LATEST NEWS

 

Overberg commits to conservation

May 2017

The Overberg District Municipality and Cape Agulhas Municipality have committed the municipalities to protect the region’s biodiversity. Both municipalities signed the Durban Commitment on Tuesday, 9 May, at a wetlands awareness day.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Three successful years for ABI Small Grants

Dec 2016

The Table Mountain Fund (TMF) team visited the Overberg recently, to get to know some of the beneficiaries of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) Small Grants Programme.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Discussing the green economy in the Overberg

Oct 2016

The green economy was the key theme at the recent Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) AGM. The meeting was held in September outside Napier, and brought together land users, conservationists, government officials and entrepreneurs.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Workshop facilitator needed

Oct 2016

ABI is looking for a training workshop facilitator, to provide training on project budgeting. We’ll be hosting the course for ABI Small Grants Programme beneficiaries. The deadline to apply to facilitate the course is Monday, 24 October.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Conservation Manager sought

Oct 2016

The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area is looking to employ a Conservation Manager: Planning, Monitoring and Development.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Preparing for fire season

Sep 2016

Landowners in the Overberg are encouraged to prepare themselves for the up and coming fire season. There are many actions landowners can take already, with support available from the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (goFPA).  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Taking a look at the future of soil

Sep 2016

Conservation at Work held an informative training day in Bredasdorp on Tuesday, 13 September. The event focused on the importance of soil and nature and how one can improve natural resources in an agricultural environment.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Conservation training in Bredasdorp

Aug 2016

Land users and conservancy members are invited to attend a conservation training day in Bredasdorp presented by Conservation at Work. The event will be held on 13 September for the whole day at the Department of Agriculture’s offices in Bredasdorp.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Five new Overberg projects receive ABI support

Jul 2016

Five new community-based projects in the Overberg are receiving grants through the ABI Small Grants Programme. The projects are all supporting conservation action in the region.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Agulhas Park seeks contractors

April 2016

The Agulhas National Park, an ABI Partner, is looking for four contractors for its Working for Wetlands Project. The deadline is 15 April.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

First safety expo in SA starts in Bredasdorp

May 2016

Bredasdorp is hosting the first safety and security expo in the country. The BeSafe Expo runs from 5 - 7 May at Mega Park.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

Agulhas Park seeks contractors

April 2016

The Agulhas National Park, an ABI Partner, is looking for four contractors for its Working for Wetlands Project. The deadline is 15 April.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

An opportunity to support early alien detection

March 2016

SANBI is now advertising for a service provider to join the ABI Alien Clearing Programme team.  

Click here to read more.

 

 

An Agri-Park in the Overberg?

March 2016

The Overberg has been selected as a potential site for an Agri-Park - a site where processing, marketing, training and extension services are based. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Alien plants drive Overberg wildfires

March 2016

Invasive alien plants have once again been a major driver of wildfires in the Overberg during the current fire season. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

The Overberg's busy fire season

Feb 2016

The Overberg was hit by 11 wildfires since the start of year up to the end of January. According to the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association, almost all the wildfires were started by humans - either accidentally or with malicious intent. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Together protecting birds and their habitat

Feb 2016

In a showcase of how conservation organisations can work together to meet shared objectives, the Overberg Crane Group (OCG) has partnered with the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust (OLCT). The two ABI Partners will share an extension officer to work with landowners to conserve critically endangered ecosystems.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI calls for Small Grants projects

Jan 2016

If you’re involved in conservation action in the Overberg, you can apply now for ABI Small Grants funding. The ABI Small Grants Fund supports registered organisations operating in the Overberg region. The funding is provided by the Table Mountain Fund (an associated Trust of WWF-South Africa). It aims to support community-based projects with conservation outcomes. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Alien clearing brings back rare Agulhas birds

Jan 2016

The Agulhas Plain bird lists now stands at 235 bird species, according to the Agulhas Plains Birding report for 2015. And the list is growing, thanks to the invasive alien clearing work taking place in the region.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Five new projects receive ABI support

Jan 2016

Turning invasive alien plants into crafts to support people living with disabilities: this is one of the new projects receiving support from the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) Small Grants Programme.

