Fynbos Forever Programme

Ecosystems are healthy and resilient

Healthy ecosystems are foundational to our civilisations and our economies. They clean our water, purify our air, maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients, and provide us with food, medicines, and recreational and cultural services.

The Table Mountain Fund’s Fynbos Forever Programme aims to ensure that these priority natural ecosystems are healthy and resilient. A key focus of the programme is the protection of land and the adjacent marine environment and the appropriate management thereof, to allow for future generations to continue to benefit from our unique biodiversity and the services provided by these intact and functional ecosystems.

This programme aims to ensure that:

  • Priority ecosystems such as Water Source Areas and Critical Biodiversity Areas are safeguarded through formal and informal legal protection mechanisms.
  • Appropriate resource management interventions reduce threats and build resilience in the natural fynbos ecosystems and surrounding marine environment.
Fynbos-Forever-icon
The Table Mountain Fund aims to contribute R4.5 million towards the Fynbos Forever Programme, ensuring that fynbos remains healthy and intact for future generations.

Fynbos Forever Projects:

Credit: Paul Emms and Greg Nicolson

Safeguarding the Fynbos of the Klein 

Birdlife South Africa

BirdLife South Africa’s ‘Safeguarding the Fynbos of the Klein’ Project is centred on the highly threatened, fynbos habitat and fynbos/ estuarine ecotones bordering the Klein River estuary, near Stanford, one of South Africa’s most important estuaries for conservation. Building on the strong foundation provided by BirdLife South Africa’s existing protected area (PA) expansion work in the landscape, the project will address gaps in the evolving PA network using other conservation models, while also strengthening partnerships working across the area and improving overall environmental management and post-declaration maintenance, including tackling identified environmental management priorities, such as the removal of Invasive Alien Plant (IAP) cover, the restoration of historical wetlands, and fynbos security. 

Credit: Kevin McCann

Improving Management Effectiveness of Existing Biodiversity Stewardship Protected Areas in the Western Cape 

Conservation Outcomes 

Protected areas are some of the most important areas on the planet, and yet simply securing an area’s legal status is insufficient to secure its biodiversity values. The most significant challenge is ensuring that they are managed effectively to their full potential and according to their management plan, thus achieving the desired outcomes. Conservation Outcomes is partnering with CapeNature to engage the management authorities of existing privately-owned “contract nature reserves” in the Western Cape, to assist in building their capacity to manage their protected areas effectively. This will entail performing a management effectiveness assessment, reviewing and updating their management plans and hosting workshops with the management authorities around key governance and management activities. The ultimate goal is to ensure that contract nature reserves secured through the stewardship process contribute to biodiversity targets by ensuring their effective management. 

Credit: Keir Lynch

Butterflies and Fynbos 

EWT

The Western Cape is home to more Critically Endangered butterflies than anywhere else in the country. While butterflies have great public interest, conservationists have not capitalised on using these charismatic, bioindicator species for conservation. In the Western Cape, both the species and their fynbos habitat are unique and increased efforts must be made to protect them. This project aims to identify suitable sites within the known distribution ranges of three Endangered and Critically Endangered fynbos-dependent butterflies; Chrysoritis thysbe schloszae (Moreesburg Opal, CR), Thestor dicksoni warren (Lowland Skolly, CR) and Aloeides lutescens (Worcester Russet, EN) which can be protected through formal protected area declaration or as other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs). The three species have been selected as they are currently under-represented by the protected area network of the Western Cape. Their selection has also been guided through inputs from experts from the Lepidoptera Society of Africa and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

Credit: Greater Simonsberg Conservancy

Conserving the Critically Endangered Swartland Shale Renosterveld and Boland Granite Fynbos

Greater Simonsberg Conservancy

Through this project, the Greater Simonsberg Conservancy aims to raise the Conservation Stewardship Status of parts of the Conservancy. This will secure the past 21 years’ investment in conserving the critically endangered Swartland Shale Renosterveld and Boland Granite Fynbos on the private properties around the Simonsberg Mountains, Klapmutskop and Banhoek Valley, which are home to the endangered Cape Leopard and various other endemic fauna and flora.

