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2012/2013 WESSA ANNUAL REVIEW


is to be a highly effective and well-supported champion of the environment.

is to implement high impact environmental and conservation projects which promote public participation in caring for the Earth.


CHAIRMAN’S REPORT CEO’S REPORT OUR PROJECTS Stepping up to Sustainability SustainEd WESSA Rhino Initiative Blue Flag SADC Reep Mondi Wetlands Programme The Eskom Energy and Sustainability Programme Eco-Schools Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Training and Capacity Building Programme ORASECOM Working for Ecosystems Pondoland Indigenous Forest Projects Elephants Alive International Wildlife Management Congress Share-Net Environmental Governance Programme Mpumalanga Feeding through Greening Programme Stepping up to Environmental Leaders Project Stop the Spread Baakens Valley Community Partnership The Youth Environmental Services (YES) Programme Pines Alien Invasive Project EnviroKids Magazine Environment Magazine The Green Shack

OUR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRES Umgeni Valley Environmental Education Centre Twinstreams Environmental Education Centre Treasure Beach Environemntal Education Centre Bush Pigs Environmental Education Centre Umbogavango Environmental Education Centre

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DR RICHARD LEWIS It seems that “change” is becoming increasingly evident in almost every aspect of our lives: at the macro level, we watch as the traditional first-world countries start losing their grip on the economic and political power of the world; we have emerging countries with growing economies but with burgeoning population growth rates to be dealt with; and we see thirdworld countries either having rapid growth in GDP or wallowing in the quagmire of poor leadership, failing economies, growing populations and poverty. Both internationally and here at home, there is a feeling of instability and unrest as the world battles to come to terms with the fact that the paradigm of increasing populations and increasing consumption, in order to increase GDP, ultimately has to fail. Debt continues to grow and pulls so many under. We are, after all, a planet with finite resources. Can growth in the focus on the green economy, growth in sustainable living practices, growth in green technology, and growth in the number of people who realise that they actually need less than they want, be enough to eventually offset the path that mankind is taking towards the depletion of this planet and its resources? Can those nations with huge populations or high consumption levels change the thinking of their people in time, or will they also continue to want more things, just as people have always done in the past? No one can predict how humans will eventually respond, but history shows that we can be resilient and innovative, and that we can use science, technology and behavioural changes to overcome challenges, as we have in the past. But it really does all start with a change in mindset; an increased awareness of what needs to be done, and then proactive people leading the way in getting fellow earth citizens to do something about it.

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DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT Each of us has a circle of influence – our own little world that we live in – where we write the script and are the main actors in the play of our lives, and the remedy really lies in as many of us as possible performing lots of little actions that can collectively help to care for this dear old Earth, and to be responsible stewards of all things living on it. With this in mind, at our strategic planning meeting in 2012, WESSA took the decision to review our Vision and Mission, and to ensure our true-north compass-bearing would grow our circle of influence in “Caring for the Earth”. As such, we crafted a new Mission: “To implement high-impact environmental and conservation projects which promote public participation in caring for the Earth”. This also determined the type of leadership required to take WESSA forward, and we were fortunate to secure Dr Thommie Burger as our new CEO. Thommie has a wealth of experience and skills in managing multi-layered and multifaceted projects, and strong project management skills and leadership were to be axiomatic to our success going forward. Thommie has made an invaluable contribution in the short time he has been with us, and has helped to raise our levels of professionalism, effectiveness, financial management and reporting, and internal processes at a pace and to a level that has more than exceeded our expectations. There is radical transformation in WESSA as we adapt to the structure and new modus operandi required for us to fulfil our Mission, and that type of change can unsettle many, especially those who are not accustomed to the speed at which change takes place in the world these days. But as we progress, so many

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within WESSA have found the clear, decisive leadership style of the new CEO invigorating, conducive to securing better and new results, and providing a clear line of sight between what staff are doing and the strategic intent of WESSA. WESSA is currently involved in several large-scale projects, and as we continue to focus on projects fewer in number, but far larger in scope and dimension, we will continue to improve our efficiency, cost-effectiveness and outcomes, as well as ensure our financial sustainability. We have a long way to go, but have progressed in leaps and bounds over the past few months, especially as far as internal processes, governance and controls are concerned.

