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 is to establish a link (15 983 ha) between the Cederberg Wilderness and Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve and to expand the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve through the establishment of the Rooi Cederberg Private Conservation Area (67 000 ha). [ view map ]
The Cederberg core corridor falls within the domain of the Cederberg Conservancy. The Conservancy was established in 1997 and therefore has a long working relationship with CapeNature. From a biodiversity perspective, the building of a corridor, is a very important process because it links formal protective areas and will include both the fynbos and Succulent Karoo biomes and the transition vegetation between these biomes.
Stewardship was introduced to all members earlier this year through the area wide planning (AWP) process. During the AWP process 18 landowners were individually interviewed and 32 properties mapped to give an indication of the connectiveness in relation to the wider corridor, landowner conservation willingness, their conservation management and/or support needs, future development intentions and to give an indication what portions of natural veld the landowner wishes to contribute to the Cederberg Corridor.
An area-wide planning process was initiated with 18 landowners of 32 properties in the Cederberg. 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.
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 7000 hectares.