Table Mountain receives French funding of R20 million
Biodiversity in South Africa is getting a much needed boost.
According to News24, a bipartite agreement was signed yesterday, Sunday May 30. The agreement describes a partnership between South Africa and France that aims to spearhead environmental diplomatic measures for the two countries.
The partnership aims to preserve the biodiversity of the two countries by focusing on the French national parks of Reunion Island and the Table Mountain National Park. It was signed by the French Development Agency and South African National Parks (SANParks).
French funding has provided for around 31 million rand to be provisioned for the partnership. About R20 million will be allocated to SANParks. According to SANParks CEO Dr Luthando Dziba, the partnership aims to:
- focus on territory-to-territory cooperation between the two parks
- Develop strategic plans and sharing tools for the management of invasive species
- Focus on the management of vulnerable species as well as fire management
- Climate change preparation and training
- Contribute to expertise and collaborate in improving the management of the park
- Mobilize partner research organizations including the University of Reunion, CIRAD and the University of Cape Town.
Table Mountain National Park was chosen as the main partner of the project (in accordance with IOL) largely because of the 25,000 hectares of natural spaces it encompasses. Like Réunion National Park, Table Mountain faces similar challenges in terms of ecosystem management and conservation. As both parks are located in predominantly urban settings, they are exposed to many threats to flora and fauna. In addition, the high volume of tourists is also a factor that challenges these ecosystems.
The conservation of biodiversity is a top priority for France. France will host the World Conservation Congress in 2021.
South Africa’s global environmental policy is also a key area for South African diplomatic attention. Some of our key presences in global environmental policy have hosted COP17 (17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties) as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world, with unique species and ecosystems not found anywhere else on earth. in terms of biodiversity, we are a signatory of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
In addition, as a country, we have put in place a biodiversity conservation strategy that combines job creation and the sustainable management of biodiversity.
This partnership is extremely important in terms of conserving one of our biggest tourist attractions, as well as boosting biodiversity conservation in our country.