In 2012, LANDWORKS™ began implementing the FynbosFire project on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme and the South African National Department of Environmental Affairs’ Natural Resource Management programme, through funding from the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund.

The Special Climate Change Fund granted US$3.5m to South Africa for a project to implement Community-based fire management in the Fynbos Biome. The Biome extends in a broad 100 to 200 kilometer swathe along the South African East Coast from Port Elizabeth to the Western Cape and then up the West Coast.

The FynbosFire Project

Reducing wildland fire risk in response to climate change

The Fynbos Biome is a fire adapted Mediterranean ecosystem with the highest plant species richness per square km in the world.

This United Nations Development Programme-supported project – that we named the FynbosFire Project – was aimed at developing sustainable interventions to reform the approach to managing wildfires, specifically in the Fynbos Biome, given that Fynbos is dependent to a large degree on wildfire for regeneration.

The project sought to encourage interventions to minimise the negative impact of wildfire yet ensure the sustainability of the unique Fynbos Biome. The project was successfully concluded in April 2018.

ACHIEVEMENTS

The GEF FynbosFire Toolkit is an aid to Fire Protection Association (FPA) managers to assist them in their recruitment of new FPA members (landowners), to encourage the formation of new FPAs, to promote inter-FPA knowledge sharing and to foster preparedness during extension work and meetings.

A Guide to Integrated Fire Management is a one of its kind handbook that explores legal frameworks, reviews the relationship between landowners, land management and wildfire, and provides detail on the formation of FPAs, which are at the heart of the implementation of IFM. It also provides pro forma documentation to guide FPAs in the protocols of compliance and the recruitment of new members.

Membership of Fire Protection Associations has more than doubled since the project inception

Automated Weather Stations installed across the Fynbos Biome

people trained in IFM services

AFIS field terminals installed across the Fynbos Biome

new district-wide FPAs established

FPAs now have the adaptive capacity to manage risks associated with climate-induced wildfires

Firewise Communities established in low income villages

FPA websites established with a range or resources

Setting up Voluntary FireWise Communities

The project employed members of rural communities in four Voluntary Firewise Communities and trained them to adapt to and increase their resilience to climate change induced problems, such as wildfire risk.

The model that was developed as a sub-project of the FynbosFire Project employed forty participants for three days of the week. Today, these communities continuing to build instill Firewise principles in their communities in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa.

Sir Lowry’s Pass Village

– Cape Metropole

Goedverwacht

– Piketberg

Kranshoek

– Plettenberg Bay

Clarkson

– Koukamma Municipality