CAPE protects biodiversity through sustainable production initiatives.

CAPE partners and landscape initiatives work with role-players in production landscapes to improve the sustainability of cultivation and harvesting practices, to restore degraded landscapes, to set aside natural veld for conservation where possible and to integrate biodiversity management objectives into economic sectors. This involves working with industry associations to achieve voluntary self-regulation by producers, often through incorporating biodiversity guidelines into industry standards.

Business and Biodiversity

South Africa’s biodiversity is under pressure from the expansion of agriculture (as well as urban development) and unsustainable harvesting and fishing. In response to the challenge of developing more sustainable agriculture and fisheries, a number of business and biodiversity initiatives have emerged across the country, particularly in the Cape Floristic Region. The initiatives aim to put production on a more sustainable footing, contribute to conserving our biological heritage and, in some cases, to explore how to adapt to climate change.

A CAPE Business and Biodiversity Task Team met regularly to help guide these initiatives, to share ideas with other bioregional programmes through SANBI and to lay the foundation for the establishment of the GreenChoice Alliance in May 2008.

GreenChoice is a conservation sector initiative created to support sustainable agricultural and marine initiatives’ efforts to secure ecosystem health. Its mandate is to reach out to both established and emerging business and biodiversity enterprises, facilitating assistance on technical issues related to biodiversity best practice as well as ensuring preferential market access, eventually seeking to promote a suite of sustainable products.

A list of biodiversity and business sectors can be obtained from the GreenChoice website.

Sustainable Fisheries & Seafood

South Africa’s marine and coastal environment contributes significantly to the country’s economy in terms of employment, tourism and recreation.

While South African commercial fisheries are managed according to best available scientific information, the enforcement of legislation is often problematic because of a lack of resources and the large area involved. Some fish stocks, such as pelagic schooling fish (sardines and anchovies) and demersal species (Cape hake, Merluccius spp.) are considered to be well-managed and in a healthy condition. However, many years of over exploitation and poor management (often in ignorance) have caused the abundance of many other species to drop to dangerously low levels.

The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) was initiated in order to inform and educate all participants in the seafood trade, from wholesalers to restauranteurs through to seafood lovers.

Priority Actions for 2011 – 2020:

  • Continue to work with business and industry in production landscapes and seascapes. In particular, promote the sustainable use of natural resources and conservation of priority biodiversity through the integration of biodiversity into their production and service standards and guidelines.
  • Incorporate biodiversity and environmental management objectives in area wide plans and farm planning processes. Deepen relationships between conservation and national and provincial Departments of Agriculture, including collaborative efforts to strengthen capacity for extension and enforcement functions.
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