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8.1 Annual audit procedure

8.1.1 METT-SA – Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool South Africa

The METT-SA is a rapid, site-level assessment tool adapted from the World Bank and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) system (second edition, 2007). The system is based on the idea that good protected-area management follows a process comprising six distinct stages or elements:

It begins with understanding the context of existing values and threats (where are we now?), then progress through planning (where do we want to be?), followed by allocation of resources (inputs) (what do we need?). As a result of management actions (processes) (how do we go about it?), it eventually produces products and services (outputs) (what were the results?), which result in impacts or outcomes (what did we achieve?).

This version has been compiled so that it can be applied to the full range of protected areas managed by all C.A.P.E partners. It also applies to protected areas in other regions, and, with minor adaptations, could be applied outside of South Africa as well. It may also be used for marine protected areas (MPAs) and islands, but, in the long run, it may become necessary to amend the system to be more specific to these areas. In addition, a system for off-reserve conservation areas, such as conservancies or stewardships, may need to be developed.

When applying METT-SA, it is important for the following to be kept in mind:

  • The METT-SA is intended to report on the reserve’s progress. Thus, the score is the baseline against which future assessments are made to see if there has been an improvement.
  • It is site-specific and must therefore not be used to compare scores between different protected areas.
  • It is a useful tool to give indications of management trends. In this version, the six elements of the management process, as defined in the original version, are scored as subsets of the total. This gives an indication of where management should strive for improvement.
  • It is not intended to replace more detailed assessments as part of adaptive management systems.
  • The METT-SA has limitations in the quantitative measurement of outcomes, and these should be measured by more objective and quantitative systems.
  • This version adjusts the total score where questions are irrelevant.
  • Often, low scores on some questions could be a reflection on the organisation as a whole, and do not necessarily point to issues over which the protected-area manager has control. The performance of managers should therefore under no circumstances be measured against the METT-SA results.

Tracking the trends of management effectiveness is a long-term process, and instant improvements are unlikely. Generally, the METT-SA is applied at three-year intervals, but an annual application is acceptable if it is understood that changes may only be slight. The METT-SA for Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve was undertaken in 2007, and the results are presented in appendix 13. The METT-SA will be repeated in approximately September 2011.

8.1.2 Protected-area review

The protected-area review is an internal review conducted annually to assist managers in reviewing their sites, and to allow for adaptive management actions to be taken where required (and within managers’ control).

8.2 Management plan review

Every five years, this IRMP should be reviewed, and adjusted where necessary. To achieve this, the following questions (and others as needed) should be addressed:

  • Did this management plan make a meaningful contribution to the management of Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve?
  • Were individual management ‘prescrips’ realistic and achievable? Were they written unambiguously or was there room for misunderstanding?
  • Were budgets for each management activity realistic? Were the allocated budgets too much or too little?
  • Were sufficient staff members of the right qualifications allocated to each management activity?

There will be some overlap between the review and the audit, and they should therefore be done on the same day, by the same team.

8.3 Biodiversity monitoring

Table 9 indicates the current monitoring arrangements that are in place at Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve. These arrangements are backed up by planned monitoring protocols.

Table 9. Current monitoring arrangements at the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

Action Responsible party Data collecting Frequency
Water-bird census Reserve management Visual surveys Quarterly
Bird count Reserve management Visual surveys Weekly
Water quality status Reserve management and Scientific Services Collection of samples and in-field measurement Monthly
Weather data South African Weather Service Muizenberg site observation Daily
Daily rainfall Zandvlei Inventory Monitoring Programme (Peter Grey) Rain guage samples Daily
Antelope surveys Reserve management Night count Quarterly
Small-mammal surveys Reserve management Pitfall traps, Sherman traps, trap cages and collections Annually
Reptile and amphibian surveys Reserve management Pitfall traps, Sherman traps, trap cages and collections Annually
Fish surveys Reserve management, and Oceans and Coasts Trek net Quarterly