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TMNP and Reunion Island National Park

Exploring Natural Heritage Management Excellence

South African National Parks and the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) launched the bipartite agreement between the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and Reunion Island National Park. The agreements were signed at a ceremony attended by Mr Remy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer of the AFD, and Dr Luthando Dziba of SANParks in 2019. The project will benefit from 1.5 million euros in financial support from AFD, including 1 212 730 million euros to SANParks and 287 270 thousand euros to Reunion Island National Park. The SANParks Programme of work is led by Augustine Morkel, AFD-TMNP Programme Manager, under the leadership of Megan Taplin, Table Mountain National Park, Park Manager.

The funding is being used for Peer-to-Peer strategic knowledge and experiences (studies and pilot projects) exchanges (virtual and in the field in South Africa and Reunion Island) between the two Management teams, and their partners, guided by the following impact focus themes:

  • World Natural Heritage Outstanding Universal Value (UNESCO Label Management)
  • Ecological and Evolutionary Processes integrity
  • Ecological Restoration (Invasive Plants control, Invasive Animals control, Fire)
  • Climate Change
  • Natural Heritage and Cultural Heritage nexus
  • Tourism and Economic activity (impact) and value
  • Awareness and foregrounding of the OUV in the hearts and minds of critical stakeholders
  • Capitalisation and Valorisation of the project results and outcomes

The emphasis is to create opportunities to explore solutions for persistent conservation challenges in innovative ways as a space for thinking of alternatives and for implementing alternative approaches.

Outcomes seek to address the management of vulnerabilities related to the effects of climate change and its consequences for the territories of PNRun and TMNP, governance and dialogue with stakeholders involved in the management and use of the parks, and management of Cape Town’s icon in the CFR World Natural Heritage Site. Joint challenges include invasive alien species, illegal plant harvesting, protecting threatened species, climate change and restoring degraded habitats.

The project will enable new collaboration opportunities with partner research bodies including conservation partners and research institutions in both territories. The peer-to-peer strategic exchanges will allow the teams of the two parks to strengthen their capacity by exchanging experiences around park management, especially with the Table Mountain National Park Management Plan review taking place in 2025. The AFD funding allows the exploration of critical questions for the Management Plan review. The project will seek to firmly position SANParks as an exemplary leader in Protected Area and World Natural Heritage Outstanding Universal Value Management through the pilot projects to be implemented.

Central to the success of both Parks is their working relationship with partner organisations and the communities surrounding and making use of the Park.