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Skeppies Knowledge Exchange Workshop

SKEPPIES Climate Monitoring Showcase Event

SKEPPIES has embarked on a one year climate monitoring exercise with local environmental-based projects and small income generating businesses. The objective of the one year climate monitoring exercise is to support existing and new SKEPPIES project entrepreneurs to build resilience in their business through improved financial management and technology adaptation as a means to enhance resilience to short-term climate variability and long-term climate change.

On the 10th of June 2011 in Springbok, Conservation South Africa (CSA) hosted the SKEPPIES Climate Monitoring Show Case event. The workshop was attended by 31 people including the SKEP coordination unit, the Climate Action Partnership (CAP), the provincial Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC), representatives of the Namakwa District Municipality, Nama Khoi Municipality, and DEDaT, the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and members of the seven participating SKEPPIES projects. Workshop participants spent the morning sharing and engaging with the valuable lessons learnt gained from the one year climate monitoring SKEPPIES projects.

SKEPPIES is a Small Project Fund for Nature Conservation and Socio-economic Development in the Succulent Karoo, funding projects which have nature conservation and socio-economic development goals. It started as a pilot project in 2007 and holds the vision is that “everyone develops through conservation”.

“South Africa is striving towards a green economy. We are using the SKEPPIES Fund as a mechanism to achieve nature conservation by using everyday-people on the ground.” Were the introductory words to all present at the workshop by Nicholaas Sigamu, the SKEPPIES project developer.
The SKEPPIES Climate Change Programme projects are: Wondergat; Steinkopf Keerdam; Port Nolloth Bird Park; Extreme Adventures Hiking Trail; Kamieskroon Kookskerm; Leliefontein Kookskerm and the Leliefontein Church Wetland project. A representative of each of the SKEPPIES Climate Change Programme projects spoke in depth about their project history, activities, achievements, lessons learnt, challenges and future plans.

This was then followed by lengthy discussions in which the participating stakeholders offered practical support and advice to the various SKEPPIES project entrepreneurs. Discussions primarily centred on ownership of the various projects, how the projects contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, the importance of partnership building, working with the local municipalities, making rural tourism attractive in the region and how to amalgamate all the conservation initiatives in the Succulent Karoo as a means to unlock skills.
Amanda Bourne, the project officer from CAP spoke about the SKEPPIES Climate Change Programme, and gave an informative presentation highlighting climate change patterns in the Succulent Karoo, CSA’s goal of building communities’ resistance to climate change, and how the various SKEPPIES projects are helping communities and the environment in climate change adaptation.

The workshop granted the opportunity for lessons to be learnt from the seven SKEPPIES Climate Change Programme projects. Challenges remain to duplicate the lessons elsewhere and ensuring that the SKEPPIES Climate Change Programme projects are sustainable in the long run.

SKEPPIES is a joint project between DBSA, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Conservation International: Southern African Hotspots Programme (CI-SAHP) and the SKEP Coordination Unit of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The Building Resilience to Climate Change Programme is funded by CitiGroup.

For more information on SKEPPIES contact Nicholaas Sigamu on n.sigamu@conservation.org



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Posted: 6/21/2011 (8:00:08 AM)

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