In March 2017, the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP) Interim Steering Committee (ISC) members submitted a funding application to the Leslie Hill Succulent Trust (LHSKT). The project is titled: “Reinvigorating the SKEP Partnership for Action” and aims to enable the SKEP ISC to implement and action its objectives set out by its formally adopted Terms of Reference.

This includes, amongst others, establishing an effective governance structure for SKEP, exercising oversight and ensuring that the SKEP 20 Year Strategy is being implemented appropriately by the SKEP partners, as well as  by  mobilising adequate resources for the SKEP ISC to fulfil its mandate with the explicit long term goal to ensure that “The people of the Succulent Karoo take ownership of and enjoy their unique living landscape in a way that maintains biodiversity and improves livelihoods now and into perpetuity.”

The key deliverables of the project are to establish the future SKEP governance structure in order to undertake coordination of the programme on behalf of its stakeholders before the term of the SKEP ISC term lapses, as well as to develop a five-year strategic implementation plan for the next phase of SKEP.

A few highlights and outcomes of Phase 1 of the Leslie Hill Succulent Karoo Trust SKEP ISC project have been:

  • An increased awareness of resurgence on the ground regarding SKEP impact and coordination amongst the partners.
  • The importance of maintaining bioregional programme momentum at a time when national budgets are shrinking and international funding is becoming less available.
  • Influencing members of Arid Zone Ecology Forum (AZEF) to strive to replicate the lessons and successes of SKEP into the Nama Karoo.
  • Clarifying the core questions relating to SKEP governance and implementation arrangements.
  • Allowing the SKEP partnership to adopt a higher sense of ownership, contribution and articulate their commitment to SKEP.
  • Catalysing collaborative community engagements.
  • Identifying emerging future priorities for SKEP.
  • Capacitating of the SKEP ISC to achieve significant outcomes despite the limitations imposed by the budgets and capacities of members’ organizations.
  • Ascertaining and solidifying existing and future biodiversity conservation commitments and SKEP conservation priorities.
  • Strengthening and improved all-around institutional coordination.
  • Promoting and facilitating learning and awareness-raising about the Succulent Karoo.

”There is now greater clarity about SKEP, its emerging role and orientation. Partners are committed and actively working towards the SKEP Vision and Strategy.” says Noel Oettle, who serves as the Chair of the SKEP ISC. “Latent energy and enthusiasm has been awakened, but it will require continued and sustained efforts to carry this forward to the realization of the full potential for SKEP.”

The SKEP ISC Phase 2 project will commence during July 2017 and will end by June 2018.

For more information contact Noel Oettle on

Scroll to top