SANBI’s Municipal Programme recently hosted a three day knowledge exchange in Cape Town which included participants from Cape Town and Namaqualand. Participants explored various dimensions of biodiversity management, community partnerships, skills and youth development and responsible tourism. The learning exchange was funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund through the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP).
cape town and namaqualand exchanges knowledge
The Namaqualand participants included representatives from local communities in the region; the municipality, as well as community and conservation organisations. The City of Cape Town participants included municipal officials, conservation staff, community stakeholders and partners. The exchange was facilitated by Tanya Layne, who coordinates the Municipal Programme at SANBI.
The exchange started with a visit to the Edith Stevens Wetland Park, where participants had the opportunity to develop insight into the management of the reserve with regards to skills and youth development; urban agriculture and teacher development, as well as visiting and meeting community partners and projects.
On the third day of the exchange participants were provided with an overview of biodiversity management and community conservation lessons in Namaqualand and the City of Cape Town. Later visiting Macassar Dunes and Wolfgat Nature Reserves, the participants were able to reflect on the successes and the challenges these reserves face.
The learning exchange ended with the participants visiting the False Bay Ecological Park, where they received a tour of the reserve and its facilities and also received an overview of the skills development programme.
During the learning exchange participants were able to share their experience of engaging in partnership for the conservation of priority bio-diversity sites, community projects and tourism initiatives in a way that addresses socio-economic development objectives of local communities.
One of the participants, Abe Koopman who is the SKEP Namakwa coordinator said “I was on previous learning exchanges but this one was by far the best. It was very interesting, exciting and educational. I learnt a lot and realised that poverty in South African communities are very widespread. Conservation and environmental education is the responsibility of everyone. I cannot thank SKEP enough for the opportunity to enrich my life and broaden my knowledge around conservation within a municipal and community context.”
For more information about the learning exchange contact Tanya Layne.
Date posted: 15 May 2012