Working together for water and biodiversity: Roelie Kloppers of Wildlands Conservation Trust, Ntate Mbuyiseli Xingwana of ERS/Motseng community, and Dan Rothberg of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund meet at Ntate Xingwana’s home in Motseng adjacent to the Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve, to discuss efforts to restore nearby grasslands that are under attack by invasive plants. Photo by Nicky McLeod
Running from the Drakensberg Mountains at the border with Lesotho to the Wild Coast at Port St. John's, the Mzimvubu River is one of the most important, and one of the last free-flowing, rivers in South Africa. The ecosystems that make up the river's catchment zone channel fresh water to the river and make that water available to 1 million human residents and the many, many other forms of life found here, inside one of the world's biodiversity hotspots. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is supporting multiple nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in South Africa to improve the management of the Mzimvubu River catchment to ensure water quality and quantity for people and biodiversity.
See our CEPF Google Earth tour of projects in the Mzimvubu Catchment.
CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. The Fund provides grants to and builds capacity of nongovernmental and private-sector organizations around the world that are working to help protect biodiversity hotspots—Earth’s most biologically rich, yet threatened, regions—and improve human well-being.
One of the hotspots where it has supported civil society and conservation is the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany (MPA) Hotspot. It lies along the east coast of southern Africa, below the Great Escarpment, extending from extreme southern Mozambique (south of the Limpopo River) and Mpumalanga province in South Africa (south of the Olifants River) in the north, through eastern Swaziland to the Eastern Cape province of South Africa in the south.
South Africa's Wildlands Conservation Trust, based in Hilton, serves as CEPF's regional implementation team, making sure that CEPF's conservation strategy for the hotspot is implemented and working with CEPF grantees to strengthen the conservation community in the hotspot. One focal area of CEPF's investment in MPA is the Mzimvubu River Catchment.