ABI PHASE 1
The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative was first conceived in 2003, to address the threats to the Agulhas Plain - an area of some 270,000 hectares, recognised as a biodiversity hotspot for its high irreplaceability and vulnerability. Through the Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E.), a government programme aimed at protecting the Cape Floristic Region, ABI received funding from the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Programme.
During Phase 1, ABI had four outputs:
- A landscape-level conservation management and planning system was to be established by public-private partnerships negotiated by a well-capacitated extension service
- Ecologically, socially and ethically sustainable harvesting of wild fynbos was to be demonstrated as a viable land use on the Agulhas Plain
- A participatory and responsible tourism strategy was to be implemented in the Agulhas Plain, and was to contribute to sustainable livelihoods
- Increased local support for biodiversity conservation in the Agulhas Plain was to be generated through a broad-based conservation awareness programme.
At the end of the Phase 1 period, in 2010, the United Nations Development Programme labeled the project 'Satisfactory' - with two of its outputs receiving the 'Highly Satisfactory' commendation.
During the first phase, ABI also enjoyed a number of major successes. Although too numerous to mention, here are some of ABI Phase 1's highlights:
- Nearly 50 percent of the Agulhas Plain is now under some form of conservation management
- The Agulhas National Park was established
- Off-reserve conservation proceeded very rapidly, with the development of a new conservation approach through the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area - a collective landowner group marrying conservation with agriculture
- Around 2500 people were employed in the bio-experience economy
- Some 75,000 hectares of aliens were cleared
- Fynbos lands being harvested sustainably increased to 30,000 hectares, from zero before
- Big retailers opted for the ethically picked fynbos bouquets
- A responsible tourism strategy was developed
- Considerable progress was made in integrating conservation objectives into the mindsets and activities of municipalities, landusers and educators
- Conservation was integrated into 18 Eco-Schools and Junior Landcare and Kids in Parks camps, which supported more than 1000 individuals annually, while 17 teachers were trained in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sphere and qualified as ECD practitioners.
ABI Alien Clearing team members from the Napier Mountain Conservancy attended a Field Safety & Snake Awareness day. Learn More
New skills for ABI Alien Clearing Project contractors, following UIF info session. Our thanks to the Department of labour officials...
ABI Alien Clearing landowners and contractors celebrated end of year 2; 30,000ha cleared, 250 jobs created. Learn More
How landowners can finance sustainable land management ... Learn More
Municipal officials and theme leaders within the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative have been invited to put forward potential conservation ... Learn More
Unusual weather during the past summer period is now having an affect on invasive alien clearing programmes. Due to strong downpours in ... Learn More