Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE) develops innovative approaches through research and knowledge networks. A managed network for learning and research underpins the CAPE programme and informs policy, planning and practice. Partners collaborate through learning exchanges, forums and partner conferences. Approaches to conservation education are co-ordinated across the Cape Floristic Region, and integrated into human capital development processes. Partner organisations work towards bridging the science-policy-implementation gap, and develop innovative approaches to integrating biodiversity considerations into policy, legislation and the development of new economic instruments.

Learning Network

The CAPE learning network builds on the strong relationships between fynbos researchers and managers that have developed since 1981 through the annual conference of the Fynbos Forum.

Many of the organisations in the CAPE partnership are conscious of their role as learning organisations and use learning tools. For example, the provincial conservation agency, CapeNature uses learning exchanges as a mechanism for building practice, while the community conservation partnership Cape Flats Nature uses case studies.

Conservation Education

CAPE places emphasis on active participation and learning, by engaging communities and other stakeholders in local and regional environmental issues.

Up until June 2009, the CAPE Biodiversity Conservation Education Programme was managed by Rhodes University’s Environmental Education and Sustainability Unit. The programme has been responsible for working with CAPE partner organisations to build capacity and to improve biodiversity conservation education resources.

The programme has worked with all CAPE and SANBI partners, including Share-Net as an open learning network. Materials developed by the programme can be downloaded below:

  • Handprint Materials provide Eco-schools with materials to work with the curriculum and in local community-conservation partnerships, supporting the development of actions for sustainability in local contexts.
  • A Teacher Education Workbook provides a practical resource on teaching and learning methods for environment and sustainability education for teachers and teacher education institutions.
  • A Curriculum Pack provides planning frameworks for including environment and sustainability concerns in the curriculum, as required by the National Curriculum Statements for Grades R-12. (This is only available on hard copy upon request)
  • A CAPE Conservation Education Strategy Toolkit provides a workbook for conservation agencies and partners to develop internal strategies that support deliberative learning programmes on local priorities.

These materials are complemented by a range of other environmental education learning support materials available at Share-Net.

Priority Actions for 2011 – 2020:

  • Facilitate collaborative problem solving and learning, and support policy, planning and best practice development through learning networks, including learning exchanges, forums and partner conferences.
  • Promote the achievements of the partnership within the biome, nationally, regionally and internationally. Explore participation in a developing country learning network. Recognise outstanding contributions through the Fynbos Conservation Awards.
  • Reframe messages about biodiversity conservation and align them with political, social and economic priorities of government in South Africa, including climate change, green economy and food security agendas.
  • Support and empower sub-regional networks of environmental educators to influence school learning about biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Support and inform biodiversity management with an adequately resourced and co-ordinated interdisciplinary research programme that bridges the science-policy- implementation gap.
  • Integrate biodiversity considerations into resource management policy and legislation, and identify, develop and implement economic instruments that promote biodiversity conservation. In particular, strengthen the link with biodiversity conservation and the green economy agenda of South Africa.
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