AS WE CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON PROJECTS FEWER IN NUMBER, BUT FAR LARGER IN SCOPE AND DIMENSION, WE WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE OUR EFFICIENCY, COSTEFFECTIVENESS AND OUTCOMES.

We have some serious financial challenges ahead of us – it’s not an easy world in which to raise finances anymore – but there is a dire need for what we do, and as long as we can convince potential stakeholders that we will do an excellent job for them, logic will dictate that they get WESSA to do it for them. We are also determined to strengthen strategic alliances within the sector, to start working together as environmental and conservation organisations, and partner with corporates in the public sector in meaningful projects. Regionally, we wish to grow membership activities so that many more are actually doing something to care for the Earth in their geographical neighbourhood. I firmly believe that WESSA currently has a very effective board, and the level of strategic thinking at board meetings is gratifying. The executive leadership has rallied around the new CEO and rapidly adapted to the new way of doing things as we work towards our new Mission, and this has also been very exciting to see. I wish to thank the board, management and staff of WESSA for all lifting their game as they have – it remains a pleasure and privilege to work alongside such people. We are laying firm new foundations for the organisation and its future, and when the teething pains are over, we will be well placed for the challenges ahead. Dr Richard Lewis WESSA Chairman of the Board

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DR THOMMIE BURGER From a strategic and operational perspective, WESSA has indeed made considerable progress on our journey to implement high-impact environmental and conservation projects. We have a remarkable and proud 87-year history in South Africa and a proven track record of leveraging and building public participation in the areas of our ecosystem’s focus. Strategically, we have decided to hone our discipline with regards to our core strength of human capacity development in the environment as a major component of all our projects. With people development and the philosophical departure point of reflexivity, we have a credible and, may I add, incredible, conservation voice, which encourages sustainable lifestyle and environmental management choices, and protects our country’s water, energy and biodiversity resources in the long term. We continue to take a holistic ecosystem-based approach to biodiversity and life-support systems, and we work collaboratively with a very wide range of stakeholders. This can clearly be observed in all the exciting high-impact project work we are involved in and will be involved in over the next few years. As a member organisation of the International Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), WESSA continues to participate in and contribute to the international Blue Flag and Eco-Schools programmes. Blue Flag, the largest eco-label in the world for beaches and marinas, now accredits sites in 47 countries and began supporting pilots in Aruba, Mexico and Mauritius in 2012.

THERE HAS BEEN A 20% INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF BLUE FLAG STATUS APPLICATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA. HOME

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WESSA is working closely with the Department of Tourism in order to lift the profile and status of the Blue Flag Programme as part of a tourism and environmental initiative. Eco-Schools now engages 18 million students in 53 countries. The programme is aimed at creating awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities, as well as supporting Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in the national curriculum. Eco-Schools were initiated in South Africa in 2003, with WESSA as the implementing agent. There are over 1 200 schools registered with the WESSA programme in South Africa. WESSA’s Catchments to Coast water programme has a vision to ensure that all South Africans work together in using South Africa’s water resources – from source to sea – wisely, thus securing a safe, adequate and fair water supply for South Africa’s people and the natural environment, which provides the ecosystem services supporting life on Earth. In recent years, our concerns regarding the management of our limited water resources have increased, as we have become aware of the compromised state of much of our water resources due to, amongst other causes, the huge impact of industry, agriculture and mining. We live in a water-stressed country and so the fair and adequate supply of clean, healthy and adequate water to all South Africans is becoming more and more of a challenge. WESSA’s solid contribution and impressive track record in the Mondi Wetlands Programme over many years has supported social change for better wetland management and rehabilitation through partnering with government, private and communal land users throughout South Africa.

