False Bay Coastal Conservation Partnership Update
The precarious state of our oceans and ways in which to manage it sustainably is set to come under the spotlight in a series of regional workshops. Over the next few weeks special attention will be given to False Bay, lying adjacent to the city of Cape Town and the iconic Table Mountain. The Bay is an iconic landscape in its own right and needs improved management with a focus on its socio-economic needs and environmental realities. A range of subjects including fishing and harvesting of marine life, tourism, the coastal economy, as well as marine policies and direct and indirect coastal user conflict are some of the topics that will be discussed.
WWF-SA – through the Honda Marine Parks Programme – and the City of Cape Town have partnered to support the False Bay Coastal Conservation Partnership, with the following objectives:
- Create a platform (the False Bay Forum) for stakeholders (civil society) to engage meaningfully with all governance institutions and have input into coastal management issues;
- Improve the well-being of the marine socio-ecological system;
- Support and strengthen local organisations and initiatives;
- Improve collective management efforts;
- Develop a shared vision for False Bay and use this to unite partners from several industries and interest groups; and
- Develop an Integrated Coastal and Marine False Bay Management Plan.
To begin this process, a public workshop was held in Simonstown in mid-February, with the aim of engaging the various stakeholder groups and to begin to find common ground and understanding amongst all the stakeholders. With a diverse range of interests represented at the workshop, and with the fairly challenging task of coming up with a shared vision for False Bay, identification of the priority tasks is needed to get from the current state of management to the future vision for the Bay; it was a jam-packed, interactive, and demanding day.
The results were hugely encouraging! The positive, co-operative attitudes of the workshop participants; the strong commonality that emerged; the overlap of the issues, concerns and priorities; and the shared vision that emerged; all indicated that this process could genuinely represent the people of False Bay and their needs, and could positively contribute towards the improved, integrated management of False Bay.
Following this public workshop, a series of focussed, single stakeholder workshops will now be held to facilitate further input from the users of False Bay. Through this process it is hoped that the issues identified in the first workshop will be further detailed, unpacked, and prioritized by each user group, making sure that every stakeholder has a real chance to add their voice to the process.
This is a very new, dynamic space, and WWF-SA is excited to be able to be part of enabling the process of stakeholder participation and integrated coastal management in South Africa.
All Photos courtesy of Peter Chadwick – Manager: WWF Honda Marine Parks Programme