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The mandate of the Conservation of Agricultural Land Resources Act (Act 43 of 1983)...

is to provide for the maintenance of the production potential of land and control over the utilisation of natural resources of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote the conservation of soil, water sources and vegetation and for the combating of weeds and invader plants and matter connected therewith.

Policy imperatives of Landcare

  • Foster community custodianship of natural agricultural resources through groups and individual own initiatives for sustainable agricultural practises i.e. Soil conservation / LandCare committees inappropriate level of governance for bottom-up management of natural resources
  • The paradigm shift from destructive conventional farming system to Conservation Agriculture through dedicated policy, support incentives in the provision of no-till implements and fodder species for improved comprehensive agricultural commodity performance
  • Farm planning system in regulatory framework and incentive for the integrated farming community to guide all developmental programmes
  • Land degradation neutrality targets aligned, budgeted and achieved for the country in 2030 in line with sustainable development goals and Conventions
  • Skill development in schools level and out of schools youth for improved livelihoods and employment
  • Integrated sustainable system in land use management permit to foster compliance and risk minimization and building resilience through revamping of legislations
  • Improve government soil survey services and fertility system to improve the broader agricultural sector

What is the Landcare programme?

  • Landcare is a community-based initiative underpinned by the goal of optimising productivity and sustainable use of natural resources.  
  • The purpose of the programme is to enhance sustainable conservation of natural resources through a community based participatory approach, to create job opportunities through an Expanded Public Works Programme model (EPWP), to improve food security and well being of society as guided by six indivisible principles.

Six invisible Landcare principles

  1. Integrated Sustainable Natural Resource Management is embedded within a holistic policy and strategic framework where the primary causes of natural resource decline are recognised and addressed.
  2. Fostering group or community based and led natural resource management within a participatory framework that includes all land users, both rural and urban, so that they take ownership of the process and the outcomes.
  3. The development of sustainable livelihoods for individuals, groups and communities utilising empowerment strategies.
  4. Government, community and individual capacity building through targeted training, education and support mechanisms.
  5. The development of active and true partnerships between governments, LandCare groups and communities, non-government organisations and industry.
  6. The blending together of appropriate upper-level policy processes with bottom-up feedback mechanisms.

Landcare objectives

  • Provide a framework for individuals, community organisations, the public sector and the private sector through partnerships to optimise productivity and sustainability of the natural resources through management, protection and rehabilitation.
  • Develop the capacity and skills of land users through education, knowledge sharing, information provision, and participatory interaction for better access to and management of resources.
  • Support institutional building at all levels of governance for improved communication, networking, financial and other support services.
  • Empower all people to take responsibility for the care of the environment through knowledge and understanding.
  • Ensure as far as is practicable that resources are used at a rate within their capacity for renewal.
  • Maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of natural systems.
  • Minimise or avoid risks that lead to irreversible damage.
  • Maintain Biodiversity.

The Landcare programme facilitates community livelihoods while ensuring the government intends to manage natural agricultural resources.

The programme is advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) on sustainable food production (2) and on Land Degradation Neutrality (15) and related National Development Plan to move away from destructive industrial agriculture through Climate-Smart Conservation Agriculture.