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The Eskom Energy and Sustainability project has won a number of international and local awards for research, innovation and practical implementation of energy-related initiatives. The SADC Regional and Environmental Education Programme is recognised as an international model of best practice in environmental and sustainability education. Its implementation partners include WESSA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), along with many other national and regional partners, notably the 15 SADC member-state governments. WESSA is the only Centre for Excellence for Environmental Education in the SADC region; we are a United Nations University Regional Centre of Expertise, an Accredited Training Service provider and an Institute of Sectoral and Occupational Excellence. An important continuation of our strategic high-impact intent is to strengthen the base of our membership as part of providing a voice for public concerns, a vehicle for civic environmental engagement and the bedrock of participatory democracy as outlined in our “public participation in caring for the Earth” approach.

strategies, where we are identifying and mobilising regional capacity development in the biodiversity sector while at the same time developing locally based ecosystem servicerelated projects. Indicator or flagship species will be identified and profiled within the broader ecosystem. These ecosystem servicebased projects would be locally responsive and would thus take on a different focus in different regions; for example, our initiatives with Magaliesberg – The Last Frontier, WESSA Wild Coast, Verlorenvlei, Baakens-Swartkops, Green Coast, KZN Estuaries, Rhino and Elephant initiatives and the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs’ Youth Environmental Community Services Project, to name but a few.

WESSA IS INDEED WELL POSITIONED TO PLAY AN ACTIVE AND VALUE-ADDING ROLE IN OUR CHOSEN AREAS OF ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE SADC REGION. I want to thank the WESSA board, WESSA members, our employees and all our supporters and funders for accompanying us on this very challenging journey of Caring for the Earth. Dr Thommie Burger WESSA CEO

The strength of our national footprint in all the major regions of South Africa bodes well for our Biodiversity and Ecosystems regional

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WESSA staff at the recycling station at Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

Teachers and pupils showing off some of the sustainable technologies they’ve learnt about at Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

STEPPING UP TO SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH “CHANGE CHOICE PRACTICES”AND SOCIAL MEDIA Despite growing awareness, human-caused environmental degradation was probably higher in 2012 than in any other year in history! In response to this challenge, WESSA implemented a three-year nationwide project called Stepping up to Sustainability, which will run until the end of 2013. The focus of this work is on close, local and practice-based change that we can all participate in as we actively reduce the negative impact that our lifestyle choices usually cause. WESSA is committed to public participation for a sustainable world – and the Stepping up to Sustainability project, which operates throughout South Africa, is addressing this vision. This project goes beyond raising awareness and provides options through which people are encouraged and supported to change their actions, practices and behaviour. Stepping up to Sustainability is a WESSA project that is managed in partnership with USAID and

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Rhodes University. The project offers participants the chance to explore and try out “change choice practices”, and is enabling hundreds of people to make more sustainable lifestyle choices. Supported by social media technologies, these “change choices” are giving impetus to a programme of sustainability practices, innovation and the sharing of sustainability stories. In the year under review, an innovative information portal using SMS technology has recorded and tracked the changes over time, showing that over 2 500 people have demonstrated a change in the sustainability practices they have implemented. Instead of dwelling on the negative effects of our actions, such as our carbon footprints, we are finding that positive actions, which we refer to as “handprints” for sustainability, are far more satisfying and effective in transforming our work and lifestyle choices for a more sustainable world.

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OUR EVERYDAY PRACTICES Every day, everyone eats food, drinks water, uses energy and travels, produces waste, and benefits from the biodiversity that is the foundation of life on Earth. How we go about these five common practices impacts on our environment and, as the number of people living on Earth rapidly increases, the detrimental impact is growing exponentially. Creative public participation in processes of change to reduce human impact on nature’s resources is becoming more and more critical. Well-informed processes of change are needed to develop a more sustainable society, green economies and more resilient communities.

Through this project, a repertoire of practical “change choices” is thus being developed for participants to select and apply in their daily lives. This approach differs from more traditional approaches to environmental communication, where the emphasis is on awareness creation and attitude change, with the expectation that behavioural change will follow. The idea that raising awareness leads directly to behavioural change has never been proven – despite the efforts of many research studies.

WORKSHOPS THAT SUPPORT LEARNING TO CHANGE Through the Stepping up to Sustainability project, participants are encouraged to begin their exploration of sustainable practices by visiting and exploring a “Sustainability Commons” or a place where tangible lowcarbon technologies are being used and experimented with.

WITH USAID SUPPORT, WESSA HAS HELPED ESTABLISH 11 SUSTAINABILITY COMMONS SITES ACROSS SOUTH AFRICA. A SUSTAINABILITY COMMONS IS A “RICH AND DIVERSE COLLECTION OF SUSTAINABILITY-FOCUSED TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS, WHICH ARE USED LOCALLY FOR THE EDUCATION AND BENEFIT OF THE COMMUNITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT”.

