CapeNature Extends Species Range

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  1. AFRICAN INDABA

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    CapeNature Extends Species Range

    CapeNature has announced that it has authorized the extension of the range for certain species of wildlife in the Western Cape. "From as early as the end of September 2010, extended ranges for wildlife species such as bontebok and blesbok are envisaged, whilst gemsbok, kudu, black wildebeest and giraffe can be translocated legally throughout the Western Cape, as an interim agreement and depending on CapeNature Board approval," CapeNature said.

    The body had previously prohibited the species from parts of the province and the current arrangement is the result of negotiations between CapeNature, the provincial government and representatives of the game and hunting industry.

    "CapeNature's draft translocation policy is an internal policy, regulating the translocation of mammals in the Western Cape. It would now be amended in such a way that most species indigenous to South Africa as recommended by the Forum could be allowed into the Western Cape, provided that the associated ecological and environmental risks are adequately addressed in the policy and managed on the ground." CapeNature conducted a public participation process in Citrusdal on August 3 and, despite not having everyone present, felt that there was broad support for the policy.

    "The requirements of the relevant industry must be taken into account during the formulation of government policies" said MEC for local government, environmental affairs and development planning Anton Bredell, whose department initiated the negotiations.

    Bredell said that CapeNature would continue to manage conservation effectively in the province, but that it would allow input from the game and hunting industry which contributes R300m to the national economy, according to industry figures. "CapeNature's translocation policy will continue to uphold conservation and ecological principles in line with international agreements, and national and provincial legislation." Bredell also urged all parties to work together and hinted that his department would ensure co-operation. "In a spirit of co-operative governance and transparency the forum members must continue to work together to address concerns raised by the industry, and to ensure the wise utilization of natural resources.

    "The Western Cape Administration realizes the economic contribution that the industry makes to the province. We want to put systems in place that support the industry, whilst ensuring we maintain our biodiversity treasures for future generations." Once this CapeNature's Board Conservation Committee is satisfied with the draft policy, it would then make a recommendation for the final approval of the policy at the Board meeting, scheduled for January 24 2011.
     

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