The Protected Areas in our landscaped are METTed
By Jen Newenham
On the 24thand 25thJuly the K2C hosted a Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT) Assessment training workshop as part of the GEF Protected Area (PA) Programme. The workshop was facilitated by members of the Game Rangers Association of Africa: Kevin McCann, Peter Chadwick and Greg Martindale. Both days were well attended by our PA partners in the K2C landscape which included wardens, ecologists or other representatives from LEDET, MTPA, and private reserves (including communal / co-managed areas), nearby or immediately adjacent to Kruger National Park. Section Rangers from KNP, whose sections are on the western boundary of KNP and who have protected area neighbours, also attended.
The aims of the workshop were: 1. to introduce the METT (latest SA version 3a), to those not yet familiar with it as a tool to assist protected area management; 2. Ensure all reserves completing METT assessments, do so in the same manner and with the same level of rigour so that there is consistency in the landscape, and also alignment with the KNP; and 3. By doing the METT assessments collectively, encourage (further) collaboration and discussions between the different entities, especially in the future
The SA METT is an excel spread sheet tool, (soon to be available online) comprising of six sheets and seventy indicators pertaining to different aspects of PA management. Questions are posed to address the indicators, which are then scored on the allocated scale. The METT assists protected area managers to identify issues hindering or contributing to effective management of their areas, so that these areas are more than ‘paper parks’. Effectively managed protected areas contribute to biodiversity and natural and cultural resource conservation, as well as meaningfully contribute to the national protected area network and South Africa’s commitment to the Convention of Biological Diversity.