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New permits to control collecting and using wild Cape flora

CapeNature has completed a ground-breaking new policy that will allow traditional healers and others to harvest certain species of wild flora in a controlled manner.

The policy provides a framework which allows members of Natural Resource User Groups (NRUGs) access to CapeNature-managed protected areas to collect and use wild plants for medicinal and cultural purposes.

MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell talks to Kieno Kammies about the new policy which will allow for control harvesting of wild flora in Capenature managed protected areas.

It is groundbreaking work and I am very excited about this because when we try and protect species we usually try and keep people away.

Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning - Western Cape

He says they have learned that this approach does not work.

The 39% population growth in the Western Cape has put pressure on the province's unique biodiversity, he explains.

At CapeNature, we believe we need to give people access to nature, get them into our reserves so that they learn from nature.

Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning - Western Cape

CapeNature is a governmental organisation responsible for forbiodiversity conservation in the Western Cape.

A solution needed to be found to help people for traditional, cultural and medical purposes to use nature and Bredell says it is implementing permits under controlled circumstances, working with communities.

We are also going to use this as a research project for CapeNature.

Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning - Western Cape

We need to build trust with communities so if we tell them certain species are under threat they will believe us and work with us and I think that is crucial going forward.

Anton Bredell, MEC for Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning - Western Cape

He says the policy is always open to change and that will be done in consultation with traditional leaders.

Listen to the interview below:


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