Activists and Stalwarts at the LIKE Conference
How stimulating it was to meet the activists and stalwarts involved in many of the landscape initiatives currently under way in the Western and Eastern Cape, as well as one in KwaZulu-Natal, at the LIKE Conference that was hosted by us from 25 to 27 August 2015 in Kleinmond under the auspices of CAPE (Cape Action for People and the Environment).
Cllr Lisel Krige, one of our Advisory Committee members, opened the conference on behalf of the Overstrand Mayor. According to her to involve man successfully into the ‘Man & the Biosphere‘ concept, this species needs to be informed and become knowledgeable. Her pleas to those present was to continue all efforts that are aimed at informing and thereby involving as many stakeholders as possible in all their noble endeavours. Only human beings with insight, knowledge, compassion, understanding and ultimately wisdom can successfully join the drive to save and conserve our beautiful marine and floral inheritance.
Represented at the workshop were the recently UNESCO-recognised Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve, Agulhas Biosphere Initiative, Baviaanskloof Conservation Area, Umgeni Biosphere Reserve, Eden to Addo Corridor Initiative, Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor and the Dassenberg Coastal Catchment Partnership.
Inputs were also given by officials from CapeNature, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa, Birdlife South Africa and the University of Cape Town.
On the first day of the workshop we received progress reports from all of these initiatives and thorough discussion was held on outstanding achievements, what similarities there are, the existing differences and what strategic and practical issues arose from each presentation.
The rest of the conference focused on issues like the impact of the new Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act on landscape initiatives, fundraising and building community capacity to engage with development.
Delegates enjoyed a field trip to Stony Point and one of our C2C projects in the Grabouw area.
I think we learned a lot and made good friends. Thank you CAPE for bringing the workshop to Kleinmond!