CapeNature, the conservation authority for the Western Cape Province, South Africa, initiated a process in 2017 to strengthen adaptive management of the protected areas under its management. Management plans strive for adaptive management, yet few are structured in a way that enables the adaptive management cycle to function fully. To facilitate adaptive management, the planning process must be founded upon clearly articulated goals and measures of success. The GEF-5 Protected Area Project, Improving the Management Effectiveness of the Protected Areas Network, presented an opportunity for CapeNature to pilot the application of the Conservation Standards, a strategic adaptive management framework designed to help conservation teams achieve lasting impact.
The specific aim of improving how protected area management plans were developed, was to enable CapeNature and its managers to better measure effectiveness and success of its protected areas and adapt management strategies over time. CapeNature and the Endangered Wildlife Trust are currently the only conservation agencies in South Africa that have formally adopted the Conservation Standards.
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