Support for conservation projects
Municipal officials and theme leaders within the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) have been invited to put forward potential conservation projects linked to community development. Selected projects will then receive support from the ABI Small Grants Facility, up to R20,000.
The Facility aims to support around 15 community-based projects in the Overberg over the next three years. ABI received funding from the Table Mountain Fund (an associated Trust of WWF-South Africa). The goal of the project is to bring about local action in conservation, through community involvement. The project also aims to raise awareness of much-needed conservation action in local municipalities.
Projects have been welcomed that fall within the five themes that ABI works in. These are: land-use planning; responsible tourism; climate change; renewable energy and environmental education. The ABI theme leaders responsible for each of these themes can now either connect with community projects already up and running, and link these to the municipalities in their area through ward councilors. Or the theme leader could develop a new conservation-related project.
To date, the ABI Small Grants Facility has also worked closely with the Overberg District Municipality, the Overstrand Municipality and the Cape Agulhas Municipality. Relevant officials here can also propose projects that meet all the ABI Small Grant Facility’s criteria.
According to Lesley Richardson, of the ABI Coordination Unit, proposed projects must contribute to biodiversity conservation in the Overberg. “Ideally, we’re trying to bring conservation understanding, awareness and participation to players in the public and private sphere. If we can achieve this through exciting and innovative new ideas and methods, then that would be all the better.”
The proposed projects also need to demonstrate a degree of sustainability, must be catalytic, and must contribute to the development of local communities, for example through capacity building and job creation.
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