Formalisation of protection for all the areas currently zoned Nature Reserve (green) to be declared a Protected Area as part of the Rooiels Nature Reserve
Background and Rationale
ROOIELS COASTAL NATURE RESERVE – SUBMISSION OF CONSIDERATIONS TO REVIEW COMMITTEE WITH A VIEW TO APPLYING FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE EXISTING PROTECTED AREA
QUALIFYING CRITERIA AND CONTRIBUTION TO WCPAES OBJECTIVES
Inclusion of a wide range of ecosystems and the creation of various corridors
The target area (as set out as an Annexure to the PAES document), comprises the Koppie at the entrance to Rooiels, the coastal edge all along Rooiels which includes seeps and wetland, the Rooiels River estuary, the riverine area along the Rooiels kloof, the mountain slope above the river and the coastal transition zone which links the terrestrial and marine environments.
The target area is uniquely rich and contains a wide diversity of habitats and nature elements which are not usually found in such a single short stretch of the coastal belt.
That target area is uniquely situated and chosen to create a vital link between the core zone of Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and the buffer zone of the coastal and inland smallholdings (most of the latter have Critical Biodiversity status).
Combined with the naturally vegetated fynbos road verges in Rooiels , the target area will (a) create a corridor through the village of Rooiels between mountains-and-sea, (b) create a corridor along the coast-to-coast along between the smallholdings and the Rooiels estuary and (c) create a corridor from the core zone of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve to the coast and link it to the existing RENR.
As part of her commitment to environmental integrity, Dr Rabie, the new mayor of the Overstrand Municipality, in her inaugural address pledged her support to the Rooiels community in their endeavours to support biodiversity. Expanding the RENR would be a natural part of this initiative.
The village of Rooiels is a conservation community, situated directly between the core zone of the Kogelberg Biosphere (KBR) and the buffer zone to the Biosphere.
The Rooiels community has for many years adopted the Rooiels Vision (see Rooiels website https://rooiels.weebly.com/) as its community ethos. The Rooiels Vision is a document approved by all the community organisations of Rooiels and it is continuously communicated to property owners. In essence its aim is to safeguard of the natural ecological-heritage of the area which has been established and maintained over decades.
The Rooiels Vision emphasises that, only through a strong community spirit and by putting the Vision for Rooiels into action, can the natural splendour of Rooiels as the gateway to the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve be maintained and conserved.
The Rooiels community is committed to conserve its natural character by:
The majority of property owners in the Rooiels community actively support conservation with some 90% indicating that nature was a factor in their decision to buy or live in Rooiels (Link to Survey). The community will be engaged in a participation process in the present application process for expansion of the RENR.
Members of the Rooiels community have the capabilities to assist the Overstrand Municipality and CapeNature in preparing the draft the application documentation for expansion of the RENR and to perform the required legal work.
CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN AND SOME SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS
As the target area for inclusion is highly diverse and as such some of the elements of the properties proposed for inclusion in the RENR may require special attention:
Declaration of the target area as a Nature Reserve and as a Protected Area, with a legally enforceable management plan, will greatly support Overstrand Municipality and the Rooiels community in their conservation and biodiversity aims.