For the first time, landowners can actively participate in conservation activities, by setting their land aside for biodiversity conservation. Many landowners are wanting to do this, whether for philosophical reasons, or wanting to develop the area for ecotourism purposes. Either way, the Biodiversity Stewardship programme is now providing the framework and mechanism for landowners to do this.
Reasons for landowners to become involved in Biodiversity Stewardship
·         Be a trendsetter and become involved in an initiative that is the first of its kind in SA. This process will redefine the approach to conservation on privately owned land – and you can be part of it!
·         Getting involved shows that you are informed about the natural habitat and biodiversity which occurs on your property; that you are proud to become a custodian of the natural habitat and in such a way contribute to securing its long term sustainability.
·         By becoming involved in conservation on your land, you will have access to support, advice and other assistance from dedicated Nature Conservation staff in your Province. Other incentives are currently in the process of being developed.
·         By conserving natural habitats on your property you may be keeping certain plants and animal species from extinction while dramatically improving the survival chances of many others. You may be able to diversify your income base through the wise use and marketing of your natural resources e.g. ecotourism opportunities, professional hunting etc.
·         If you are part of a commercial sector whereby international approvals are required to market your produce overseas (e.g. Eurepgap, ISO1400), participating in a stewardship initiative may contribute to qualifying for these approvals.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is championing Biodiversity Stewardship in KwaZulu-Natal