Succulent Karoo to benefit from $8 million in grants

cculent Karoo will now enjoy the urgent support and action that it deserves as a globally important hotspot."

The Succulent Karoo is under extreme pressure from human activities, particularly livestock overgrazing, agricultural expansion and mining. Goat, sheep, ostrich and small game ranching dominate about 90 percent of the land. Although stock limits and grazing plans exist for much of the region, signs of overgrazing are evident across much of the landscape. The negative environmental impacts of mining for diamonds along the coast and river flood plains have severely altered the coastline.

CEPF grants will focus on the key areas of Sperrgebiet, Bushmanland Inselbergs, Central Namaqualand Coast, Namaqualand Uplands, Knersvlakte, Hantam-Roggeveld and Central Little Karoo. The partnership's strategy for this region includes awarding grants to expand protected areas and engage specific land users such as the agricultural sector, mining companies and communal authorities to help meet conservation objectives identified by the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Planning (SKEP) process.

SKEP involved more than 60 scientific experts and 400 local stakeholders representing government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, private sector interests and local communities. Conservation International's Southern Africa Hotspots Program facilitated the yearlong participative process as part of CEPF preparations to expand to the hotspot. The project team included the Botanical Society of South Africa, Eco-Africa Environmental Consultants, the Institute for Plant Conservation and the National Botanical Institute as coordinating organizations.

Since CEPF was launched in August 2000, the Fund has approved nearly US$21 million in grants to support more than 100 projects in hotspots in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Among these hotspots is the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa, where CEPF has already approved US$3 million in grants to support more than

Contact: Tessa Mildenhall
Conservation International

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