CAPE strengthens institutional capacity, governance and communication for co-ordinated action. The CAPE partnership began with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in September 2001 by 14 parties including national and provincial government departments, municipalities, statutory conservation bodies and non-governmental organisations.

Through the MoU signed in 2001, signatory partners agree to work together in governance and co-ordination structures that enable strategic alignment, institutional strengthening and collaborative action. These structures enable active participation by hundreds of people in task teams and landscape initiatives, developing capacity and harnessing effort towards better biodiversity management in a range of sectors and geographical areas. The activities of the CAPE partnership are enabled through collaborative planning, co-operative governance and institutional alignment.

The CAPE Implementation Committee (CIC), established through the CAPE MoU has representation from all the signatory parties, meets regularly to ensure collective mobilisation around the CAPE programme and enables consultation on how best to achieve our strategic objectives. The Steering Committees and Boards of the various landscape initiatives also have a governance function at the sub-regional level. These initiatives are based on broad partnerships and the steering committee structures provide opportunity for all partners to meet on a regular basis to enable coordination of their work towards common goals.

In addition, there are a number of other structures across the CAPE partnership which enable coordination and enable alignment of work programmes, technical collaboration and innovation. The annual Fynbos Forum provides an opportunity for sharing lessons and co-ordinating the work of scientists and managers working in conservation in the Cape Floristic Region (CFR). The signatory partners plus a broader range of partner organisations and interested individuals meet bi-annually at the CAPE Partners’ Conference.

In 2011, a process was undertaken which provided signatory partner organisations with the opportunity to renew their commitment to the vision and strategy of the programme. Part of this process has included amendments to the MoU to facilitate executive level strategic guidance, and to expand the terms of membership to include organisations and groups who have the potential to contribute significantly to the goals of CAPE.

Priority Actions for 2011 – 2020:

  • Secure adequate resources for biodiversity management, and support their effective and efficient use. In particular, apply for GEF-5 resources to build on initial GEF investments in the CFR, and use the outcomes of the ‘Making the Case’ and other business planning processes to lobby for increased Medium-Term Expenditure Framework resources from government.
  • Work with South Africa’s Human Capital Development Strategy for Biodiversity to support the transformation of the sector, and to build institutional and professional capacity and skills both to enable the implementation of organisational mandates and to support the enforcement of legislation. Meaningfully involve a broad range of stakeholders in CAPE activities, including project development and implementation. This should include strengthening civil society participation in the programme, building on the work and experience of the Table Mountain Fund, and exploring links with potential funders. Inspire participation and involvement in biodiversity conservation through communication, awareness and advocacy strategies.
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