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Examples range from rainwater harvesting to parabolic sun-stoves, photo-voltaic energy capture, wind generation, biodiversity gardens, recycling, hot-boxes and even heat pumps. This is where the “stepping up” methodology may be followed – which involves seven optional steps. The first step invites participants to interact through social media via an information portal that has been developed and offers a range of opportunities through which information is shared using SMS technology. The second step is an opportunity to share through local forums, where innovations and sustainable living practices are described and explored. The third step includes a presentation, which draws on the issues and risks of sustainability and the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s “Planetary Boundaries” concept. Through a workshop process (step four) a selection of options are available to participants through which they can make the “change choices” that they would like to focus on. The “change choice” options are relevant to one or more aspects of eating, using water, energy, producing waste and exploiting

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OUR PROJECTS (benefiting from) biodiversity, which will help them to live more sustainably. Steps five, six and seven include training courses that participants can undertake. These range from non-accredited workshops and courses to accredited courses. At the step 7 stage, WESSA offers a year-long course that enables successful participants to become accredited ‘Trainers of Trainers” and graduate with a National Certificate.

To successfully complete the course, participants have to demonstrate how their “lifestyle choices” and environmental practices have changed towards sustainability. In 2012, over 100 participants successfully completed the Enviro-Eds course, a level 5 ‘Trainer of Trainers” course that equips participants to understand the environmental crisis, actively respond to sustainable living practices, and teach and share these practices with others!

SOCIAL MEDIA: A NEW OPPORTUNITY The Stepping up to Sustainability programme uses social media to support and encourage people’s choices to make sustainable living a real possibility. In just three months, from April to June in 2012, 1800 people joined this information portal, many of whom may not have access to computers, but who do use their mobile phones regularly. All participants are also invited to upload photos of their ‘change choices’ onto Flickr (sip85took@photos.flikr.com) or share their

work through Facebook (Stepping up to Sustainability), so that the developments can be shared more widely and be better understood. Workshop facilitators also make phone call follow-ups to see how participants are getting on with their choices and to better understand and learn from each other. The phone calls also establish whether the developments and innovations can be documented and shared more widely.

A teacher and learners give this sun stove the thumbs-up

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People’s innovative stories are shared through Step by Step (also published by Share-Net) – a publication that documents the “change choice” practices participants are engaging in. Such “stories of change” include more detail than the information portal and outline how local, situated, change-choice practices are helping to enrich people’s lives and enabling more sustainable lifestyle choices. These social change processes are therefore more about setting better examples and sharing options than simply trying to change people’s attitudes by making them aware. Such approaches not only

save our environment – they may even save money!

AS ROB O’DONOGHUE, FROM THE RHODES UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING AND RESEARCH CENTRE (ELRC), NOTES: “THIS IS NOT ONLY REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT, IT ALSO PUTS MONEY BACK IN OUR POCKETS!”

THE ROAD AHEAD: A MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE? Stepping up to Sustainability is not a magic recipe that is suddenly going to change the way we live on Earth. It is rather a work in progress, and a developing direction that supports change for a more sustainable and environmentally just world. These initial results and change choice practices are, however, guiding us towards the possibility of a more sustainable future. How this works is entirely up to those who commit to participating in sustainability practices in our fast-changing world. As this work

ustainEd WESSA has accreditation status with the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA). We can therefore offer a National Certificate at level 5 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). This training provides sustainable access to the economy for many previously disadvantaged learners. Over 400 students undergo valuable training annually.

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develops, more communities may be able to adopt positive “choices for change” or “handprints of hope”, rather than becoming depressed by the fast-eroding natural resource base on which we all depend. Each person in every community has much to offer. Where people are able to adopt practices that strengthen their ability to learn to change and try out more sustainable practices, a more sustainable future will become a real possibility.

