CAPE Programme

CAPE Programme logoCAPE is a 20 year partnership of government and civil society aimed at conserving and restoring the biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Region (CFR) and the adjacent marine environment, while delivering significant benefits to the people of the region.

What we do

The rationale of the CAPE partnership is to create linkages between government, the private sector and civil society so that we all work together with a common strategy for the conservation of the CFR, avoiding duplication, addressing gaps and uniting to leverage resources and to tackle agreed common priorities in terms of a shared vision.

The CAPE partnership was formed in 2001 in response to the challenges facing the CFR and envisioned that 'by the year 2020, the co-operation of capable institutions ensures that the biodiversity of the CFR is conserved, restored, effectively managed and sustainably utilised, delivering significant benefits to the people of the region in a way that is embraced by local communities, endorsed by government and recognised internationally'.

The CAPE programme is co-ordinated by SANBI. SANBI convenes the partnership and supports the governance and co-ordination structures which provide strategic direction to the work of the 38 CAPE signatory partners; which consists of non-governmental organisations, municipalities, national and provincial government departments and conservation agencies. In doing so, SANBI provides opportunities for sharing; learning and working together and thereby breaking down institutional silos.

Over the first ten years of implementation the CAPE partnership has achieved much; including raising over $45 million of international donor funding for conservation which has been matched by partner contributions valued at over US$ 193 million. The partnership has facilitated co-operation between and across spheres of government; and supported the establishment of nine landscape initiatives across the region. Through the Table Mountain Fund and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the partnership has also supported over 200 civil society led projects, and built the capacity of scores of young people who are emerging as tomorrow's leaders.

Where we work

The geographic area of the CAPE partnership focuses on the CFR, which stretches from the Cederberg in the north-west, around the Western Cape coast and into the Eastern Cape up to the Nelson Mandela Metropole. As one of only six floral kingdoms in the world and with 9 600 recorded plant species, 70% of them found nowhere else on the planet, the region is a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot. With 80% of the region in private hands, it is imperative that any action for the conservation of the CFR would need to involve the people of the region.

During the first phase of implementation (2001 - 2010), the CAPE programme has enabled donor funding to be channelled into new areas of work and exciting new approaches to conservation including landscape initiatives, conservation stewardship, business and biodiversity, fine-scale planning, catchment management, conservation education and strengthening institutions.

During 2011, the programme undertook a review of the CAPE strategy which resulted in a revised strategy being formulated for the period 2011-2020.

Contact info

The co-ordination team is housed at the Rufford Maurice Laing Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town.

Tel: +27 (0)21 799 8863


Last updated on 14 March 2018
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