Minister Molewa declares Mountain Zebra and Camdeboo Parks a protected environment

APRIL 6, 2016

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, last week Friday, declared the Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Protected Environment, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEMPAA), 2003, in Proclamation No. 39891 of 2016. 

The Camdeboo National Park is a majestic park that almost surrounds Graaff-Reinet in the Camdeboo Local Municipality.

"The Proclamation also gazetted the regulations conferring powers and duties to the Management Authority responsible for the Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Protected Environment, in terms of the NEMPAA," said South African National Parks authority (SANParks) on Wednesday.  

"The Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Protected Environment (MZCPE) is located between Camdeboo and Mountain Zebra National Parks in the Eastern Cape.  The Corridor Project is a joint partnership between SANParks and the Wilderness Foundation with funding from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund.  The vision for the future is ultimately to link Camdeboo National Park at Graaff-Reinet with the Mountain Zebra National Park at Cradock, protecting a huge diversity of plant and animal species."

SANParks said that the Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo region is a mountainous area dominated by the grassland biome, having been identified as one of the top three priority grassland areas for protection.

"This biome is one of the three biomes (Grassland, Nama-Karoo and Indian Ocean Coastal Belt) least protected in South Africa. 

"This will not only assist in the conservation of the endangered Cape mountain zebra, it will contribute to the conservation of the recently identified Sneeuberg Centre of Endemism, part of the Amatole-Sneeuberg Montane Belt. The idea is to create a single conservation area over 120km in length and including up to 520 000 hectares of land under conservation, to be accomplished in the main by public/private partnerships," the authority added.

"In this proclamation, 67 landowners with land totalling 268 428 hectares have been included in the  declaration of the Protected Environment. More landowners have indicated their willingness to sign up during Phase Two of this project.  The Protected Area will be managed by a Landowners Association."

The Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo region is a mountainous area dominated by the grassland biome. This biome is one of the three biomes (Grassland, Nama-Karoo and Indian Ocean Coastal Belt) least protected in South Africa. 

"Declaration of the Protected Environment will contribute significantly to achieving Medium Term Strategic Framework Outcome 10 (Protected areas) targets and will enhance the integrity and improve conservation outcomes within the region, while at the same time broadening opportunities for socio-economic development."

Electronic copies of the Gazettes are available at: 

https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/legislations/nempa

https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/gazetted_notices