There are many industries, organisations and individuals working towards sustainable development in South Africa. Often, the people who find themselves having to educate others about more sustainable practices do not have an educational or an environmental background. WESSA SustainEd offers SAQA accredited training in response to this human capacity shortfall. The emphasis of WESSA SustainEd is on providing environmental-related training courses that require considerable commitment and participation by participants. High-intensity contact sessions, combined with work-based learning, is the key approach to all the courses offered. Participants are expected to focus their assignments on the activities they already perform in their workplaces. Training courses offered by WESSA SustainEd will, of course, meet the rigorous South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) expectations, but there will

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Working for Water expanded public works participants interviewed for the training needs analysis. Photo: Kathryn Fourie

always be something extra: through sensitive and dignified interactions, participants develop confidence in understanding and knowledge, and proudly carry hearts that are open to respond to South Africa’s needs with understanding, direction and purpose. WESSA SustainEd has managed three significant projects during the past year: Stepping up to Sustainability, funded by USAID; the LG SETA ISOE project funded by LG SETA; and Working for Water. The Stepping Up to Sustainability project has provided opportunities for over 140 educators to receive environmental education accreditation, while over 50 municipal employees have received accredited environmental training. The project has been significant in providing accredited environmental training opportunities across all the WESSA regions, which, together with the establishment of the web-based online Quality Management System, has allowed SustainEd to support the roll-out of accredited environmental training across South Africa.

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The LG SETA project has developed environmental practice training materials for municipal workers and managers. These materials are being very well received across South Africa and are providing municipal workers with a deeper understanding of the environmental significance of their work in the water, waste and biodiversity sectors. Furthermore, the LG SETA has given approval to WESSA for full National Certificates in Environmental Practice from Level 1 to 5. The Working for Water project has broken new ground in environmental training materials research and development by establishing the need for a new occupation, namely the Environmental Practitioner. The project is developing environmental training materials for expanded public works employees, while at the same time developing a quality management system for the full range of training offered by numerous training service providers.

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The organisation is also a founding member of Project Rhino KZN, an association of like-minded organisations working towards rhino conservation. For more information about this part of our collaborative work, please visit www.projectrhinokzn.org WESSA supports all custodians of rhinos, while acknowledging the work already being done by the conservation authorities. Our aim and challenge is to keep the public involved through communication and involvement, in line with WESSA’s mission of promoting caring for the Earth amongst the public.

The threat to rhinos in South Africa has received substantial attention over the past three years. Through our National Rhino Initiative, WESSA is actively working to implement and support interventions to try and curb the current rhino poaching crisis at a number of different levels. The organisation’s activities aim – as far as possible – to have lasting solutions that will benefit rhinos and at the same time other wildlife. WESSA works in an individual capacity as well as collaboratively with other organisations in order to maximise resources and effectiveness. WESSA continually reviews these interventions to make sure they remain relevant and effective.

In November 2012, the Lowveld Region of WESSA was a recipient of an award at the inaugural Rhino Conservation Awards, in recognition of their work. WESSA thanks all its members and other individual and corporate contributors to the WESSA Rhino Initiative. Funds raised will go directly towards supporting WESSA rhino projects, and towards other agencies whose work is aligned to the WESSA Rhino Initiative’s aims. Some of the achievements of the WESSA Rhino Initiative are listed below, including the excellent work done by the WESSA Lowveld Region.

Organised rhino captures are essential for the collection of DNA samples and measurments to assist with research and anti-poaching interventions

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OUR PROJECTS 3.1

RHINO INFORMATION GATHERING

• R174 000 spent on collecting data that was passed on to SAPS to use in more than 25 key cases. • WESSA provided just over R35 000 of anti-poaching equipment to Manyeleti Game Reserve and R3 000 per month for cell phone use for the investigation officer. • WESSA was the catalyst in starting a PhD research programme on pathways for horn trade (UCT and Max Plank Institute). • Monthly payments of R6 000 to the Peace Parks Foundation for anti-poaching in the Limpopo Transfrontier Park.

3.2

DNA COLLECTION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF RHODIS

 ESSA negotiated and managed R200 000 from US Fish & Wildlife, enabling the • W Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Authority (MTPA) to complete DNA sampling, ear-notching and micro-chipping of their rhinos. • WESSA has distributed 40 DNA kits and contributed to a number of rhino DNA sample collections.

