The Namakwa Biodiversity Advisory Forum (NAMBAF) held its first meeting of the year on the 20th of March at the Moberg Library Hall in Bergsig, Springbok. Always attracting new faces with each meeting, this NAMBAF meeting was well attended.
The meeting was chaired by the forum Chair, Enrico Oosthuysen from the Northern Cape Provincial Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC). Presentations were delivered on the Strategic Outcomes of Namakwa Mining Social and Labour Plans by Benn Vass of the Namakwa District Municipality; The Richtersveld Botanical and Cultural Landscape by Oom Gert Links of the Richtersveld World Heritage Site, and on The likely ecological impacts of wind farming facilities in South Africa by Simon Todd.
The Succulent Karoo Knowledge Centre (SKKC) which is located in Kamieskroon was established by Annelise Le Roux to disseminate biodiversity knowledge through information displays, a library and a herbarium. Until recently the SKKC has been facing some financial and human resource constraints.
Le Roux has called upon the SKEP partnership to assist in garnering the support and mobilization of resources for the SKKC to secure ‘home’ for the centre, in order for the SKKC to continue to make available resources and knowledge to Namaqualand and its surroundings. The urgency of finding a home for the SKKC was noted by participants at the NAMBAF meeting.
Morne Farmer, Environmental and Education Officer at DENC reported on the great work the eco-schools are doing in the Namakwa District, which now has 23 registered eco-schools. “The learners are encouraged to create a sense of pride and ownership in their eco-school projects. The partnerships are helping and the schools are doing well” said Farmer.
Representatives from the Concordia Landbou Boerdery Vereniging who were in attendance stressed concern that they would like to engage more with biodiversity conservation matters on their land.
Feedback from various environmental initiatives that have been taking place increased the potential of future areas of collaboration amongst all present at the meeting.
Participants at the meeting were very enthusiastic and expressed eagerness towards working in partnership in biodiversity activities and projects across the Namakwa District. This NAMBAF meeting facilitated several lessons sharing and network opportunities.
A way forward regarding the NAMBAF Statement of Intent (SoI) was discussed. This will entail a Signing Ceremony event of the NAMBAF Statement of Intent, which will take place on the 5th of June 2012. DENC, SANBI and CSA have cordially invited key partners to attend the inauguration of the Provincial Coastal Committee (PCC), the Signing of the Statement of Intent for the Namakwa Biodiversity Advisory Forum (NAMBAF), and the launch of the Three Peaks Conservancy.