The ABI programme has selected five new projects for the year. The projects work to contribute to biodiversity conservation and environmental education in the Overberg. The ABI Small Grants Programme is funded by the Table Mountain Fund, an associated trust of WWF-South Africa.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Tough fire season ahead in the Overberg

Nov 2015

The current weather forecasts and historic trends show that the Overberg is likely to face a tough fire season. According to Louise Wessels, Manager of the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association at the ABI Partners’ meeting, the region is now preparing for fire season, which officially launched on 6 November. The ABI Partners' meeting was held at Van Brakel Store on Thursday, 26 November.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference

Nov 2015

Princess and Joyce, two of our ABI Alien Clearing Project contractors, and their teams gave our fabulous guests from the Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference a small show yesterday. ABI hosted about 60 local and international visitors at the southern-most tip, a stopover at the Black Oystercatcher, and a trip to our ABI Alien Clearing sites. Thanks to the Department of Environmental Affairs for organising.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Snake awareness for alien clearing teams

Nov 2015

ABI Alien Clearing team members from the Napier Mountain Conservancy attended a Field Safety & Snake Awareness day. Seventeen of the ABI project’s participants attended the course, held on 29 October. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI joins conservation chat

Oct 2015

Join us for #discoverOverberg conservation chat Wed 21 Oct 12-1pm - ABI Partners and friends can showcase their conservation projects.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Two positions available at GOFPA

Sep 2015

The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association is advertising for a Project Coordinator and an Operational Assistant.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI represented at fynbos expo

Aug 2015

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative was at the Cape Floral Kingdom Expo from 27-31 August 2015. ABI was represented by Gretha Louw - recipient of an ABI Small Grant. Gretha’s stand showcased the tools and equipment she uses as part of her environmental education for school children. Gretha used the small grant to buy laboratory equipement, including a microscope and a projector.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Extension Officer sought

July 2015

The Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust, an ABI Partner, is looking for an Extension Officer, to assist in a new project that will focus on restoring watercourses and linking critical corridors between important renosterveld remnants.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Fire training for ABI project members

July 2015

Invasive alien clearing team leaders, part of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) Alien Clearing Project attended fire suppression training. The training was hosted by the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (GOFPA), an ABI partner, on 15 and 16 July 2015 outside Bredasdorp. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Agulhas Complex becomes World Heritage site

July 2015

The Agulhas Complex, including the SANParks-managed Agulhas National Park and CapeNature’s fynbos areas, have been included as a Unesco (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) World Heritage site. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Fire and invasive plant management highlighted at ABI AGM

June 2015

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative held its annual general meeting on Wednesday, 24 June – with fire and invasive alien plants featuring strongly on the agenda.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Integrating fire and alien management in ABI-area

June 2015

The Agulhas Plain has been selected as a pilot site to study how fire- and invasive alien management are being integrated. The study will be driven by the FynbosFire Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI-related news in brief

June 2015

The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area has, with key partners, undertaken two major management burns recently. And the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust has officially launched its centre for guests and researchers.

Click here to read more

 

 

Third year of ABI Alien Clearing Project underway

June 2015

The third year of the ABI Alien Clearing Project has started. The project will clear 30,000 hectares during the year, creating work amounting to just short of 35,000 person days.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Supporting conservation action in the Overberg

June 2015

Five projects that received support through the ABI Small Grants Fund in its second year are showing benefits for conservation and communities in the Overberg.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Call for ABI Small Grants proposals

June 2015

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is now calling for proposals to the ABI Small Grants Fund. Projects and organisations have until Friday 19 June 2015 to apply for small grants funding.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI AGM hosted on 24 June 2015

June 2015

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative will host its third annual general meeting as a voluntary association on 24 June 2015. ABI partners are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at Van Brakel Store, between Caledon and Napier.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Stripes and frogs visit local schools

May 2015

Stripes the Eco-Cat and the Citizen Science Frog Monitoring Project are being showcased to about 2000 children around the Overstrand region. Both these Whale Coast Conservation projects are beneficiaries under the ABI Small Grants Facility. They’re part of the Sustainability Expo 2015, visiting Gansbaai, Hermanus, Stanford and other towns here. Well done to WCC for raising conservation themes with the region’s children.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Government, landowners meet on invasive alien clearing

April 2015

The threat of invasive alien plants on the Agulhas Plain was central at a two-day workshop held between government, landowners and non-governmental organisations in April. The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI), coordinated by Flower Valley Conservation Trust, and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) hosted the workshop aimed at strengthening invasive alien management in the area. This was the first get-together of its kind in the region.

Click here to read more.

 

 

New skills for ABI clearing contractors

March 2015

The ABI Coordination team hosted contractors involved in the ABI Alien Clearing Project, to learn more about the Unemployment Insurance Fund. Officials from the Department of Labour from Cape Town and Pretoria joined the contractors - to provide information on the fund, and how to ensure they meet the UIF’s requirements. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Preparing for the ABI Alien Clearing Project's third year

March 2015

Our thanks to our ABI Alien Clearing Project contractors and landowners, after another year of hard work; and for joining us to celebrate the end of year 2 yesterday. Our third year kicks off in April - where we aim to clear another 30,000 hectares on the Agulhas Plain, and create around 250 jobs. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Overberg Open Training Day held

