The K2C stewardship programme is focused on working with communal and private landowners to formally secure our critical catchments and important biodiversity areas in support of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) and the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism’s (LEDET) biodiversity stewardship programmes.
The primary focus of the creation of a Bufferzone around protected areas within the Greater Kruger, is that it will help guide development to insure that harmonious land uses occur within certain distances of protected areas, dependant on the type of development, the biodiversity features present in that particular area of the Bufferzone and other elements.
TIn order to contribute to sustainability of the GEF Programmes in the K2C Landscape, the K2C site level design includes integration and support for the implementation of local and bioregional programmes within the K2C BR, which are contributing to the Wildlife Economy and Natural Resource Management Programme Outcomes and community empowerment strategies.
In 2010 the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed that by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, would be conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape”. South Africa formed part of this agreement, but with limited resources to help the country reach the 17% target, projects like the GEF PAM, implemented by K2C, becomes very important.
The GEF PAM is funded through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). K2C acts as the implementer of the project. The GEF PAM is unique because it is a union of two different UNDP funded components, the Mainstreaming programme managed by SANBI and the Protected Area programme managed by SANParks. Both these programmes have various sites throughout South Africa, with the K2C being the only site implementer working on both. The GEF PAM project concept was submitted in 2012 to the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) by a core group within the K2C area. The concept was put forward that the Mainstreaming work would focus largely on the escarpment area and Protected Area work mainly in the Lowveld and Greater Kruger area.
The outcome of the project is to help DEA work towards the CBD 17% in a holistic manner that does not simply focus on achieving targets, but also on doing sustainably so that once the project is done end of 2019, the good work will continue.
Please continue reading to see the key aspects the programme will focus on in order to achieve this sustainable outcome.
Map of project area showing major towns and Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSAs)