Stewardship is the act of taking care or managing something, for example property, an organization, money or valuable objects; responsible land use.

UCPP and ERS aim to build stewardship capacity among community groups in the Umzimvubu catchment, through establishing and supporting actions and projects which restore watershed functions, advancing the socio-economic well-being of these communities through participation in a sustainable rural green economy.

Protection of the upper catchment has the potential to unlock many of the biodiversity and socio-economic opportunities stated above, as well as securing the water source for both the uMzimvubu basin (T3) and the SWSAs fed by the upper catchment. A concerted stewardship effort is being made by a regionally-based collaborative of state, parastatal and NGO groups, including local residents, with endorsement and support from SANParks, GEF-5 and the WWF Nedbank Green Trust for the concept.

The Biodiversity Stewardship Programme has increasing support from conservation authority to establish biodiversity management agreement(s) over identified conservation areas, as well as protected environments and nature reserve(s).