March 2015

Want to learn more about fynbos fire and erosion control? Conservancy members in the Overberg are invited to attend an Overberg Open Training Day, organised by Conservation at Work, which will cover these and other topics.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Swellendam Wind Farm report available

Feb 2015

It's your final opportunity to comment on the Goereesoe Wind Farm near Swellendam. This is a significant project in the Overberg area, with 15 wind turbines due to be constructed. The Department of Environmental Affairs will decide after 17 March, on receiving final comments.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Agriculture congresses in the Overberg

Feb 2015

Agri Western-Cape will host its regional congresses between March and April this year.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Comments on Swellendam wind farm open now

December 2014

You only have till 19 January 2015 to comment on the Goereesoe Wind Farm near Swellendam. This wind farm will cover some 1300 hectares, with 15 turbines proposed, each potentially up to 120m in height. The EIA report has been completed - and has highlighted some areas of concern and potential turbine relocation, due to critically endangered renosterveld habitat and endangered bats.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Biomass stoves and an eco cat receive ABI support

December 2014

Five new projects have been selected to receive grants through the ABI Small Grants Facility. They range from projects supporting environmental education in the Overberg, to a biomass stove project.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Agulhas Park launches new chalets

December 2014

ABI attended the launch of eight new Rest Camp cottages at the Agulhas National Park, an ABI partner. Here Cape Agulhas Mayor Richard Mitchell and Park Manager Bulelwa Msengi cut the ribbon. Beautiful cottages, situated close to the southernmost tip of Africa. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Taking nature education to our children

December 2014

Flower Valley’s Londeka Zondi with Gretha Louw - environmental education coordinator - and all the new equipment Gretha could buy with the ABI Small Grants funding. Gretha’s now equipped with a digital microscope and other cool gadgets, to take environmental learning to the Overberg’s smaller farm schools, and larger schools. And the kids are loving it. Our thanks to the Table Mountain Fund for supporting the ABI Small Grants Facility. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Are You Prepared For The Fire Season?

November 2014

The Overberg is preparing for the fire season, and people are being advised to take extra care in the months ahead. The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association team have provided tips for landowners and others to prevent fires; but also quick actions to take should they become aware of fires.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI presents at DEA planning session

November 2014

The ABI team presented the ABI Alien Clearing Project to the Department of Environmental Affairs and independent researchers at the Department’s Management, Research and Planning meeting (MAREP) in November. The three-day conference sought to develop closer ties between research planning and implementation, with much emphasis placed on invasive alien clearing.

Click here to read more.

 

 

He's no Pawn in alien clearing

November 2014

Invasive alien clearing on the Agulhas Plain is not only benefiting the region’s biodiversity. For contractors like Peter (Pawn) Thomas, it has provided a decent livelihood, and the opportunity to learn new skills. Pawn – so named by his grandfather, a prolific chess player – is one of the 21 contractors and 241 beneficiaries of the ABI Alien Clearing Project.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI to meet on investing in ecological infrastructure

November 2014

ABI is hosting an ABI Partner’s meeting on Tuesday 25 November at Van Brakel Store. The meeting will bring ABI Partners, from government to landowners together, to inform each other of conservation-related activities taking place across the landscape.

Click here to read more.

 

 

New snail species found on Agulhas Plain

November 2014

A snail that is new to science has been discovered on the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (NWSMA), an ABI partner. The Chondrocyclus species was discovered by researchers from the East London Museum. The tiny snail lives in indigenous forests, and is no threat to agricultural crops.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot launches in December

November 2014

The Cape Whale Coast will be officially launched as a Mission Blue Hope Spot on 6 December 2014. Dr Sylvia Earle, world-renowned National Geographic Explorer and TED Award Winner, will attend the launch in Hermanus.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Fynbos Award for Odette Curtis

October 2014

An ABI Partner and Committee member has won one of the 2014 Fynbos Conservation Awards. Dr Odette Curtis, Director of the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust, won the award as part of the CAPE Partners Conference, held at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town on 21 October. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI-area assessed as World Heritage Site

October 2014

The ABI-area is being assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, to be included as a World Heritage Site.  Click here to read more.

 

 

Fynbos Conservation Awards now open

September 2014

Know anyone who deserves recognition for their work in conservation, especially in the Cape Floral Kingdom? Nominate them for the Fynbos Conservation Awards - a wonderful way to recognise individuals who are working to ensure our fynbos biodiversity is cared for. Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI calls for conservation proposals

September 2014

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is now calling for proposals for organisations involved in conservation on the Agulhas Plain. Forming part of the ABI Small Grants Facility (supported by the Table Mountain Fund, an associated Trust of WWF-South Africa), funding of up to R20,000 will be provided to community-based projects.

Click here to read more.

