© CI/Photo by Tessa Mildenhall
Focus of the SKEPPIES Program

Building Resilience to Climate Change

The Succulent Karoo is a semi-arid area where summer temperatures regularly soar above 40 degrees Celsius and annual rainfall of as little as 50 mm per year is common in some areas.  Projections based on climate change models indicate that the Succulent Karoo will be the one hardest hit by climate change, becoming increasingly hotter and drier. The ability to adapt to these predicted pressures will be critical to the survival of both people and the diverse species found in the Succulent Karoo.

To enable local people to adapt and become more resilient to the expected impacts of climate change, SKEPPIES provides programme mentorship to small “green” businesses in Namaqualand.  Restoration and maintenance of ecosystem services such as grazing and water are important parts of this focal area.  The programme focuses on the application of resource saving, for example installing rainwater tanks or wind-break materials to make businesses more resilient to extreme weather events.  Project implementers are also equipped with climate adaptation tools, technologies and techniques, such as the climate diaries in which project implementers record daily weather events, enabling them to plan activities in a manner that will avoid disruption by weather events. Learn more about our Climate Diaries »

Our Initiative: Building Resilience to Climate Change

Food Security and Land Reform

SKEPPIES supports projects that can leverage financial and technical assistance to beneficiaries of the land reform process or farmers living on communal lands in prioritized areas to protect and enhance ecosystems and food security in the Succulent Karoo. 

SKEPPIES supported an Anatolian Breeding Dog Project that provides Anatolian dogs to farmers surrounding the Namaqua National park.  These specially bred guard dogs reduce the killing of predators by farmers; reduce gin trapping and the killing of untargeted animals; help to restore the natural food chain; and save emerging farmers thousands of rands by reducing stock losses.

Our Initiative: Food Security and Land Reform

Greening Economic Development

Dwindling resources are causing mines in Namaqualand to down scale and stock farming, another mainstay of the Namaqualand economy, is becoming increasingly marginal as a result of degraded rangelands. SKEPPIES are supporting people from the area to build a new green economy by funding project ideas that rely less on non-renewable resources, but rather tap into the many sustainable options that the environment offers. Through the development of professional management plans and market analysis, SKEPPIES projects are equipped with tools and skills to do their own marketing, access markets, raise funds and manage their finances.

Our Initiative: Greening Economic Development

Expanding Mentorship

Through dedicated project managers we are helping grantees to realise the responsibilities of receiving a grant and immediately engage with them in formal business management training.  The team provides practical assistance to these grantees by, for example, helping them to identify new buyers for their products or to establish a basic bookkeeping system.  When grantees encounter problems, the SKEPPIES team provide encouragement and practical advice to ensure the goals of the project are achieved.

SKEPPIES is about supporting people to become stewards of and to benefit from the conservation and sustainable use of their natural resources.  It brings to bear experts in the fields of conservation and business to support local dreams — this is the heart and soul of SKEPPIES.