July 2013 Report Back
The development of five new TMF Small Grants Facilities has been a major focus for the Fund during the last period. We are pleased to announce that we have successfully managed to increase the funding available, over three years, to the executants (Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor, the, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, and partners in the City of Cape Town Biodiversity Network). Contracting is now underway. In the latter case TMF commissioned and has now completed an extensive review of the small granting functions completed by the Cape Flats Nature project. This process involved a significant amount of consultation and was recently presented and approved at a Community Partners workshop at Harmony Flats.
The second major focus of work for the Fund has been the completion of the Table Mountain Fund book, which through spectacular imagery and eloquent narration, tells the story of the Fund - its history, its people and its work to protect the irreplaceable biodiversity and natural wilderness areas of the Cape Floristic Region. This stunning book was launched at Buitenverwachting Wine Estate, on the slopes of Table Mountain, on Saturday 22nd June. Authors, artists, conservationists and well known business personalities gathered together in the winter sun to reminisce about the early days of the Fund and the fantastic conservation impact it has had on the Cape to date. Guests were treated to a delicious breakfast while listening to inspiring talks by the book’s author John Yeld and outgoing TMF Manager Onno Huyser. Each guest also received a copy of the book, signed by the author. TMF would like to thank Buitenverwachting for hosting the launch and the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, managed by Nedbank Private Wealth, for supporting the publication of the book.
TMF has also continued to play a leading role in the Conversion of Virgin Land Liaison Forum. The Forum recently met at Elsenburg, with over 50 attendees from across government, NGOs, and civil society. We have engaged extensively with the WWF Sustainable Agriculture Programme and the Centre for Environmental Rights, which was established by TMF and other partners, and we are pleased to report that we are developing increasingly sharper and more sophisticated approaches to the insidious problem of unauthorized clearing of virgin veld.