 

 

GOFPA seeks to appoint consultants

August 2014

The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association is looking to appoint consultants to help set up fire management units. For more on the positions and application deadline: 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Greater Overberg FPA meeting

August 2014

The Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association will share important fire management news at two important meetings: 14 August and 18 August. Meetings are open to members and the public.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Cape Whale Coast Hope Spot launches

August 2014

Hermanus will become one of the first Mission Blue Hope Spots in South Africa in December. There are already 50 of these around the world. These are special conservation areas that are critical to the health of the ocean.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Training day in the Overberg

August 2014

A training day is being hosted for conservancies, landowners and farmworkers in the Overberg in August. The day, organised by Conservation@Work, will provide insight into various land management and conservation-related activities. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

Leopard numbers in Overberg area "too low" to be sustained

June 2014

Nine Cape Leopards have been identified as living in the Overberg area, between Hermanus and Cape Infanta. A study undertaken by the Landmark Foundation estimates that a maximum of 16 leopards may be found in the area. But the group warns the population remains too low to sustain a genetically viable leopard population.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Some 30,000ha to be cleared of invasives on Agulhas Plain

June 2014

The second year of invasive alien clearing on private land across the Agulhas Plain is now underway. The ABI Alien Clearing Project will aim to clear more than 30,000 hectares of land during the year. Through the project, around 200 people will receive employment.

Click here to read more

 

 

ABI Partners debate wind, water at AGM

June 2014

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) held its second annual general meeting as a voluntary association in June. The meeting was attended by landowners, municipal officials, conservation authorities and non-governmental organisations.

Click here to read more

 

 

Frogs and town transitions in focus in ABI-area

June 2014

Three community-based projects operating in the Overberg have been selected to receive support under the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) Small Grants Facility in its first year. The projects range from a frog monitoring citizen science project, to transitioning a town while raising environmental awareness. 

Click here to read more

 

 

Cape Whale Coast selected as Hope Spot

June 2014

The Overstand is one of just five Hope Spots that are to be launched in South Africa later this year. Hope Spots are special conservation areas that are critical to the health of SA’s oceans.

Click here to read more

 

 

Formation of district-wide FPA approved

May 2014

The formation of the Greater Overberg FPA has been officially approved, with the new constitution and membership fee structure in place. Next step: to compile an integrated fire management plan for the area.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI Partners share experiences

April 2014

ABI Partners met in April - to inform and update each other on conservation and other initiatives taking place across the Overberg. Partners discussed the creation of the Greater Overberg FPA, the Better Barley Better Beer Initiative and alien clearing taking place in the region.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Overberg coastal development in the works

April 2014

The need to balance coastal conservation with development along the Overberg's coastline is being assessed. This will form part of the Overberg District Municipality's Coastal Management Programme. Interested parties are now invited to attend a series of public meetings.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Dealing with agriculture challenges

March 2014

Land users in the Overberg are set to benefit from new extension capacity. Jan Coetzee has been appointed as Better Barley Better Beer Project Extension Officer, in a joint project between SAB and WWF-South Africa. His task will include assisting barley-growing farmers in the area to deal with agriculture challenges, while promoting sustainable agriculture.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Betty's Bay MPA rezoning plan announced

March 2014

Plans to re-zone the Betty's Bay Marine Protected Area will affect recreational fishing and diving in the region. DEA has announced the plan, and is now calling for comment.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Overberg area pinpointed for wind and solar opportunities

March 2014

Much of the Overberg has been identified as an area of national strategic importance for wind and solar power development. A meeting will now be held in Bredasdorp on Tuesday 18 March, where the Department of Environmental Affairs will give more information.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Support for conservation projects

February 2014

Municipal officials and theme leaders within the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) have been invited to put forward potential conservation projects linked to community development.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Bizarre weather hurts alien clearing

February 2014

Unusual weather during the past summer period is now having an affect on invasive alien clearing programmes. Due to strong downpours in November last year, and then again in January 2014 on the Agulhas Plain, alien plants are growing strongly, even in areas recently cleared.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Team chosen to consolidate Overberg FPAs

February 2014

A group of land owners, together with representatives from the Overberg District Municipality and CapeNature make up the team currently overseeing the establishment of the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association (GOFPA). The working group has met to see how best to consolidate the FPAs, to discuss a new constitution and to work on a standard membership fee.

Click here to read more.

 

 

 

Capacity building for alien clearers

February 2014

More than 160 alien clearers received capacity-building training in January, as part of the ABI Alien Clearing Project. Training in herbicide application, Health & Safety and First Aid was provided.

Click here to read more.

 

 

 

De Mond Reserve plan open for comment

January 2014

The draft management plan for the De Mond Nature Reserve Complex, on the Agulhas Plain, is available for comment. The Protected Area Management Plan covers the De Mond Nature Reserve, the Waenhuiskrans Reserve and the Soetendalsvlei Reserve. The plan has been compiled by CapeNature, the management authority of the Complex.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Fire suppression MOU for land users

December 2013

Land owners and users are being encouraged to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Working on Fire - before a fire breaks out on their property.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Overberg's high-risk fire areas identified

December 2013

The Bredasdorp Napier mountain range has been identified as a high risk area for fire during the 2013/2014 fire season. That's according to the Overberg District Municipality in its assessment of its fire season readiness.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Renosterveld - what does it consist of?

December 2013

Is renosterveld a grassy-shrubland or a shrubby-grassland. New research may provide some ...

Click here to read more.

 

 

Training starts for 300 alien clearers

December 2013

Employees who form part of the ABI Alien Clearing Project received their basic invasive alien clearing training. The training was hosted by SANParks, at the SANParks Bosheuwel Facility near Cape Agulhas, in November.

Click here to read more.

 

 

The TMF in the Overberg

November 2013

The Table Mountain Fund (TMF) team visited the ABI-area on 26 November 2013. The TMF (an associated trust of WWF-SA) is funding the ABI Small Grants Programme - which will see up to 20 community projects receiving support. Our thanks to the TMF team, Dr Cliff Dlamini, Carla Wood and Noxolo Kabane, for a fabulous day in the Overberg.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Spot the alien clearing signs

November 2013

Look out for these signboards dotted all over the Agulhas Plain in areas where the ABI Alien Clearing Project is underway. To date more than...

Click here to read more.

 

 

2013 fire season kicks off

November 2013

The 2013 fire season has officially started - and property owners in the Overberg are being encouraged to ensure they're prepared. What can you do? Ensure sprinkler systems and where necessary, firefighting equipment, are working. And clear away debris from around buildings.

Click here to read more.

 

 

Swellendam wind farm completes monitoring

October 2013

A planned wind farm near Swellendam is completing its bird and bat pre-construction monitoring. The monitoring started at the Goereesoe Wind Farm in January this year. The final Environmental Impact Assessment will then be made available in February next year. 

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI Alien Clearing Project clears 10,000ha

October 2013

Invasive alien clearing on the Agulhas Plain under the ABI Alien Clearing Project has surpassed 10,000 hectares. The project launched in June this year. Around 30 alien clearing teams are operating across the region, with 278 jobs created through the project.
Click here to read more.

 

 

Overberg-wide fire protection grouping planned

October 2013

Fire Protection Associations (FPAs) across the Overberg are being encouraged to join a district-wide single FPA. A decision was taken at the Overberg District Municipality (ODM) Fire Working Group in September that FPAs across the region could amalgamate, in a process to be facilitated by the ODM.
Click here to read more.

 

 

Fire prevention policies to be updated

October 2013

An indaba to assess the current state of fire prevention in South Africa will be held in Cape Town in October. The Pro-active Fire Services Indaba will also examine policy issues on fire prevention, protection and safety to be included in the White Paper on Fire Brigade Services.
Click here to read more.

 

 

Support for community-based projects available

October 2013

Local conservation projects are currently being selected to receive support – in an attempt to encourage closer cooperation between community-based conservation-related projects and municipalities. The support forms part of the ABI (Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative) Small Grants Facility, funded by the Table Mountain Fund (an associated trust of WWF South Africa).
Click here to read more.

 

 

Fire support for the Overberg

September 2013

With fire season creeping closer, the Overberg now has additional fire support - through a newly appointed Operational Support Officer. Henrietta Brock will play a key role in the early detection of fires in the region, mapping risky areas and offering FPAs support.
Click here to read more.

 

 

'Better Beer' support to landowners

September 2013

An Agricultural Stewardship Officer position has been made available in the Overberg, to promote the SAB/WWF 'Better Barley, Better Beer' Sustainability Initiative. The appointed person will provide extension support to landowners. 
Click here to read more.

 

 

Alien plants and their impact on Agulhas Plain rivers

September 2013

Rivers on the Agulhas Plain are losing up to 10 percent of their water to invasive alien plants. According to David le Maitre of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research at the ABI (Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative) annual general meeting, should rivers such as the Heuningnes and Nuwejaars on the Plain be completely cleared of aliens, enough water to fill around 33,000 Olympic size swimming pools would become available per year.
Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI hosts its first annual general meeting

August 2013

ABI will hold its first annual general meeting on Wednesday 28 August. ABI partners are invited to join the meeting, where the impacts of invasive alien plants on the Agulhas Plain will be discussed, along with the establishment of a Sustainable Resource Management District Committee in the Overberg.
Click here to read more.

 

 

A strange visitor to ABI's shores

August 2013

A rare and unusual visitor has been caught off the shores of the ABI-area. A Crestfish (Lophotus lacepede) was caught by a local fisherman Simon Swart in the shallow surf at Kassiesbaai, Arniston.
Click here to read more.

