SA's new Mountain Zebra Camdeboo corridor up for debate

2017-02-14 09:31 - Louzel Lombard Steyn
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Cape Town - South African National Parks has kicked off a stakeholder participation process for comments and inputs on the Management Plan for the newly announced Mountain Zebra Camdeboo Protected Environment (MZCPE). 

The Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Protected Environment, connecting the Camdeboo and Mountain Zebra National Parks in the Eastern Cape, was officially instated by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in April last year. 

Now, South African National Park, on behalf of the MZCPE Landowner’s Association, has asked for members of the public to get in touch with the aim of drafting guidelines the future management of the protected environment for a period of ten years until 2027.

The participation process will be opened until 1 March 2017. 

How to get in touch 

In terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, interested parties are required to register in order to participate in the process. 

Registering can be done in the following ways: 

Online, by accessing the MZCPE website 
Via post to Ms Bronwyn Botha (Buffer Zone Co-ordinator) at PO Box 349, Graaff-Reinet, 6280 
Via telephone at 071 272 5784 
Via email to Bronwyn Botha 

Alternatively, stakeholders may also register at one of the public information sessions. An electronic version of the management plan is available online.  

Written comments are to be submitted either electronically or by mail, to Bronwyn Botha by 1 March 2017 via her details above.

The new MZCPE 

The protected environment is situated between Graaff-Reinet, Nieu-Bethesda, Cradock and Pearston. 

Its purpose is to maintain the landscape in terms of its scenic, biodiversity and landscape value through collective action by the private landowners and to protect the area from detrimental developments. The protected environment involves 65 landowners and spanning an area of 286 343ha.

SEE: MAP: Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo National Parks get NEW protection corridor

High on the conservation agenda for the corridor is grassland preservation, said to be one of the least conserved biomes in the country when compared to the Nama-Karoo and Indian Ocean Coastal Belt biomes - as well as the protection of the threatened Cape mountain zebra, with less than 1 190 of these vulnerable species roaming freely, according to 2015 aerial count figures. 

The DEA said the vision for the future is ultimately to link Camdeboo National Park at Graaff-Reinet with the Mountain Zebra National Park at Cradock - thereby creating a single conservation area over 120km in length and including up to 520 000 hectares of land under conservation.

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