The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is designed to address the main threats to the globally significant lowland fynbos biodiversity of the Agulhas Plain and to improve the livelihoods of local communities through inter-linked conservation, development and socio-economic activities. ABI, a joint partnership between South African National Parks and Fauna & Flora International is the first pilot project to be implemented under CAPE (Cape Action for People and Environment).
The four main components of ABI are:
- Conservation management in the productive landscape of the Agulhas Plain including controlling alien invasion; fire management and wetlands rehabilitation
- Development and implementation of models for sustainable harvesting of wild fynbos. (Afrikaans for “fine bush”) including certification, marketing programmes and monitoring.
- Development and implementation of nature-based tourism activities, including building local support though heritage centres and education programmes.
- Building build local support for biodiversity conservation on the Agulhas Plain through public awareness activities
The objective is to convince landowners, private businesses and local communities that biodiversity, if managed and harvested sustainably, will provide significantly better economic benefits in the long-run, compared with alternative agricultural land-uses.
The Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) is one of three complementary GEF initiatives in support of CAPE which are aimed at strengthening systemic, institutional and individual capacities and establishing the know-how needed for conservation in different ecological and socio-economic conditions. The model will be replicated in other areas where decentralised conservation approaches are urgently needed.