 

 

Pilot wave energy project planned in Overberg

July 2013

A pilot project to harness wave energy has been given the go ahead in Hermanus. The Abagold Wave Energy Converter Project is being offered as an alternative option to the nuclear power station proposed for this region. The project’s developer, Pierre Hugo, will present further information on the technology in Hermanus on 30 July.
Click here to read more.

 

 

'Look out for the bright yellow t-shirts'

July 2013

The ABI Alien Clearing Project officially launched on Thursday 18 July, as the project's Implementation Committee met at Van Brakel Store. Alien clearing contractors and the project’s beneficiaries, land user groups including conservancies and farmer’s associations, parastatals, municipalities and non-governmental organisations met to finalise implementation.
Click here to read more.

 

 

First alien clearing activities kick off

June 2013

The ABI Alien Clearing Project has officially launched, with the first invasive alien clearing teams now in the veld. Alien clearing teams belonging to land user groups involved in the project kicked off their operations on Monday 10 June. It’s believed the outstanding groups will launch in the coming days.
Click here to read more.

 

 

New buffer zone working group supports land users

June 2013

An Overberg Buffer Zone Stewardship Working Group has been created to enable and support land users in the effective management and conservation of critical biodiversity areas outside of the borders of National Parks and Provincial Nature Reserves in the Overberg region.
Click here to read more.

 

 

Responsible tourism ventures sought

June 2013

Cape Agulhas Tourism (CAT) is seeking projects that will be able to join the region’s responsible tourism offering. According to Alison Coughlan, CEO of CAT, at a recent ABI Partners meeting, the tourism body is in the process of developing its responsible and nature-based tourism opportunities.
Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI to support community-based projects

May 2013

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is to support up to 20 community-based projects in the Overberg, in a project designed to help develop the necessary skills to implement conservation programmes. The ABI Small Grants Fund will kick off in time for World Environment Day, on 5 June.
Click here to read more.

 

 

Trash to Treasure Festival celebrated

April 2013
The Trash to Treasure Festival in Greyton is being held on 20 April. This is the second year that the festival will be held. It’s organised by the NGO, Greyton Transition Town.
Click here to read more.


New alien clearing strategy rolled out on Plain

April 2013
Initiative (ABI) is playing a lead role in the ABI Alien Clearing Programme. It has seen land users, NGOs and government working together to plan this pilot programme.
Click here to read more.


Environmental Officer in the Overberg

March 2013
The Department of Environmental Affairs is looking for an Environmental Officer to serve the Overberg region. The officer will support the department and municipalities in the region, seeking to develop the environmental sector. The deadline for the position is 7 April.
Click here to read more.


ABI Alien Clearing Programme launches

March 2013
ABI (the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative) has held its first meeting with land users to plan and ultimately implement the ABI Alien Clearing Programme. ABI secured funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs, through its Land User Incentive Scheme, for the next three years, to tackle invasive alien plants across the Agulhas Plain.
Click here to read more.


ABI to meet on alien clearing

February 2013
ABI has secured funding from the Department of Environmental Affairs through its ‘Land User Incentive Scheme’, for alien clearing over the next three years - and hopefully beyond provided this first phase is run cost-effectively and efficiently. This funding allows for a new way of working between private landowner groups and government, and a new strategic way of tackling invasive aliens.
Click here to read more.


Comment on oil exploration application

February 2013
A draft assessment is now available on an application to explore for oil and gas reserves off Bredasdorp’s coast. The document looks at the likely impact on the environment of the exploration, through the seismic surveys and other planned activities.
Click here to read more.


A need to combine fynbos-forces?

February 2013
A new study set in the Agulhas Plain region will assess the need for fynbos harvesters to meet regularly through a forum to share industry-related information. The study is being undertaken by the University of Otago, in conjunction with the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI).
Click here to read more.


Comment on the municipality's development plans

February 2013
The Overberg District Municipality is finalising its conceptual development framework, which will determine the municipality's long-term spatial development plans. The public has the opportunity to comment on the document up to end-February 2013. The framework includes those strategies to be implemented in the district's major sectors, including its biodiversity conservation proposals.
Click here to read more.


ABI-area highlighted for nature-based opportunities

January 2013
Business development in the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) area should make the most of region’s tourism potential, particularly through corporate and religious retreats. That’s the view of students from the John Hopkins University from Baltimore, America, who visited the region at the end of January.
Click here to read more.


Oil exploration proposed off Bredasdorp

January 2013
Interested parties have been asked to comment on proposed oil and gas exploration activities in the West Bredasdorp Area (the coast between Cape Agulhas and Mossel Bay). A company called Impact Africa are proposing a three-year exploration programme, and have lodged an application for an exploration right. The deadline for comment is 21 January.
Click here to read more.


