The principal goal of corridor planning is to maintain or restore connectivity across the landscape. Achieving this goal of the GCBC requires stimulating the creation of additional protected areas through voluntary stewardship agreements in the form of conservation areas, biodiversity agreements and contract nature reserves. The introduction of more benign land-use strategies and the restoration of degraded lands in key sites is also important in achieving the GCBC’s goal.
The main objective of this project is to expand protected areas by creating a linked corridor of natural vegetation in the Northern Sandveld extending from the coast to the Olifantsberg. [ view map ]
An area-wide planning process was initiated with 42 landowners in the Northern Sandveld. These landowners were individually interviewed to gain an understanding of high priority natural vegetation on their properties, the connectivity in relation to the wider corridor, landowner conservation willingness, the management of renewable resources, needs, future development intentions and voluntary contribution of a portion of the property to the establishment of the corridor. The information was captured in the GCBC database. This database helps with the planning of the management plans as it gives the GCBC Project Management Unit a good indication of the land-use management practices on the specific farm. At the end of this process each landowner was presented with a farm map.
In March and April 2006, 42 land owners in the Northern Sandveld were visited and introduced to the stewardship options.
The project is currently in its second phase were the actual stewardship negotiations are taking place. The aim is to finalise negotiations for two contract nature reserves by the end of 2006 totalling 1569 hectares of the endangered Leipoldtville Sand Fynbos and vulnerable Graafwater Sandstone Fynbos.