CapeNature is a public institution with the statutory responsibility for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape. It is governed by the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board Act 15 of 1998 and mandated to: promote and ensure nature conservation; render services and provide facilities for research and training; and generate income.
CapeNature is driven by the vision to establish a successful ‘Conservation Economy’ – embraced by all citizens of the Western Cape and to transform biodiversity conservation into a key component of local economic development in the province. Our own definition of a conservation economy is an economy in which key principles and practices of biodiversity conservation have been fully integrated into all forms and levels of economic activity.
We achieve this objective through various programmes and projects for example:
• Community-based Natural Resource Management and Local Economic Development: Unlocking opportunities to ensure that the benefits of natural resources and their sustainable utilization and conservation are realized by local communities.
• Youth Development: Using activities as a tool for the development of youth and developing in young people the knowledge and insight necessary for them to appreciate the heritage that will be passed on to them. Also providing them with the opportunity for developing the skills needed to make a success of that heritage.
• Environmental Crime Investigation: Preventing, investigating and monitoring environmental crime
• Fire Management: Developing effective partnerships to extend fire management throughout the province
• Wildlife Management: Proactively manage conflict between humans and wildlife
• Stewardship: Including private and communal land in the establishment of biodiversity corridors and the conservation of vital lowlands habitat remnants, through various incentives
• Eco-tourism development: Developing nature-based recreational and tourism products and leveraging the Western Cape’s natural assets in such a way that protected areas become sought after tourist destinations, and more accessible and attractive to a greater proportion of our population
CapeNature is dependent on partnerships with other roleplayers and communities to implement its mandate to ensure a successful conservation economy in the Western Cape. It has already spearheaded many leading initiatives to implement this mandate.