Rare dryland biodiversity
The Succulent Karoo Biome, which begins in southern Namibia and extends to the Cape Province of South Africa, is the world’s only recognized arid biodiversity hotspot. The biome hosts over 6,000 plant species—36% of which are unique to the region, and 17% of which are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species—as well as collectors who illegally target these species. Due to the aridity of the area, water scarcity and land degradation from livestock are also of urgent concern to local stakeholders.
Partnership for stewardship
Enter SKEP, which stands for the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Partnership, and means “to serve” in Afrikaans. The partnership links more than 60 scientific experts and 400 local stakeholders representing government, academia, NGOs, private sector interests and local communities. SKEP aims to increase awareness of the unique biome from local to global levels, expand protected areas, support the creation of a matrix of harmonious land uses, and use partnerships to strengthen the landscape.