Community access to natural resources

CapeNature provides access to nature reserves for hundreds of local community members, specifically for the sustainable harvesting of plants. This includes the harvesting of sour figs in the Walker Bay and Waenhuiskrans nature reserves, and alien wood harvesting in the Riverlands, De Hoop and Walker Bay nature reserves.

These partnerships to harvest natural resources happen with the necessary permits and agreements in place, to the mutual benefit of both parties. For the harvesting of alien vegetation, memorandums of understanding are signed by the parties involved.


Sour fig harvesting1
Indigenous sour figs harvesting a win-win for communities and CapeNature

Sour figs have traditionally been harvested by local coastal communities. CapeNature have granted permits to some communities along the Overberg coastline to harvest sour figs for consumption, to sell, for medicinal use or to make jams.

Groenvlei carp 2
Alien fish harvesting benefits both conservation and communities

A CapeNature partnership with a local authority and humanitarian organisation has helped solve an ecological problem while at the same time allowing a local community to harvest a desperately needed source of food.

Buchu Leaves
Traditional plant power for communities

Some communities and traditional healers near the Western Cape’s nature reserves use specific indigenous and medicinal plants such as buchu as part of their cultural traditions and to cure different ailments.

Reserves provide access for cultural practices

It is one of CapeNature’s strategic goals to share the province’s natural resources by facilitating access to protected areas, including for cultural, spiritual and traditional purposes.

Bio control Harvesting2
Biocontrol project provides a new start

Whatever the circumstances and setting, creating employment is good news. For a number of former substance abusers, getting the opportunity to harvest and control invasive alien species through CapeNature’s Natural Resource Management programme translated into the chance to make a new start and earn an income.

Harvesting Aloe Gel from Your Plant
Empowering a community through aloe harvesting

The Cape aloe is harvested for a variety of pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes. As one of its poverty-alleviation and empowerment initiatives, CapeNature has assisted a cooperative in the village of Albertinia at the foot of the Langeberg mountains in the Hessequa district with capacity building and funding.

Gamkaberg Nature Reserve viewpoint
Goat grazing agreement benefits Gamkaberg locals

Community members of the small missionary village of Zoar have the right to graze their goats in a section of the Rooiolifantskloof area of the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, according to an agreement with CapeNature.

Widdrington Eau De Parfum Cedar tree community project
Heuningvlei community and cedar trees benefit from Body Shop perfume agreement

A bioprospecting project based on an agreement between CapeNature and The Body Shop International has not only secured investment for efforts to reintroduce the iconic, threatened cedar tree (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) into its natural environment in the Cederberg, but also brought development opportunities to the community of the Moravian village of Heuningvlei.

Alien clearing
Carving out a career through alien vegetation management

Invasive alien vegetation such as rooikrans depletes underground water resources, taking both water and space from the Cape’s indigenous trees and plants. They also pose a veld fire risk, and a threat to biodiversity as they disrupt the natural balance in ecosystems.

Mooiuitsig Community Trust Stony Point
Mooi Uitsig community benefits from Stony Point restaurant

When CapeNature took over the management of the Stony Point penguin colony at Betty’s Bay in 2016, it also started to support the On The Edge restaurant managed by the Mooi Uitsig Community Trust, which had been established in 2007.