SANBI and its CAPE partners gather to celebrate achievements

29 October 2014

Fynbos Conservation Awards ceremony 2014

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), responsible for convening the CAPE Partnership Programme, hosted a celebratory event on 21 October 2014, at moyo Kirstenbosch; where biodiversity conservation partners from across the Cape Floristic Region gathered for the celebrations.  

The event marked the awarding of the 2014 Fynbos Conservation Awards as well as the launch of two much anticipated publications:  Fynbos Ecology, Evolution and Conservation of a Megadiverse Region and Fynbos Ecology and Management.

The celebratory cocktail function was attended by a diverse range of partners including representatives from government, NGO partners, as well as tertiary institutions. “The Fynbos Conservation Awards recognises individuals’ outstanding contribution or achievement amongst their peers in the broad biodiversity conservation community, says Azisa Parker, Programme Developer, CAPE (Cape Action for People and the Environment). Up to three Fynbos Conservation Awards are given to recognise outstanding contributions or achievements in working towards the CAPE Programme’s goal. 

The three Fynbos Conservation Awards winners for 2014 are:

  • Dr Odette Curtis; for her passion, dedication and innovative approach towards the conservation of critically endangered biodiversity
  • Eugene Marinus; for his dedicated contribution to transformation and capacity development in the sector
  • Matthew Norval; for his dedicated and innovative contribution towards conservation

Professor Jeremy Midgley, with the University of Cape Town’s Department of Biological Studies, delivered the keynote address to launch the two fynbos books. 

The Fynbos Ecology, Evolution and Conservation of a Megadiverse Region book with contributions from 70 authors, provides the first synthesis in twenty years of the evolution, ecology and conservation of fynbos. The book’s scope is expanded to cover the Greater Cape Floristic Region, and the Succulent Karoo, where this contributes to further scientific understanding of this floristically diverse system. Fynbos has achieved iconic status as a centre of megadiversity and therefore a place to study the ecological underpinnings of massive evolutionary radiations. Researchers have made great advances in unravelling the complexities of fynbos ecology and evolution, and the region has contributed significant insights into the adaptive radiations of large lineages, conservation science, pollination biology, invasive plant biology, and palaeoanthropology. This research will contribute to understanding the origin, maintenance, and conservation of diversity elsewhere in the world.  It also discusses the challenges of contemporary management and conservation of the region's biodiversity in the face of accelerating global change.

Fynbos Conservation Awards ceremony 201

Book draws on practical knowledge

The publication, Fynbos - Ecology and Management, collates the vast amount of research done over the years about South Africa's species rich Cape Floristic Region into accessible and practical guidelines and principles. "It is a guide that will help people who visit, live, manage or own land in the Fynbos Biome to appreciate and manage its extraordinary natural richness," says Prof Karen Esler of the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology at Stellenbosch University. Like its predecessor, Karoo veld - Ecology and Management, the fynbos book is a palatable read that draws on the practical knowledge of experts and translates the science around many issues into guidelines and workable solutions: from the management of fire and invasive plants, insects and other animals to land restoration and working in a fynbos wetland area. More than 30 affiliates of the Fynbos Forum contributed to the book. They represent a range of stakeholders who are involved in the study, conservation and management of the Cape Floristic Region – from consultants, CapeNature and municipal conservation scientists to academics from various institutions in South Africa and abroad.

The CAPE Programme is proud to celebrate the 2014 Fynbos Conservation Awards winners and to be associated with two such eminent publications.   

Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE) is a partnership programme of government and civil society and currently has 35 signatory partners to the CAPE Memorandum of Understanding. These signatory partners have committed to working towards achieving the CAPE goal that ’by the year 2020, the co-operation of capable institutions ensures that the biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Region is conserved, sustainably utilised and effectively managed, delivering significant benefits to the people of the region in a way that is embraced by local communities, endorsed by government and recognised internationally’.

For more information contact:

Marilyn Martin

C.A.P.E Co-ordination & Communication Officer, DBIO/UBCM

+27 (0)21 799 8863

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