‘Groen Sebenza’ programme launched

January 2013
The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), working with a number of biodiversity organisations, has launched Groen Sebenza. This major skills development and job creation pilot programme is aimed at developing priority skills in the biodiversity sector to create sustainable job opportunities for 800 unemployed graduates and matriculants.
Click here to read more.


Landholders' livelihoods 'rule conservation decisions'

December 2012
A new study on the Agulhas Plain has found that the finances of landholders are a major determining factor in conservation decisions taken on their land. The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) was used as the setting for the study, with landholders asked about their involvement in ABI.
Click here to read more.


Conservancies invited to mapping workshop

November 2012
Conservancy members are invited to attend a mapping workshop in Cape Town early in 2013. The workshop will teach practical tools, which conservancies and individuals can use to map, visualise and share information about conservation efforts on private land.
Click here to read more.


Support available for Western Cape conservancies

November 2012
Conservancies in the Western Cape are being encouraged to get in contact with Conservation at Work, the umbrella body for all conservancies in the province. Conservation at Work offers conservancies support, guidance and representation on a national scale.
Click here to read more.


Challenges in invasive alien plant control

November 2012
It is estimated that R6.5-billion is lost every year as a result of invading alien plants. But without alien clearing programmes, such as Working for Water, that would amount to an additional R41.7-billion. The Working for Water programme strives to control invasive alien species in South Africa.
Click here to read more.


Going, going, gone: Overberg bulb naming rights sold

November 2012
The right to name a rare Overberg bulb has been sold for £29,200 in the United Kingdom. The naming of the newly-discovered Hesperantha species was auctioned on 31 October. Proceeds of the auction will go to the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust (OLCT), an Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative partner.
Click here to read more.


Overberg municipality promotes ABI support

October 2012

The Overberg District Municipality is encouraging conservancies to support the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) in its draft Spatial Development Framework. The concept document was presented at the Overberg Integrated Conservation Group meeting, held in Bredasdorp on 24 October.
Click here to read more.

 


Air quality highlighted in the Overberg

October 2012

The Overberg District Municipality will implement a new air quality management plan from the start of 2013. The plan aims to ensure municipal areas achieve the prescribed air quality standards. It is currently in draft form, with the public able to comment on the document by 21 November.
Click here to read more.


ABI plans its way forward

October 2012

Committee members and theme group leaders of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) met on Thursday 18 October to develop a strategy and implementation plan for the landscape initiative. The meeting sought to assess the roles and responsibilities of all ABI partners, and how to ensure ABI offered major value to role players involved in biodiversity conservation across the Overberg. The plan will now be shared with ABI partners, and developed further.
Click here to read more.


 

 

Responsible tourism brand to give Agulhas 'distinctive' edge

October 2012

Cape Agulhas Tourism will use the next five years to develop and incorporate a responsible tourism brand into its operations. According to Alison Coughlan, CEO of Cape Agulhas Tourism, the bureau is partnering with the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI), local organisations and municipalities to develop the brand. Click here to read more.

 

 

Overberg FPA gets the green light

September 2012

Fire Protection Associations (FPAs) throughout the Overberg will now be able to join a single FPA that will operate across the entire region. The proposal to create a single, Overberg FPA was finally given the go-ahead at an Overberg District Municipality Fire Working Group meeting, held in Bredasdorp on 19 September. Click here to read more.

 


Overberg Renosterveld Trust launched

September 2012

A new Trust that aims to protect the remaining renosterveld in the Overberg was launched at a Conservation Farming Day held at Suurbraak, Swellendam, on Monday 10 September. The Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust (OLCT) aims to conserve the remaining lowland vegetation, particularly renosterveld, through active partnerships. The Trust is a partner of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI). Click here to read more.

 


Agriculture requests training needs info

September 2012

Land users in the Bredasdorp region have been encouraged to detail the training needs of their employees. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is currently determining the courses it will host here next year. They have requested the training needs analysis form be returned to them by end October 2012. Click here to read more.

 


Temperatures head higher in Agulhas Plain

September 2012

Weather data from the Agulhas Plain shows that temperatures here have warmed significantly over the past 50 years. The mean maximum temperatures have risen on average 1.2 degrees Celsius since 1960. Minimum temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees Celsius over the same period. As a result, there has also been a small increase in the difference between maximum and minimum temperatures. Click here to read more.

 


Leopards and caracals 'don't mix'

August 2012

New research has found that caracals and other small predators generally avoid areas where leopards are found. The study, completed by researchers at the Landmark Foundation, also found leopards mostly live in fynbos habitats, followed by forest habitats. The research was conducted on the Langeberg Mountain Range, between Tradouw’s Pass and Riversdale in the Overberg. Click here to read more.

