In response to the challenges facing the Succulent Karoo, SKEP emerged as an innovative programme. SKEP champions a model of conservation that integrates high-level scientific expertise with socio-economic and institutional concerns.
The acronym "SKEP" means "to serve" in Afrikaans, the most commonly spoken language in the region.
At the end of the SKEP planning process, a 20-Year Strategy was drawn up with a comprehensive set of actions. These actions aim to achieve conservation targets by addressing constraints and maximising opportunities in the key priority areas, and are summarized below as a series of four long-term strategic focal areas:
1. Increasing local, national and international awareness of the unique biodiversity of the Succulent Karoo.
2. Expanding protected areas and improving conservation management, particularly through the expansion of public-private-communal-corporate partnerships.
3. Support the creation of a matrix of harmonious land uses
4. Improve institutional co-ordination to generate momentum and focus on priorities, maximize opportunities for partnerships, and ensure sustainability.
The first five years of implementation was funded through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and focused on catalyzing civic engagement in conservation.The next five years will focus on embedding the programme at government. This will entail integrating SKEP objectives into national and regional government programmes, and thereby ensuring programme sustainability.