Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative:
IMPROVE LANDSCAPES. CONNECT COMMUNITIES.
Following the success of ABI’s first phase, it was decided to not lose the support and partnerships that had developed since 2003.
So the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) officially launched the second phase of its operations on Thursday 7 June 2012.
The launch brought key partners in ABI together, from private land users and conservation groups to government departments. The launch took place in Baardskeerderbos, in the Western Cape of South Africa.
At the launch, the partners agreed that ABI become a voluntary association, which any organisation or individual could join. And Flower Valley Conservation Trust agreed to serve as the secretariat.
At that time, ABI also grew its reach, to also involve partners and projects across the entire Overberg area (it had focused on the Agulhas Plain during its first phase).
The partners at the Baardskeerdersbos launch decided on the following vision for ABI: To foster biodiversity through sustainable and integrated socio-cultural-, economic and environmental development in the Overberg.
They also agreed that ABI focus on five key themes. In subsequent years, this was simplified into four themes:
- integrated land-use planning;
- nature-based tourism;
- environmental education, skills and awareness;
- and transitioning to a green economy.
Today partners meet to discuss cumulative challenges to the Overberg – addressing topics such as wildfire, invasive alien plants, climate change and much more.
Theme leaders also drive information sharing sessions to discuss their specific themes. They bring together key partners, to ensure organisations and individuals not work in silos, but rather support each other to achieve our collective conservation aims.
Every year, a new ABI Committee is selected.
For 2017, the ABI Committee is: Cornie Swart (Chair), Tierck Hoekstra (Vice-Chair), Keir Lynch, Gina Mentoor, Eugene Hahndiek, Sean Privett, Lesley Richardson and Chris Martens as special advisor.
The theme leaders for 2017 are:
- Land-Use Planning – Keir Lynch
- Responsible Tourism – Gina Mentoor
- Environmental Education – Gretha Engelbrecht
- Transitioning to a Green Economy – Piet Human
Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative
44 Villiers Street, Bredasdorp
Tel: + 27 (0) 28 425 2218
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