Shepherding has been on a declining trend in all commercial livestock farming regions in South Africa, resulting in the loss of local employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, and degradation of farming land. The Shepherding Back Biodiversity (SBB) project attempts to reverse this trend as a tool to support conservation friendly land use and to redevelop skills that are being lost. The focus is on removing capacity barriers to facilitate the uptake of more wildlife-friendly livestock farming practices, by using herders as the enablers. The project also seeks to use the ethical brand called Fair Game (FG) in order implement an innovative mechanism to finance the long term sustainability of the project through payment for ecosystem services. The above approach aligns with the Green Fund’s Environmental and Natural Resources Management funding window.
The project involves an area covering 22 000 hectares in the Karoo encompassing three farms (now collectively now as Kromelboog).
The Green Fund Management Committee approved a recoverable grant of R 7.5 million in June 2014, and operation commenced in December 2014. The Green Fund has to date disbursed the full committed amount.
To date, the project has provided 14 direct jobs have been created, and a total of 36 individuals (direct, indirect & induced) have been supported by the project. A total of 10 individuals have received Green Skills Training to date.
The project is located a short distance outside of the town of Beaufort West within the Beaufort West Local Municipality, Central Karoo District Municipality, Western Cape Province, South Africa.