The Strategic Plan has been developed as an element of a Management Framework for the CWCBR. It has been developed in consultation with stakeholders in the Biosphere Reserve and is in draft form to allow incorporation of further comment during 2004.
The purpose of this Draft Strategic Plan is to set out the vision of the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve Company for conserving bio diversity and stimulating sustainable development within the CWCBR over the long term, with the next five years as the first operational phase. It does so at a broad strategic level and does not deal with detailed issues.
The CWCBR has only 15% of its total area in designated cores. This is small in relation to "classic biospheres".
The CWCBR has a rich flora with over 1500 species. There is a high level of threat to this flora with a high proportion of species in the Red Data list (e.g. 9.5% in Sand Plain Fynbos). The implication is that conservation needs to be focused on areas that contain remnants of species under threat.
The rarity of Renosterbos and Sand Plain Fynbos are revealed in numerous studies. The implication is that what little remains should be conserved wherever possible.
Formal conservation areas are dominant in the mountains, with the lowlands poorly represented. From the regional perspective the implication is that the CWCBR ranks highly in relation to other conservation areas.
The CWCBR will have to play a major role in the conservation of Atlantis sand Fynbos, Saldanha Granite Renosterveld, Saldanha Limestone Thicket, Saldanha Flats Calcrete Thicket and Langebaan Dune Thicket as these vegetation types are poorly conserved, fragmented, highly threatened and their ecological importance may be underestimated.
The dominant land uses in the CWCBR are agriculture and natural vegetation, each covering over 40% of the total area. The implication is that conservation and sustainable development that relates to both of these land uses is essential.
Urban, industrial and agricultural land uses have direct and indirect conflicts with terrestrial, marine and aquatic natural ecosystems. Unless these conflicts can be managed, stress on ecosystems will increase.
The Biosphere Reserve is already well developed in terms of infrastructure (road, rail and electrical) making further urban expansion relatively simple. The implication is that conversion of land to urban and industrial uses within the CWCBR can continue and even accelerate in the future.
The reported population of the area in 2001 was over 250 000, contained in settlements with different sizes and functions. However, the population distribution is such that conservation of large natural areas is still possible. The implication is that regional land use planning is a key conservation activity. This is facilitated by the information on ecological systems at a high level of detail that is now becoming available.
The CWCBR has an extremely rich prehistory, history and culture, implying the preservation of this heritage is a high priority.
There are high levels of poverty and sharp inequalities in household incomes in the CWCBR. The direct implication is that other issues will have a higher priority than conservation for poorer households in the area. Along the West Coast unemployment was 12.6% in 2001 on average, with the implication that employment is a high priority.
The main economic drivers of the region are industry, fishing, agriculture and tourism, with industry accounting for 25% of employment. This implies that sustainable development projects need to be focused on these sectors.
A large body of national legislation and policy exerts influence over the planning of the CWCBR.
Of these coastal policy and sustainable tourism development policy have a direct bearing on Biosphere Reserve planning. Similarly, provincial and local policies will influence planning of the CWCBR. These include the Western Cape Government policy of growth stimulation of the agricultural and tourism sectors, and CCT bio diversity and spatial planning policies. This implies that policy planning and analysis is a further key activity in shaping the BR.
The vision statement defines where the CWCBR wishes to be in the future. The vision for the CWCBR is:
We see the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve as the best international example of integrating rapid growth and change with bio diversity conservation, sustainable living and heritage preservation.
Inputs to the Vision and Goals were obtained through stakeholder workshops in the north and south of the CWCBR and follow up workshops with the Board to reflect on stakeholder inputs and what the Board could reasonably achieve within its mandate. Consideration was also given to internationally recognised goals from the Seville Strategy and consideration of these within the statutory framework of the CWCBR.
The goals developed are arranged in four themes, and objectives are derived for each goal.
1. Theme - Conservation
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
- To conserve, maintain and rehabilitate bio diversity in the CWCBR
- Conserve ecologically important indigenous vegetation, habitat and ecological processes on both public and private land
- Conserve endangered terrestrial animal and bird species
- Conserve threatened aquatic and marine mammal, avian and fish species
- Rehabilitate high potential degraded areas
- Remove alien vegetation
- Expose underlying ecological importance of specific areas
- Reduce all forms of pollution
- To conserve non-renewable resources
- Conserve surface and ground water
- Conserve all forms of energy
- Conserve soil
- To maintain the palaeontological, historical & cultural heritage of the CWCBR
- Support and expand the West Coast Fossil Park
- Stimulate interest in the history and unique culture of the West Coast and protect distinctive character of the area
2. Theme — Sustainable Development and Planning
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
- To contribute to enhancing the sustainable economic well-being of communities
- Develop employment programmes for environmental rehabilitation
- Develop a West Coast oriented eco-tourism training programme
- Assist AIDS and health programmes
- Stimulate expansion of mariculture in a manner consistent with conservation objectives.
- Stimulate indigenous plant cultivation and sale
- To contribute to coherent planning at all levels to provide models of land management
- Develop a spatial conservation and growth plan for the CWCBR
- Develop a detailed spatial plan for the Southern Area of the CWCBR
- Devise new development control instruments to conserve and maintain bio diversity
- Promote new approaches to planning
- Partner Province, district Partner Province, district &
- To adopt the precautionary principle to development in the region
- Ensure all proposed high-impact development is adequately investigated and procedurally correct
- Oppose all development that impacts on areas of irreplaceable bio diversity
3. Theme — Stakeholder Interaction
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
- To seek stakeholder and community support for the CWCBR
- Provide continuous and effective feedback on the CWCBR to all existing stakeholders
- Increase support base
- Engage support base
- Expand stakeholder involvement through schools programmes
- To promote recognition of the CWCBR
- Establish a gateway to the CWCBR
- Upgrade the CWCBR web site
- Develop a communications strategy
- Develop an identifiable brand for the CWCBR
- Provide media releases and information on current progress
4. Theme — Research and monitoring
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
- To comprehend and understand change in the region
- Develop a needs-driven partnered-research programme to meet BRIM objectives
- Undertake a full baseline study of bio diversity and development within the CWCBR
- Develop a spatial and demographic monitoring programme Theme — Education and Capacity Building OBJECTIVES
- To provide education, awareness building and training to further community and stakeholder knowledge
- Provide a training course on bio diversity and Biosphere Reserves to schoolteachers
- Arrange presentations on bio diversity and the CWCBR (and other Biosphere Reserves)
- Provide materials on key issues
5. Theme — Operational and Institutional
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
- To secure adequate initial and ongoing management resources for the CWCBR
- Obtain grant funding for CWCBR management human resources and capital items
- Obtain grant funding for research and monitoring
- Obtain grant and concessionary funds for projects and programmes
- To ensure effective, participatory and adaptive management
- Develop coherent business plans for all CWCBR company activities
- Develop performance indicators and manage by objective
- Invite stakeholder comment on performance
- Update action plans annually
- Ensure stakeholder participation in plan revisions
- Develop intellectual property of Board
- To coordinate with national and international networks
- Form institutional linkages with key National Departments that manage natural resources
- Form an association with Kogelberg and new BR’s
- Form partnerships with selected BR’s in Africa, Europe, South America and USA and participate in exchange programmes
- Develop relationship with UNESCO