Conservation Partnerships
Introduction | Current Projects | Research & Facilities | Role of Science in Ezemvelo | Community Conservation

Selection of Current Conservation Projects (Overview)
The sustainable use of natural resources in KwaZulu-Natal has grown exponentially in the past 40 years and now generates both substantial income and a significant number of jobs.

This ranges from non-consumptive use such as photography, hiking and wilderness trails to the consumptive use of plant and animal resources for, among other things, hunting, the capture and sale of live game, to the production of curios and traditional medicines.

A: Landowners, commercial and private

In support of the use of natural resources, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has produced a series of technical manuals to help private and commercial landowners to manage their land and its resources to maximise the benefits to both biodiversity and sustainability.
To access any of these resources, visit our website here

B: Alien Invasions in Protected Areas and the community

What impact are invasive alien plants having on Ezemvelo protected areas?
Over 9 000 species of alien plants can be found within South Africa.

To date, 198 of these species have been legally defined as alien invader plants.
These species are non-native, non-indigenous, foreign or exotic and have the ability to spread naturally (without the direct assistance of people) in natural or semi-natural habitats.
Invader plant species produce a significant change in terms of composition, structure, or ecosystem processes.
From a nature conservation perspective, the mere presence of an alien invader plant species is a threat.
A recent survey showed that close to half of all Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s (Ezemvelo) Protected Areas (PA’s) are invaded by invasive alien plants.
34% of the areas infested, or just over 109 000 hectares, are receiving treatment.
Due to lack of funding, the remaining hectares await treatment.
alien invader plants

What is an alien species?
Alien species refer to any animal or plant, or any other type of organism that is introduced to a new area through the accidental or deliberate actions of humans, but which are not necessarily invasive. This definition excludes the natural migration of native species to new areas due to environmental changes or influences.

Over 2 000 people are employed annually from communities surrounding protected areas.

The programme ensures employment is based on 60% females, 2% disabled and 25% youth (18 – 35 years old).
Only one person per household is employed and preference is given to single headed households or households affected by HIV/Aids.
It is important for Ezemvelo to develop people around protected areas, sending them on various training courses and teaching them various skills depending on the need in a particular area.

Clearing operations are mostly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Environment Affairs: Invasive Alien Species Programme.
Ezemvelo is currently looking into other possible funding options to fund the shortfall.

In order to address the current infestation in all protected areas:
Ezemvelo would require R60 million per annum for the next 10 years. Currently DAEA provides R30 million per annum.
Conservatively estimated, invasive alien plants spread at a rate of 5% per annum. Should clearing of the current infestation be delayed by 10 years, it would increase the cost by 55%.

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