Fire. This information will assist the GCFPA members to comply with the National Veld and Forest Fire Act and will improve integrated fire management in this core region within the GCBC.
The project aims to produce a fire management map, which will enable the GCFPA to implement fire management that is based on scientific planning and to improve efficiency during fire-fighting operations.
A GCBC Small Grants Project: Game Management Guidelines for the Cederberg and Sandveld Areas
Organisation: Conservation Management Services
The introduction of wildlife is generally seen to be compatible with conservation objectives, but prospective game farmers need guidelines regarding suitable species for introduction, animal stocking rates, ecological water provision, parasite control, supplementary feeding, range and population monitoring, predator management and general range management. These guidelines must be ecologically determined, practical and applicable. This will enable game introduction in the core corridor areas to be fully compatible with corridor objectives, as opposed to ill-informed actions leading to the introduction of alien wildlife species which ultimately may be detrimental to the corridor area.
The project aims to
- evaluate general habitat types and its condition, and recommend a range of wild herbivores best suited to each of the major habitat types.
- compile guidelines for stocking rates of wild game as opposed to rates that apply only to agricultural norms.
- site waterholes, animal preferences, habitat sensitivity, the amount of water needed, the water source and its management
- investigate the fencing of individual farm unit boundaries to contain expensive game animals in terms of general specifications, permeability for smaller wildlife and a range of other management and ecological considerations
- monitor range condition in relation to the impact of introduced wild herbivores.
OTHER PROJECTS – RELATING TO THE MANAGEMENT OF EXPANSION OF PROTECTED AREAS
Greater Cederberg Fire Protection Association (GCFPA)
Contact Person: Anthony Manuel
Organisation: Greater Cederberg Fire Protection Association
The new Veld and Forest Fire Act, No. 101 of 1998, make provision for the establishment of Fire Protection Associations, integrated fire management strategies, and practices such as fire breaks. It also specifies the responsibilities and duties of landowners.
The GCFPA was registered in February 2005, and currently has 135 members. The GCFPA promotes integrated fire management to minimise social, economic and ecological losses. This is achieved through the implementation of various fire management strategies focusing on protection, prevention, fire fighting capacity and the use of fire as a management tool.
This project aims to
- ensure that members comply with legal requirements
- use fire effectively to achieve management goals
- to improve management strategies based on scientific knowledge
- reduce the occurrence and spread of wild fires
- provide training to members and employees
- implement effective awareness programmes
- increase membership
- respond to fires in a professional and coordinate manner
- establish and improve partnerships.
The Botanical Importance of the Hantam/Tanqua/Roggeveld
Contact Person: Helga van der Merwe
The SKEP funded project identified a lack of biological information with respect to the Hantam/Tanqua/Roggeveld region. An application to the CEPF to conduct botanical studies in the region was granted. In August 2004 Helga van der Merwe of the Department of Botany, University of Pretoria, conducted the first vegetation surveys.
This project aims to
- produce a preliminary vegetation/priority map for CEPF within the first year of the project
- produce a vegetation map of the Hantam/Tanqua/Roggeveld area
- compile species inventories of the region
- conduct species diversity studies
- produce a field guide for the Roggeveld and Tanqua areas
- create awareness in the scientific community of the importance of the region through publications in scientific journals and presentations at scientific gatherings
- create awareness of the region among the local people living in the region through presentations at local meetings as well as popular article publications
Bokkeveld Stewardship Project
Contact Person: Kirsten Fourie
This project aims to establish a multi-owned protected area, through the expansion of the provincial Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve. This will be done over 24 months by focusing on areas in the Bokkeveld, Hantam, Tanqua, and Roggeveld priority areas of the Succulent Karoo. The newly established Northern Cape Stewardship Forum, in close collaboration with the sub-directorate Protected Area Establishment and Management of the Department of Tourism, Environment and Conservation, will assist in this process by mainstreaming stewardship and reaching stewardship agreements with private landowners.
The project aims to
- instil in landowners a thorough knowledge of the biodiversity and ecosystems on their land, and the ways in which management can maximise the services that nature provides
- increase knowledge about conservation practices by promoting the understanding of the significance and benefits of long-term biodiversity conservation
- motivate landowners to have a positive approach to conservation practices
Survey of Cederberg Amphibians and Reptiles for Conservation and Ecotourism
Organisation: University of Stellenbosch
This project gives landowners the opportunity to participate in the generation of data on amphibians and reptiles that occur on their land. This will encourage their involvement in the development and implementation of management plans for the GCBC. Because of the high endemism of herpetofauna in the Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK), the herpetofauna is a key group in identifying priority landholdings that require immediate conservation action. The project enhances off-reserve conservation, supports bioregional planning, and promotes community participation and sustainable ecotourism.
The project aims to ensure that the GGBC will, via civil society involvement, make a significant contribution to the conservation of biodiversity in the CFK in general, and to the conservation of the herpetofauna in particular.
CAPE Fine-scale Biodiversity Planning Project
The fine-scale conservation project (FSP), led by CapeNature in partnership with the Botanical Society of South Africa and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), is part of the C.A.P.E. programme. The 4-year conservation planning project will produce biodiversity plans for five conservation priority areas (NW Sandveld, Saldanha Peninsula, Nieuwoudtville, Upper Breede River Valley and Riversdale Coastal Plain), covering nine municipalities (Matzikama, Cederberg, Bergriver, Saldanha Bay, Witzenberg, Breede Valley, Breede River Winelands, Langeberg and Mossel Bay) in the Cape Floral Kingdom. The aim is to guide the implementation of conservation action, to direct land-use planning and decision making by government bodies and to influence sound agricultural practices, by making use of these plans.
The project aims to produce conservation plans and associated guidelines to assist government in making decisions about land use and to assist conservation agencies in identifying stewardship sites.
CAPE Alien Fish Project
Organisation: CapeNature – Scientific Services
Many rivers in the Cape Floral Kingdom are invaded by alien fishes with serious consequences for biodiversity. Work done in the USA has shown that alien fishes can be permanently eradicated from sections of rivers using pesticides, notably rotenone. Conservation authorities, land-owners and certain angling organisations are eager to see alien fishes eradicated from priority rivers, provided that this is done in an environmentally responsible way.
The project aims to
- identify 3-4 pilot rivers for alien fish eradication
- ensure participation and support of key stakeholders
- undertake EIAs to ensure environmentally responsible use of rotenone
- eradicate fishes from selected river areas
- monitor and document the success of operations
- develop protocols so that findings can be used in other rivers with similar problems