Credit: Hanna Edge

The Protection and Restoration of the Critically Endangered Knysna Sand Fynbos

Western Heads-Goukamma Conservancy

Knysna Sand Fynbos is a Critically Endangered vegetation type of which only 17% (2550 ha) of its original 15 000 ha is untransformed. Furthermore, 75% (1750 ha) of this remaining vegetation type occurs in the Western Heads/ Goukamma Conservancy (WHGC) which is 3750 ha. In addition, the WHGC hosts populations of many Red List plants as well as three threatened butterfly species. This project aims to establish contract national parks (CNPs) / contract nature reserves (CNRs) or biodiversity agreements in partnership with SANParks and CapeNature (CN) on those properties containing Knysna Sand Fynbos. In partnership with the Knysna Municipality (KM) and the Southern Cape Fire Protection Association (SCFPA), the aim is to commence restoration of Knysna Sand Fynbos through eradication of alien plants and implementation of controlled ecological burns.

Credit: Jacques van der Merwe

Securing 67% of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Network by 2027

Wilderness Foundation in collaboration with the City of Cape Town

This project aims to support the Protected Area Expansion initiatives within the City of Cape Town, namely the Bionet implementation project. The target of conserving 56 950 ha (67% of the Bionet) by 2027 requires an additional 1 743 hectares to be added to the Conservation Areas and Protected Areas estate within the City of Cape Town or the 10km buffer zones. This will be achieved through both proactive and reactive conservation initiatives. Funding through this project will be used solely for proactive Protected Area Expansion.

Credit: Erica Brink

Safeguarding priority ecosystems on the Nuwejaars River Nature Reserve

Nuwejaars River Nature Reserve

The Nuwejaars River Nature Reserve (NRNR) comprises of 25 private landowners and covers approximately 45 000 hectares on the Agulhas Plain. The NRNR is currently working with BirdLife SA to become South Africa’s first recognised Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measure (OECM).  OECMs must be managed in a way that leads to positive biodiversity outcomes which will be assessed annually by an external independent assessor. This is guided by the NRNRs newly developed Biodiversity Management Plan which sets out the conservation measures that need to be undertaken and prioritised. This project aims to assist the NRNR to implement these management interventions which will reduce threats and build resilience in the natural fynbos ecosystems on the reserve.

Credit: Cederberg Wines

WWF-SA Conservation Champions

WWF-SA

Through a voluntary membership model, WWF-SA works with environmental leaders in SA’s wine industry, known as the Conservation Champions (ConsChamps). These landowners commit to biodiversity-friendly and regenerative farming practices, conserve their natural areas, and continually improve their water and energy efficiencies. WWF supports these farms in their environmental efforts by co-developing detailed environmental management plans, setting tangible targets, and helping them to prioritise actions to address their most pressing environmental risks. WWF currently supports 55 Conservation Champions Farms representing 45 000 ha of which 24 000 ha are being conserved through a landowner agreement (Biodiversity Agreement) signed with WWF-SA. Of the 24 000 ha being conserved, 16 300 ha consist of ecosystems that are either vulnerable (VU), endangered (EN), or critically endangered (CR). This project aims to expand the Conservation Champions Programme by signing up new priority farms, encouraging existing farms to extend their Biodiversity Agreements timeframes and/or increase their safeguard level, and supporting priority farms with appropriate resource management interventions on their properties.

Photo: Garth Mortimer

Biodiversity Stewardship Assistance.

Conservation at Work in partnership with CapeNature.

Through a generous grant from the Millennium Trust in 2011, the TMF has been supporting the CapeNature Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. The purpose of this project is to deliver stewardship assistance to landowners who have signed contracts with CapeNature declaring their properties or portions thereof “Contract Nature Reserves” or entering into “Biodiversity Agreements” by supporting landowners with training and knowledge sharing and in implementing management actions on the Stewardship sites which will benefit the biodiversity conservation of the properties. Through an elaborate partnership between CapeNature, Conservation@Work and TMF, the formal protected area network of the CFR has grown considerably over the years and the programme continues to grow.

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