English Français

Engaging local communities in the conservation of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site

Mobilizing the COMPACT initiative

© OUR PLACE The World Heritage / Geoff Mason

Local communities and indigenous peoples are, and have been for centuries, the custodians of many World Heritage sites.

Launched in the year 2000, the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation (COMPACT) initiative was established as a partnership between the World Heritage Centre, UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) and the United Nations Foundation (UNF) to demonstrate how community-based initiatives can significantly increase the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in globally significant protected areas.

The transboundary Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site, composed of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg National Park in South Africa and the Sehlabathebe National Park in Lesotho, is renowned for its spectacular natural landscape, its importance as a haven for many threatened and endemic species, as well as its wealth of rock paintings made by the San people over a period of 4000 years. The local communities that inhabit this landscape today are important contemporary custodians of the site and its values, which go beyond the natural and cultural value recognized under the World Heritage Convention.


Vision

The Outstanding Universal Value of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site is maintained through the flow and realization of both tangible and intangible benefits to local communities as stewards of these features.

Read more


COMPACT initiative

COMPACT is an innovative model for engaging communities in conservation and shared governance of World Heritage sites and other protected areas.

Read more


Results

Implementation of the 2018-2022 Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (MDP WHS) COMPACT Site Strategy through small grants to support clusters of community-based activities.

Read more

Vision

Recent policy and conceptual developments in World Heritage, and in conservation generally, set the stage for new approaches that engage indigenous and local communities in World Heritage.

The inclusion of communities as one of the five Strategic Objectives in the World Heritage Convention (the 5 C’s) reflects an increasing demand for community engagement at all stages of the World Heritage process, and for rights-based approaches that link conservation and sustainable development. By the adoption of the World Heritage policy on sustainable development, the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention have acknowledged the great potential of World Heritage to contribute to inclusive social and economic development, environmental sustainability, peace and security.

By endorsing the COMPACT community conservation programme, the Maloti-Drakensberg Park is making headway towards putting into action this landmark policy, which aims at improving the quality of life of local communities.

COMPACT initiative

COMPACT is an innovative model for engaging communities in conservation and shared governance of World Heritage sites and other protected areas.

The Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation (COMPACT) initiative is an innovative model for engaging communities in conservation and shared governance of World Heritage sites and other protected areas and is based on the proposition that community-based initiatives can significantly increase the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation in World Heritage sites while helping to improve the livelihoods of local people’. With an emphasis on complementing and adding value to existing conservation programmes, COMPACT uses small grants (up to a maximum of US$50,000) to support clusters of community-based activities that are intended to strengthen biodiversity conservation in and around protected areas.

Today, COMPACT is working with an increasing number of World Heritage sites around the world, notably in Africa, with over one million beneficiaries and more than 400 small grants awarded to community-based activities in the World Heritage land- and seascapes.

Results

The Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site COMPACT Site Strategy is a product of synchronization of parallel processes that took place in the two countries co-managing the MDP WHS (Lesotho and South Africa).


2018-2022 Maloti-Drakensberg Park
World Heritage Site (MDP WHS)
COMPACT Site Strategy

Download

These processes culminated into a set of three reports for each country: Consultation and Scoping Report and the Baseline Assessment, Conceptual Model and Strategy Framework Report all of which informed formulation of COMPACT Site Strategies. These processes were made possible through the commitment of the UNDP country offices and the site management institutions, namely Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Wildlife and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture of Lesotho as implementing partners to the programme.

The COMPACT initiative in the Maloti-Drakensberg Park has been initiated thanks to the financial support of the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences through the UNESCO/Netherlands Funds-in-Trust cooperation, UNDP Lesotho, Small Grants Programme Lesotho, Small Grants Programme South Africa and the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Project, and led to the adoption of the 2018-2022 Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (MDP WHS) COMPACT Site Strategy. Funding from the Government of Norway is enabling the implementation of the MDP WHS COMPACT Site Strategy through the awarding of small grants to support clusters of community-based activities.

Partners

UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme
Netherlands Funds-in-Trust
Government of Norway