SANBI CEO Celebrates World Environment Day in the Succulent Karoo
World Environment Day is an annual event celebrated on the 5th of June aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. Underpinned by the theme Green Economy: Does it include you?, this year (2012) the Northern Cape Provincial Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC), in partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Conservation South Africa (CSA), and the Namakwa District Municipality (NDM) celebrated World Environment Day in Springbok.
SANBI CEO, Dr Tanya Abrahamse was in attendance at the festivities which included a Gala Dinner to celebrate the signing of the Namakwa Biodiversity Advisory Forum (NAMBAF) Statement of Intent; the Launch of the Northern Cape Provincial Coastal Committee; the Launch of the Three Peaks Voluntary Conservancy Signing Ceremony, and the Signing of Intent to Declare the Orange River Mouth as a Nature Reserve.
SANBI’s Succulent Karoo Programme houses the coordination unit of the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP). SKEP is a long term, multi-stakeholder, bioregional conservation and development partnership programme with government and non-government partners.
The NAMBAF was established to promote better coordination between stakeholders in Namaqualand as well as to improve communication between civil society, national, provincial and local spheres of government. NAMBAF is an important mechanism for bringing together people with different expertise to help build on the work done by SKEP in the region over the past ten years. Products such as the Namakwa Biodiversity Sector Plan, which will soon be gazetted, will make the Namakwa District the first District in South Africa to have a bioregional plan.
NAMBAF is a platform to share project ideas and initiate new projects, and also provides opportunities for capacity building for conservation in the Namakwa District. It is through NAMBAF that the SANBI office located at the Namakwa District Municipality is working together with DENC’s Goegap Nature Reserve to establish a Succulent Garden at the request of the Namakwa District Municipality. The SKEP coordination unit facilitates the quarterly NAMBAF meetings, to proactively ensure proper planning, management, co-operation, integration and efficient decision making of biodiversity conservation matters in the Namaqualand.
Along with 12 signatories, Dr Abrahamse signed the NAMBAF Statement of Intent (SoI) to indicate SANBI’s commitment towards a collaborative and partnership driven stakeholder forum aimed at realizing the SKEP vision of grounding conservation efforts and programmes within the initiatives taken by the people of the Succulent Karoo.
“It is our desire to keep on strengthening the relationships between our respective organizations, together with all our conservation partners in the Succulent Karoo.” said Dr Abrahamse.
From the onset, collaboration and collective visioning has always been the hallmark of SANBI’s Bioregional Programmes. This has placed us as SANBI at the centre of cutting edge innovations and information relating to biodiversity conservation.
For more information on SKEP go to www.skep.org.za
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Photo’s of World Environment Day activities can be viewed on SKEP’s Facebook page.