 


Overberg bulb makes international waves

August 2012

A rare bulb (Hesperantha species) recently discovered in the Overberg is making international headlines. The naming of the bulb is up for auction, with the proceeds of the sale of the name to go to the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust, a partner of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI). Click here to read more.

 


New Western Cape water plan seeks sustainable use

August 2012

A new Western Cape water plan is likely to affect land users and municipalities alike. The Integrated Water Resource Management Action Plan for the province was recently signed off by the Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) MEC Anton Bredell. The plan is now being assessed by Cabinet, before its final approval. Click here to read more.

 


Leopards recorded on Agulhas Plain

July 2012

New cameras placed on the Agulhas Plain have captured the first pictures of leopards in the mountains here, according to the Landmark Foundation. Four of the camera stations recorded leopard activity since June this year, while also picking up a "vast amount of animal activity on all the cameras".

Click here to read more.

 


Municipality details fire-fighting costs

July 2012

The Overberg District Municipality will be charging for fire services rendered in future.
According to Reinard Geldenhuys, Manager: Protection Services at the municipality, a registered member of a registered Fire Protection Association (FPA) will get the first hour of fire-fighting free of charge. This is calculated from the time of arrival on the scene. However, this excludes the use of the helicopter. This also means that there will not be a callout fee as per the tariff list.

Click here to read more.

 


New thinking needed on clearing invasive aliens

July 2012
A sea change is needed when dealing with invasive alien plants. According to Brian van Wilgen of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) at the annual Fynbos Forum, the problem of invasive aliens is being addressed without proper planning and monitoring, and as a result, money is being wasted. Click here to read more.



Overberg’s fire associations to be appraised

July 2012

Fire Protection Associations (FPAs) in the Overberg are to be studied and assessed, as part of the Fynbos Fire Project. This Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded project aims to reduce fire risk, by building capacity in FPAs. Experts now hope to determine over the course of the next year what FPA models will prove most effective for the region.

Click here to read more.

 


Fynbos Fire Project to assist Overberg communities

June 2012

A R30-million grant for a project that aims to help manage fires better in the fynbos biome was launched at an event at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens this week. The Fynbos Fire Project seeks to increase fire awareness and prevention of unplanned fires, while capacitating those involved in fire management.

Click here to read more.

 

 

ABI lauded for conservation models

June 2012

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) has been lauded for testing new models of conservation beyond protected areas, in a book launched at the Rio+20 Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June.

Click here to read more...

 


ABI rewarded for C.A.P.E. commitment

June 2012

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) has become a signatory partner to the Cape Action for People and the Environment (C.A.P.E.) programme. ABI representative Maarten Groos of Farm 215 collected the certificate at a breakfast at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in June. Click here to read more...


 


Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative launches its next conservation phase

June 2012

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) officially launched the second phase of its operations on Thursday 7 June. The launch brought key partners in ABI together, from private land users and conservation groups to government departments. The launch took place in Baardskeerderbos. Click here to read more...


 


ABI partners meet for launch

June 2012

Partners in the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) will meet on Thursday, 7 June, to officially launch the second phase of ABI. The meeting takes place in Baarskeerdersbos, with land users, conservation groups, municipalities and relevant government departments due to attend. Click here to read more...


 


Alien plants: The threats and the opportunities

June 2012
The Agulhas Plain, along with the rest of the world, celebrates World Environment Month in June. Click here to read more...


SA’s nuclear programme announced by year-end

May 2012
South Africa’s nuclear energy programme will be detailed by the end of this year. That’s according to Energy Minister Dipuo Peters, in an interview with Business Report. She’s expected to announce the technology government would choose, the chosen suppliers, and the procurement process due to be adopted. Click here to read more...


Municipalities, conservation meet to find common goals

April 2012

Conservation organisations can work closely with municipalities, but they must ensure they’re included in the Municipal Integrated Development Planning. It’s also up to the conservation groups to align their biodiversity goals with those objectives highlighted by their municipalities. Click here to read more...


ABI showcased ahead of Rio+20

April 2012

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is being showcased by the United Nations, ahead of the Rio+20 sustainable development conference. The article on ABI and its partners is currently featuring on the United Nations website. Click here to read more...


Alien clearing efforts on Agulhas Plain enhanced

February 2012

The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative’s (ABI) interim coordination unit is launching a renewed campaign to eradicate invasive alien plants on the Agulhas Plain. ABI is revamping its Alien Clearing Work Group, to meet new goals for 2012. The group had its first meeting in February. Flower Valley Conservation Trust is overseeing the interim coordination of ABI 2. Click here to read more...

 

nuwejaars

 

alien clearing

 

zebras

 

fields

 

flowers

 

proteas

 

pincushion

 

fynbos



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