Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change


1.4 Action Adaptation: Developing stewardship corridors for climate change adaptation in KwaZulu Natal

Biodiversity Stewardship as a mechanism for adaptation to climate change

With South Africa likely to be hard hit by climate change, it is a priority in conservation organisations to ensure the maintenance of an environment that can enable biodiversity to adapt to a changing climate. The Biodiversity Stewardship Programme, begun by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and now managed by Wildlands Conservation Trust, aims to achieve just, securing core conservation areas and employing Biodiversity Stewardship as a tool for improving the conservation management of these sites. Stewardship processes identify land of critical importance for biodiversity conservation and/or the provision of ecosystem services and encourage private and communal landowners to engage in biodiversity conservation and other sustainable land use practices. They maintain ownership of their land, receive guidance and management assistance, and are supported to diversify their land-based activities to create sustainable livelihoods, all the while protecting the country's unique biodiversity against the threat of climate change.

The project began with six stewardship sites in KwaZulu-Natal, all falling within the Maputaland Albany Pondoland Biodiversity Hotspot. CAP and DGMT have supported the institution of Biodiversity Stewardship at the Dalton Private Nature Reserve, Red Desert Nature Reserve, Umgano Community Conservancy, Somkhanda Game Reserve, Usuthu Gorge, and Mweni (Upper Thukela) community project. The Biodiversity Stewardship programme assisted these sites with obtaining proclaimed status as conservation areas and identified and supported a number of specific management interventions including clearing alien invasive plants and assisting with fire management regimes. In 2011, 5 further sites were added to the Stewardship portfolio.

KZN is home to a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Currently, at least 80% of the important biodiversity lies outside formally protected areas, on privately or communally owned land. The Biodiversity Stewardship Programme helps to secure some of these areas for long-term biodiversity conservation while maintaining the productivity of the landscape for landowners as well. A further, central aim is the creation of a network of protected areas linked as corridors across the landscape in order to improve the ability of species to adapt to climate change.
Biodiversity Stewardship involves formal, legally binding agreements with landowners for a minimum of 30 years.

Download brochure on the Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife's Biodiversity Stewardship Programme

For more information contact:

Wildlands Conservation Trust Biodiversity Stewardship Programme manager:
Kevin McCann
Tel: 033 239 1888

Click the image to enlarge: Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Stewardship Corridors supported by CAP
Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Stewardship Corridors supported by CAP
Click the image to enlarge: Dalton Private Reserve
Dalton Private Reserve
Click the image to enlarge: Umgano Nature Reserve
Umgano Nature Reserve
Click the image to enlarge: Red Desert Nature Reserve
Red Desert Nature Reserve
Click the image to enlarge: Zululand Rhino Reserve
Zululand Rhino Reserve
Posted: 4/13/2011 (2:25:21 PM)

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