The CAPE programme aims to conserve and restore biodiversity while at the same time delivering social and economic benefits to all the people of the Cape Floristic Region (CFR). Pilot projects and interventions in the enabling environment support communities, non-governmental organisations, land reform beneficiaries, emerging farmers and entrepreneurs to create small businesses that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, for example through nature-based tourism, crafts and sustainable harvesting of natural resources.
Temporary work and training opportunities are promoted through leveraging of public works resources to tackle biodiversity priorities in the landscape. Local communities are supported to derive socio-economic, recreational, cultural and other benefits from protected areas.
These benefits include:
- job creation and skills training through projects involving clearing alien vegetation, restoring indigenous vegetation in wetlands and other priority sites, and developing infrastructure for nature-based tourism such as paths, fencing, roads, bird hides, overnight accommodation and signage
- opportunities for small business development in disadvantaged communities located in areas with potential for nature-based tourism – including bed and breakfasts, trail and tour guiding, and sales of crafts based on sustainably harvested natural resources
- the benefits to the regional economy that flow from industries based on biodiversity – such as fishing, rangelands, subsistence farming, horticulture and agriculture based on indigenous species, landscapes for tourism and movie locations, and commercial and non-commercial medicines made from indigenous plants
- the ecological services that all members of society receive from undisturbed ecosystems – for example cleaning air, purifying water and preventing flood damage
Priority Actions for 2011 – 2020:
- Provide social and economic benefits to communities through biodiversity-based enterprises and work opportunities associated with natural resource management. In particular, promote job creation through the Green Economy agenda and the Expanded Public Works Programme, and influence the Local Economic Development agenda of municipalities.
- Scale up the lessons of the Cape Flats Nature pilot project and demonstrate how municipal nature reserves deliver educational, recreational, cultural, traditional, religious and spiritual benefits for local communities.
- Involve tourism stakeholders in biodiversity conservation, and promote opportunities for the development of small tourism-related businesses by previously disadvantaged communities and individuals.
- Strengthen collaboration between biodiversity stewardship and land reform stakeholders, and identify opportunities and raise resources for demonstration projects.
- Explore and promote new models to combine ecological restoration and the creation of sustainable small businesses.