Northern Cape Land Project
Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) funded by WWF South Africa and the Leslie Hill Succulent Karoo Trust (LHSKT), successfully implemented a Protected Area Expansion and Stewardship Project in the Northern Cape (Phase 1) between the 1st of October 2015 and 30 September 2018. The project, which secured land through the implementation of Biodiversity Stewardship and Land Purchase, was focused specifically in the areas identified by the LHSKT in the Desmet et al. (2012) study as priorities. These priorities were included in the Provincial Protected Area Expansion Strategy as well as the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy.
To build on the achievements of Phase 1, WFA again with the support of WWF South Africa and LHSKT, initiated Phase 2 of the Northern Cape Land Project in order to assist the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC) and South African National Parks (SANParks) in implementing the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy in the Northern Cape. The project was launched on the 1st of October 2018 and is active for a three-year period, concluding on the 30th of September 2021.
Primary activities include securing land through implementing proactive Biodiversity Stewardship negotiation, as well as land purchase, and includes a strong element of capacity building.
The Project is active in three focal areas, namely 1) creating a corridor between the Tankwa Karoo National Park and the Cederberg Wilderness Area, which will result in an interprovincial mega-reserve in excess of 258 000 hectares; 2) building on the current work in Namaqualand by focusing on the expansion of Namaqua National Park; and 3) focusing on the DENC priority areas for Biodiversity Stewardship.
The Project is exploring new conservation financing avenues by investigating options for accessing resources from “Offsets” that may be utilised for natural resource management interventions. WFA is also determining the specific technical, legal and financial implications of being an alternative management authority in the Northern Cape. Various training opportunities for partners have also been prioritised for this Project.