Camdeboo Corridor Project - Graaff-Reinet Open Day
Tuesday, 22nd May 2012
The Open Day held in Graaff-Reinet on 16 May to provide information about the Mountain Zebra - Camdeboo Corridor Project has clarified the aims and scope of the project for those who attended.
A total of 24 interested people attended the Open Day meeting in the Methodist Church. This was regarded as a good turnout considering the meeting coincided with the NAMPO Agricultural Show.
Matthew Norval of the Wilderness Foundation opened the meeting with an explanation of the project partnership between the Wilderness Foundation and South African National Parks (SANParks) and the funding of the project.
SANParks’ Strategic Park Planning & Development Manager, Stephen Holness, gave a detailed overview of the corridor project which included the motivation behind the initiative.
Bronwyn Botha, Project Manager of the initiative, described the types of agreements on offer to landowners and explained some of the technical aspects of the project.
The main concern raised at the Open Day meeting was the implication of the project on the current management of agricultural land. Concerned farmers were assured that participation in the corridor initiative is entirely voluntary and that the main objective of the project was provide added protection to land in the form of environmental agreements.
Concerns that fences would be dropped and agriculture converted to game farming or reserves were allayed with the assurance that present activities can be accommodated by the various types of agreements.
It is hoped that the project will stimulate conservation-friendly economic development in the region while protecting it from inappropriate development. It is envisaged that the outcome of the project will be a mosaic of properties, including both SANParks-managed and privately-owned land. A number of private game reserves are located within the zone.
People who attended the Open Day left with a better understanding of the benefits and scope of the Mountain Zebra - Camdeboo Corridor Project.
A similar Open Day is planned for interested and affected people residing near Mountain Zebra National Park with the date and venue in Cradock to be announced soon.