Biodiversity Conversation Programme Empowers Communties

A biodiversity programme, aiming to protect and conserve the area surrounding the Ceres Mountain Fynbos Nature Reserve has been established. This initiative, funded by Perderkraal East Wind Farm in partnership with the Witzenberg Municipality, not only focuses on environmental conservation but also aims to uplift the local youth by creating employment opportunities and fostering skills development for unemployed youth within the area. 

“The WBCCCP represents a collaborative effort to preserve our natural heritage while empowering communities. By investing in conservation and sustainable development, we aim to create a brighter future for both community members and the environment," Gwynne-Lee Bocherds, Economic Development Manager for Perdekraal East Wind Farm. 

Launched earlier this year and set to conclude in December 2024, the Witzenberg Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change Programme (WBCCCP) is about empowering communities and nurturing a culture of environmental responsibility. This programme encompasses a range of activities, such as removing and managing alien vegetation, monitoring and controlling unauthorized land occupants, establishing and maintaining fire breaks, managing soil erosion, and routinely removing litter, to ensure conservation of the nature reserve. 

Through employment opportunities, skills development, educational and awareness initiatives, the programme aims to equip young individuals with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.  

“We envision a future where communities can coexist with nature by fostering green jobs and equipping locals with essential skills, thereby paving the way for sustainable economic growth and environmental sustainability. The empowerment of youth leads to innovation and entrepreneurship leading to a greener, more prosperous tomorrow,” added Borcherds.