The Western Cape Umbrella Association For Conservation of Private Land

Best Practices & Conservation Guideline Factsheets

Alien Vegetation Management

Alien Vegetation Management

By removing invasive alien plants from your property, you will help reduce their spread.  This guideline will help property owners and managers to best manage their property within the laws regulating invasive alien plant species, set norms and standards for the management of alien vegetation clearing programs and in the best interest of biodiversity management.

Cape Nature Factsheet Alien Grasses

Alien grasses are grass species that have been introduced by people or animals to areas outside their place of origin. This guide will help you manage alien grasses on your property.



Farming is a primary industry based on non-consumptive utilisation of natural resources. It is essential that the ecological functioning of these resources is not entirely transformed through negative impacts. Work with Nature – the more removed your farming system is from Nature the higher the costs involved. Responsible and rewarding farming is based on production at the lowest financial and environmental cost.

Tourism and Recreation

Tourism & Recreation Use

Recreation in natural areas is an excellent tool for reconnecting people with the environment. Besides the important educational function it is also a possible income stream and there are several opportunities that can be developed without compromising the conservation integrity of the area. When tourism or recreational uses for an area are investigated, the most important aspect to take into consideration is the objective for why you want to encourage public use of your land.

Fire Prevention

Fire Management & Prevention

These guidelines provide the essential information for managing wildfire as well as using fire for ecological benefit. It is imperative to acquaint oneself first with the pertinent legislation.

CapeNature Factsheet Fire Management

Although fynbos is a fire-adapted system, just one or two inappropriate fires at the wrong time of year or wrong frequency, can cause the local extinction of many species. This guide will assist landowners with their Fire Management.

Environmental Management

Sustainable Utilisation of Natural Resources

Some farming enterprises are based entirely on living resources. In order to supplement income many landowners have now begun utilising various living resources. This document focuses on the wise utilisation of these resources through understanding the autecology of the species and the ecology of the vegetation they inhabit.

Sensitive Development

Development in natural areas must maintain the integrity of the local environment and must not compromise the ecosystem components and functioning within the landscape. All associated facilities and services will impact on the surrounding natural environment; it is your duty as custodian to ensure that these impacts are minimised through mitigation.

Guide Tool for Ecosystem Management Plan

The Cape Floristic Region has been identified as one of the critical biological hotspots on earth. With the unnaturally accelerated process of cyclic climate change a reality, we need to make provision for biodiversity to evolve. Whilst we need to conserve as large and varied an area as possible, we also need to ensure that the ecosystem processes and species diversity are maintained at their highest possible level. To this end, generic Ecosystem Management Plans have been compiled to assist the landowner in doing so.

Forest Ecosystem Management Plan

Our forests are threatened by the very exotic tree species brought in as a substitute for the timber industry. Also, the use of fire in maintaining fynbos ecosystems has restricted forests to fire-safe habitats. In this Ecosystem Management Plan we present management actions through which we hope the grandeur of forests will persist.

Fynbos Ecosystem Management Plan

Visitors to the Cape Floral Kingdom marvel at the stunning array of colours, textures and utterly breath-taking landscapes – one cannot help but be mesmerised by the splendour. Yet we have become jaded. Alien invasive vegetation has become the focus of our attention and erodes our enthusiasm and financial resources. The reality is that now more than ever do we need to recapture the excitement of this magnificent jewel. In this Ecosystem Management Plan we present pragmatic solutions to management issues and hope to rekindle awareness and reverence for this globally unique ecosystem.

Karoo Ecosystem Management Plan

In this Ecosystem Management Plan, we hope to share critical management issues and illustrate that best management of arid ecosystems requires nothing more than understanding and patience. These are sensitive ecosystems and damage done far outlives our mortality.

Renosterveld Ecosystem Management Plan

In this Ecosystem Management Plan, we present pragmatic solutions to management issues and we hope to promote appreciation and cultivate custodianship of this globally unique, threatened ecosystem.

Thicket Ecosystem Management Plan

In the Fynbos Biome, Thickets are fascinating dynamic relics of a previous climate regime and yet few people are aware of its presence or even that they are mismanaging and abusing it. In this Ecosystem Management Plan, we hope to create awareness of the presence of this Biome in the Western Cape as well as emphasise the sensitivity of this Biome to the incorrect use of fire and over-utilisation by small stock, especially goats.

Soil Management

Soil Management

Your soil is a precious and valuable resource that is easily damaged. Maintain and improve your soil by adopting the practices outlined below. This document will give you an understanding of the mechanisms of erosion and the methods that can be implemented to reclaim eroded areas and remediate those prone to its ravages.

CapeNature Factsheet Soil in Renosterveld Areas

Renosterveld is typically found on shale-derived soils that have a high clay content. Shale-based soils form over shale rock parent material developing from the deposition and compression of clay and silt in ancient inland lakes and seas.

Water Conservation

Aquatic Ecosystem Management Plan

Aquatic ecosystems are highly productive and dynamic, yet vulnerable to degradation by inappropriate and environmentally insensitive activities. We are compelled to ensure the required ecological functioning of these delicate systems. Through this Ecosystem Management Plan we hope to encourage communicable awareness and reverence for this most essential of ecosystems.

Coastal Ecosystem Management Plan

Through this Ecosystem Management Plan we hope to create an understanding of not only the essential processes that are often disrupted, but also management interventions to facilitate continued functioning of coastal ecosystems.

Biodiversity Conservation

CapeNature Factsheet Biodiversity

Biodiversity refers to the various life forms within a specific ecosystem and it is a direct measure of the health of the ecosystem. The more different forms of life that occur the more healthy the ecosystem.

CapeNature Factsheet Dangerous snakes of South Africa

Snakes are a key component in the balance of nature. Small snakes feed on many harmful bugs and insects. Larger ones eat mice, rats, and other small mammals that can destroy crops or damage personal property. Without snakes, we would be completely overrun by these nuisance rodents. Also, snakes serve as a food source for larger predators such as hawks, owls, herons, and carnivorous mammals. It is important to conserve snakes and educate people on the importance of snakes as a link in conservation.

CapeNature Factsheets

CapeNature Factsheet Climate Change

CapeNature is a governmental organisation responsible for maintaining wilderness areas and public nature reserves in Western Cape Province, South Africa. CapeNature was very involved with the establishment of WCCSA in 2003. We work closely together with CapeNature to combine efforts in responsible management of private land. They compiled a series of factsheets that they have made available for our use.


CapeNature Factsheet Stewardship

The Stewardship concept is a new way of achieving conservation protection. CapeNature has a dedicated Biodiversity Stewardship Programme which offers a range of conservation options and which aims to set up positive, proactive partner ships with you, the landowner, to support and encourage you as you take on the responsibility of managing and protecting the natural assets that are in your care. In order to support this management, appropriate benefits will be offered for land that has been set aside for conservation.

News Articles

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