Nature Conservation is key to a Greener Future
By Sheree-Ann Jooste
Community Conservation Development is one key aspect to building a more sustainable economy. Raising awareness about conserving nature is one of the key skills a Conservation Manager needs to have.
CapeNature is driven by the vision of ‘conserving nature for a sustainable future’ their mission is ‘to manage, conserve and promote the human, natural and heritage assets through best practice, access, benefit sharing and sustainable use.’
They achieve these objectives through various programmes and projects, for example: Community-based Natural Resource Management and Local Economic Development. By doing so they unlock opportunities to ensure that the benefits of natural resources and their sustainable utilization and conservation are realized by local communities.
Raising Awareness and benefiting Local Communities
I had the opportunity to meet the Community Conservation Manager from Mamre Natasja Davids. Her passion is to work with people and educate them about the natural environment. Her main role as a Community Conservation Manager is to raise awareness about the environment and run community based programmes such as the Biodiversity Programme.
Other programmes include Waste Management Awareness and the Snake Awareness programme just to mention a few. With these programmes it creates awareness about the importance of conserving the natural environment and finding a balance to restore and protect what nature has to offer.
The EPWP (Expanded Public Works Programme) which is implemented by Cape Nature, plays a vital role as it provides the local community from Mamre, Atlantis and Pella with jobs, training opportunities and career guidance.
There are basically two types of contract workers. Full-time contractors employed through the EPWP, but working for Cape Nature, and SMME’s which render their services to Cape Nature. There are four males and 8 females working in this region.
Meeting the employees
I was fortunate enough to meet two of the contract workers residing in Atlantis and Mamre, It felt good knowing that they could contribute to the community and conservation as a whole.
Keenan Van Schoor
Keenan Van Schoor provides administrative support to the programme and ensures that all registers are up to date, report writing and procurement to name a few. Keenan said: “It’s good to be employed and have a source of income and develop my skills and broaden my knowledge whilst working.”
I also met Angelique Palmer who resides from Atlantis, (My home town) a business owner from Masiqhame Trading 64144 who provides alien vegetation clearing services to the community. Angelique said: “It feels good knowing that I could provide people with a source of income with my business and also conserving the natural environment by saving water by doing alien vegetation clearing.”
Part of a broader initiative
Cape Nature community conservation activities form part of a broader initiative. This is known as the Dassenberg Coastal Corridor Partnership. The vision of this initiative is to link two existing nature reserves with the coast. Natasja Davids said that this initiative would contribute to the socio–economic development in the region and play a pivotal role in conserving nature.
Why does Gondwana Alive support CapeNature?
These community-based Natural Resource Management projects are getting on with the job of restoring our biodiversity and uplifting communities – two of our key goals.
How does Gondwana Alive support CapeNature?
We are encouraging and helping contractors to list their services on our GrowGreen recruitment advisor, and planning a campaign to promote their services to land owners, home owners, environmental NGOs and Business in their area. Our searchable, geo-located online recruitment advisor will help potential employees to find and link up with contractors. It also allows employers to rate their services – which encourages quality service delivery and allows for a self-regulating system.