|The Cape Recife (CR) area is situated on the south-eastern point of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM). It comprises the CR Nature Reserve (CRNR), the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) campus and Private Nature Reserve, the SA National Defence Force – Eastern Province Command (SANDF) shooting range, Cape Recife Sewerage Works (CRSW), Transnet (Lighthouse), the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) site and the Pine Lodge Resort. The Cape Recife Conservancy (CRC) further increases this area to include the Summerstrand Hotel and the Humewood Golf Course. This area is mostly covered by St Francis Dune Fynbos Thicket Mosaic vegetation, which is mostly undisturbed and provides refuge to a wide variety of birds and other animal species.
The Cape Recife area contains a unique blend of globally important plant and animal species, including highly endemic coastal fynbos, which are currently experiencing insufficient biodiversity conservation efforts and protection.
The Cape Recife (CR) area is a popular recreational and environmental educational resource to the citizens of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), as well as to tourists.
In order to protect, administer and promote all that the Cape Recife area has to offer, the Cape Recife Conservancy (CRC) was formed.
What is a Conservancy?
Privett (2001) defines a conservancy as follows: “a group of properties in which neighbours have pooled their resources for the purpose of conserving fauna and flora, as well as the adoption of environmentally friendly land-use practices.” A conservancy therefore, is an effective conservation model for landowners willing to collectively manage their lands and would serve as a vehicle for landowners to communicate and interact with each other, to pool resources and seek donor assistance, and to manage the entire area in a more efficient and environmentally sound manner. The CRC serves as a vehicle for partners to communicate and interact with each other, to pool resources and seek donor assistance, and to manage the entire area in a more efficient and environmentally sound manner.
The vision of the Cape Recife Conservancy is: “the unique Cape Recife area is an effectively conserved biodiversity area, providing a place of enrichment and enjoyment for all”.
The mission of the Cape Recife Conservancy is to:
- effectively conserve the biodiversity of the CR area;
- secure the Cape Recife area as a safe community recreational and enriching environmental educational asset;
- improve tourism opportunities; and
- deliver benefits to those involved.
The objectives of the CRC are listed below. These objectives can only be reached by integrating long-term planning, landowner commitment, community involvement and quality assessment through the lifecycle of the conservancy.
Raise awareness amongst stakeholders and potential participants and campaign for membership of the new Conservancy;
- Form partnerships with organisations that can assist in various aspects of project implementation (e.g. security, funding and volunteer assistance);
- Develop the institutional and management structures of the Conservancy;
- Develop and implement a safety and security plan for the CR area;
- Initiate environmental management on the Conservancy through the development of environmental management plans;
- Increase the conservation status of suitable parts of the Conservancy;
- Assist in fundraising and obtaining donor support;
- Provide a platform for increased environmental education amongst locals and international audience, including opportunities for research;
- Investigate opportunities for developing sustainable commercial activities to support the objectives of the CR conservancy such as eco-tourism; and
- To consider and involve itself in all matters pertinent to the CR area.
Key point: The Cape Recife Conservancy proposal aims to conserve the priority biodiversity of the Cape Recife area and involve landowners and civil society in restoring the CR area a safe recreational and educational venue.