Conservation Easements in the Overberg
Working towards Sustainable and Living Landscapes
The easement programme essentially works according to the following outline:
Critical lowland habitats are selected based on a set of criteria, including things like: fragment size and/or connectivity, fragment quality (in terms of management effects), biodiversity value (based primarily on plants, birds and other taxa where possible), landowner willingness, etc.
Landowners are approached and presented with a full report on the biodiversity value of their farms. Discussions regarding management requirements and easement options follow.
If a landowner is willing to sign a conservation easement, the legal paperwork is drawn up by our Programme Manager and legal advisors.
Then, a rough Management Plan is generated by the Programme Manager to highlight management costs and identify where the incentive funding can be spent.
Final negotiations around the conservation easement and management assistance (i.e. incentive funding) take place. Easements are signed by landowners and relevant authorities (e.g. ORCT, BLSA, FFI, or other relevant authorities).
After the documents are signed, a detailed Management Plan is generated by the ORCT, with regular inputs from the landowners.
Incentive funding is transferred to the landowner to implement the agreed Management Plan. Then comes the fun bit: we arrange for signage to be erected outside the farm stating that the farm is a ‘Renosterveld Conservation Area’ (we’ll include sponsor’s logos, etc.). The ORCT and relevant partners undertake annual or biannual audits of all easement sites.
Contact Odette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call + 27 (0) 83 551 3341
KLIPFONTEIN RENOSTERVELD RESERVE
The first conservation easement has been signed in South Africa that is focused specifically on protecting Renosterveld.
WWF-South Africa has signed with a Caledon landowner, MG Lotter. The Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (ORCT) will manage the easement and provide the management support to Lotter and landowners who sign up in future. Through this innovative form of conservation on private land, part of the largest area of Western Rûens Shale Renosterveld left in the world (370 hectares) will be protected in perpetuity.