Supporting community-based activities for COMPACT (Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme) in Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (MDP WHS)

UNESCO, through its cooperation with the Government of Norway
Maloti Drakensberg Transfontier Programme; In Lesotho and South Africa - Ministries of agriculture; local government; department of range resource management & community Based organisations
Three main key objectives: 1) To sustainably conserve the threatened and endemic biodiversity as well maintain the ecosystem integrity and functionality of the MDP WHS and its Buffer Zone in partnership with Communities. 2) To conserve and protect the cultural and natural heritage features of the MDP WHS and its Buffer Zone while contributing to enhancing the area’s spiritual significance and sense of place, as well as supporting sustainable eco-cultural tourism opportunities. 3) To develop and enhance the resilience of local communities through the implementation of environmentally friendly and climate-responsive community-based livelihood initiatives.

It is in pursuance of the agenda that, the Maloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site is adopting the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme (COMPACT) approach. COMPACT 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 to support clusters of community-based activities that are intended to strengthen biodiversity conservation in and around protected areas (UNESCO, 2014). It is a jointly funded programme of the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme with the UNESCO as the institutional host of the programme. The initiation of the COMPACT project in Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (MDP WHS) has been jointly funded by the UNDP Country Office in Lesotho, GEF SGP in Lesotho and South Africa, UNESCO-Netherlands Funds-in-Trust Cooperation, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture and Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Programme (MDTP)
With the MDP WHS being a transboundary site shared between Lesotho and South Africa, two separate but parallel processes were undertaken to produce site strategies for the COMPACT initiative.  The two processes have been collated to form a single Strategy with a Joint Results Framework for the MDP WHS which includes the Sehlabathebe National Park WHS in Lesotho and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park WHS in South Africa. This was undertaken through an extensive stakeholder consultative process with Lesotho and South African Stakeholders from 2017 – 2018. The MDP WHS COMPACT Site Strategy and Joint Results Framework identifies priorities for implementing the COMPACT objectives across the MDP WHS in both Lesotho and South Africa hence this project. Activities include improving rangelands conditions, training on veld condition assessments, development and implementation of grazing and fire management plans, wool and mohair improvement, wetlands rehabilitation, etc

Sehlabathebe NP
Specific Area (Village, Town, District, Province): 
Sehlabathebe Village
HQ of the Initiative: 
Maseru, Lesotho
2020 to 2021
Is the timeframe likely to be extended?: 
Elaborate on likelihood to extend: 
There has been a delay in the release of funds.
Thematic Focus: 
Agriculture, Community Livelihood Dev, Tourism
1st Contact Name: 
Nthabiseng Majara
1st Contact Email: 
2nd Contact Name: 
Stanley Damane
2nd Contact Email: