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Madimatle Cave Workshop (28-29 June 2019)

The 28th June was a site meeting at the Madimatle Cave, with various stakeholders including representatives of the Traditional Healers Association. Ernest Seamark was requested to describe the cave layout, and the conservation importance of the cave. The following day a more formal workshop took place where Ernest presented a PowerPoint presentation that introduced the basics of “what is a bat” and hopefully dispelling some the misconceptions. Then leading to the importance of the Madimatle Cave, looking at the economic value of these bats not just for commercial agriculture, but also to rural livelihoods, how protection of the cave and its bats is linked to Global Sustainability Goals.

This workshop was arranged by the landowners (Motjoli Real Estate), to bring together various role players to look at the development of a Management Plan for the cave. The focus is on having the cave recognized as an African Holy Site, and formally registered and protected as a Cultural Heritage Site. It is a very different point of view to see bats as a heritage asset and working on a plan that is heritage orientated, rather than a pure biodiversity protected area perspective. Future workshops, with smaller focus group, aimed to develop a more formal management plan were planned for 2020.

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