The Cederberg Conservancy is a partner in this initiative run by CapeNature. Stewardship refers to the wise use, management and protection of that which has been entrusted to us. Within the context of conservation, stewardship means wisely using natural resources that we have been entrusted with on our property, protecting important ecosystems, effectively managing alien invasive species and fires, and grazing or harvesting without damaging the veld.
The vision of the Stewardship Programme is threefold
- To ensure that privately owned areas with high biodiversity value receive secure conservation status and are linked to a network of other conservation areas in the landscape.
- To ensure that landowners who commit their property to a stewardship option, will enjoy tangible benefits for their conservation actions.
- To expand biodiversity conservation by encouraging commitment to, and implementation of, good biodiversity management practice, on privately owned land, in such a way that the private landowner becomes an empowered decision maker.
The Stewardship options that the CapeNature Stewardship Programme promotes include
- Contract Nature Reserves - Contract Nature Reserves are legally recognized contracts or servitudes on private land to protect biodiversity in the long term.
- Biodiversity Agreements - Biodiversity Agreements are negotiated legal agreements between the conservation agency and a landowner for conserving biodiversity in the medium term.
- Conservation Areas - Conservation Areas are flexible options with no defined period of commitment (includes conservancies).
The Cederberg Conservancy has to date signed ten Contract Nature Reserves, one Biodiversity and one Conservation Area agreement. These agreements have contributed about 170 000ha to conservation and the expansion of the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor.