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The Crocodile River Reserve's project team set about identifyng a target area.
The ideal area for a Nature Reserve was informed by the Threatened Ecosystem listed in 2012 (earlier draft listings were used); on the National Protected Area Expansion Strategy (which placed large area adjoiing the Cradle of HUmankind as a "focus"), and the Conservation Plan of Gauteng (the C-Plan).
The Project has avoided crossing provincial boundaries in this first phase; already City of Johannesburg, Mogale City, the Cradle Management Authority and the City of Tshwane have a direct interest. Complicated enough!
The area in the West i.e. inside the Cradle of Humankind is following a different process, considering the role of an existing Management Authority and an International Agreement.
To the east, any property still intact, or significantly adjoining intact portions is viable.
The map below show the TARGET area within a green line. (Roads are show in orange and blue, with the provincial boundary in green)
While investigating a solution to the issues listed above, it was found that the most feasible and attractive option would be to have this area proclaimed a Nature Reserve and managed by our own Management Authority.
You will all have been approached by a member of the interim committee or a neighbour, received an email or an sms in the last month – and perhaps even more than once.
This is as we bump-up against a self-imposed deadline to deliver signed Biodiversity Agreements to the Province. These agreements are intended as a “stepping stone” towards our end vision. We will apply to the Province to become a formally protected area under legislation. Individual landowners will agree to either be a formal Nature Reserve or a Protected Environment. Both fall under the management of an elected Management Authority, and that authority will be tasked with ensuring conservation objectives are met.
Who sets the objectives? What are the restrictions? What will happen to our land? How can we trust the State to do the right thing? These are some of the many questions we have fielded in the last while.
The aspiration to have this area secured for conservation has come a long way.
Serious efforts in the early 90's brought landowners together behind a dream to protect and preserve a pristine landscape. The dream was scuppered, but the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy, Oori Game Farm and the Roodekrans Game Reserve survived to pay triibute to that dream.