The PAMS(Protected Area Management System) project, funded by CEPF as part of the MPAH programme at WESSA’s Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, started in January 2012 with a training session for the six GRAA team members..

The groundwork (initial management effectiveness evaluation, scope and policy setting) was completed in early February. Work on the main part of the project, the Planning phase, was completed by mid-September and was written up and handed to WESSA at the end of September. Elements of the final phase, checking, will be done by the end of November and the WESSA team will then review the system and begin to put it into practise. All this work has involved GRAA members working together with WESSA staff and has been a very useful and interactive learning process.

After six months, in May next year, the GRAA team and WESSA staff will conduct an internal audit to check implementation effectiveness, after which, in July, Wayne Lotter of the PAMS Foundation will carry out an independent external audit. This will be followed by a second METT assessment by the Wildlands Conservation Trust to determine management effectiveness changes (hopefully improvements) attributable to PAMS.

While CEPF has funded a total of 55 working days, the team members have put in a lot more work than that, all of this, plus travelling and other costs being to their own account . We hope that this project will expose the value of PAMS and open the door to future funded projects for GRAA.

Jan Phelan, the project manager, presented a paper on PAMS at the World Ranger Congress in Tanzania.


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