The SKEP Coordination Unit would to wish a peaceful, restful and merry festive season break to all our partners. Our partners all deserve some rest, as the year 2012 has indeed been a very eventful year for the SKEP partnership, with some worthy achievements.
The partnership successfully formalized the Namakwa Biodiversity Advisory Forum (NAMBAF), through a voluntary Statement of Intent (SoI), signed by 12 partner organizations and departments in Springbok. The energetic and hard working MEC for the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC), Ms Sylvia Lucas, was in attendance, signing the SoI on her department’s behalf.
Our key partner in the Northern Cape, DENC, was also hard at work in furthering conservation objectives in the province. The department signed the intent to declare the Orange River Mouth as a nature reserve in terms on the Protected Areas act of 2003. This was one of the key milestones in the work done by this department. Others include the formal launching of the Northern Cape Provincial Coastal Committee, and winning a WESSA administered award as the best performing province in the Eco-Schools programme. A cherry on top for the SKEP partnership from this department has to be the return to the department of the beloved Albert Mabunda as the Chief Director for Biodiversity. The SKEP CU felt his short absence more than any other. Welcome back Albert!
Our NGO partners have also been hard at work, and Conservation South Africa (CSA) did not disappoint once again, leading the way in the innovation of best practices for biodiversity management in the Namakwa District. The launch of the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment is just one of their many achievements. From the SKEP CU, just keep on keeping on CSA!
We have also witnessed the strengthening of institutional capacity in such partners as Capenature and WWF-SA as far as their focus on the Succulent Karoo is concerned.
A number of our partners also did exceedingly well, the Namakwa District Municipality, SANParks, Indigo Development and Change, Environmental Monitoring Group, Endangered Wildlife Trust, to mention but few.
From the SKEP coordination Unit, we would like to thanks you all for the sterling work you are doing, and wish you all another prosperous year in 2013.
For the festive season, we would like to you to take home the words of Mother Teresa:
"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it."
All the best!!