3.3

EDUCATION AND AWARENESS

WESSA has been involved in a number of awareness-raising activities and actions at various levels. The organisation is continually driving this pressing concern through international channels (i.e. through the IUCN) to raise awareness and support. WESSA also produced a special Rhino Edition of its

EnviroKids Magazine in December 2012, with 2 000 magazines printed, and potentially a further 2 000 to be distributed through its Eco-Schools, network. This forms part of WESSA’s commitment to not only raising awareness, but more importantly, to educating people on the value of rhinos.

the Blue Flag programme is managed by WESSA and participating local authorities under the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Coastcare initiative. The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 36 WORLDCLASS BLUE FLAG STATUS BEACHES IN SOUTH AFRICA, WITH 13 BEACHES HOLDING PILOT STATUS. Blue Flag is an international annual award given to beaches that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management. In South Africa,

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Full Blue Flag status was awarded for the 2012/2013 season to 36 of our beaches and, for the first time in South Africa, a number of whale-watching boats as well as four marinas were also awarded Blue Flag status.

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Blue Flag continues to protect one of our country’s national treasures – our magnificent coast – and to promote South Africa’s reputation as a world-class and desirable tourist destination. The Blue Flag programme offers many benefits: improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacitybuilding of coastal municipalities. The Blue Flag project empowers and educates local government and municipalities for improved management of the coastal areas for ecological, social and economic benefit. By directly increasing revenue to these areas through the tourism industry, this project plays an important role in social and economic development for these municipalities.

A child plays in the water without a worry in the world...her surroundings are clean and well-managed, with good water quality; there are lifeguards overseeing her, in one of the country’s marine protected areas, on a beach that belongs to an environmental education programme with abundant benefits for the tourism industry.

funding and conceptual partner, the Swedish government. The fruits of the SADC REEP work matured in 2012, as demonstrated by enhanced regional collaboration that has brought many sectors together. This culminated in the annual meeting of National Environmental Education Network Representatives, which brought together directors and senior officials from education, environment and agriculture in September 2012. When government and civil society work together for environment and sustainability capacity development, better living is made possible. WESSA is proud to be associated with the capacity development work of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its 15 member states through successful implementation of the SADC Regional Environmental Education Programme (REEP) for the past 16 years. The impact of this relationship was celebrated in Gaborone on 27 May 2013, where WESSA joined hands with the SADC secretariat and its main capacity development

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At this meeting, WESSA was also thanked and praised for the efficient implementation of the SADC REEP throughout this 15-year period, during which all key strategic objectives were met without any funding irregularities. An independent evaluation commissioned by the Swedish Government in 2012 indicated that the programme has directly reached out to over 2 000 people, but the multiplier impact is farreaching. It also stated that these organisations and individuals have developed the capacity to find learning-based responses to the key sustainability issues of the region, including

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OUR PROJECTS natural resources management, poverty alleviation, improving food security, addressing climate change, and waste management.

In its concluding remarks, the report stated that SADC REEP has achieved, and even exceeded, the ‘targets’ set out in most areas.

Delegates at the annual meeting of National Environmental Education Network Representatives in September 2012

The evaluation of the report also stated: “Over the years, this programme has gained an international reputation that transcends the SADC region. Testaments to this reputation include: important and well-recognised contributions to international networks and organisations...; use of its practitioner-oriented resource materials beyond the region; and conceptual work published in international scientific journals and books.

“WHAT MAKES THE SADC REEP STRONG, AND POTENTIALLY RESILIENT, IS THE ‘HYBRIDITY’ THAT IT HAS BEEN ABLE TO CREATE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND SOCIETY, POLICY AND PRACTICE, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH, AND REFLECTION AND ACTION. “ HOME

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“Actors with different backgrounds can join an inclusive ‘living network’ that combines different vantage points in a meaningful way, and where they are creating a common language that enables them to speak and act together.” As a strength of the SADC REEP, training has been delivered by facilitators drawn from SADC countries through accredited two-week environmental education (EE) attachment courses and teacher education, agriculture and natural resources management and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) mainstreaming courses, among others. The flagship two-month Rhodes/SADC International Certificate Course in EE culminated in a one-month ESD leadership course in 2012.

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Several regional resource materials were developed in 2012, including a teacher education workbook, a social learning review, and a sustainable aquaculture booklet, accessible on www.sadc-reep.org.za. Policy support for EE and ESD was enhanced with the strengthened collaboration between the SADC REEP and the SADC Education and Skills Development Programme. In addition, more SADC countries, namely Lesotho, Namibia and Tanzania, published ESD strategies. Among its alumni, the SADC REEP has produced leaders now active as principal secretaries, directors and executives in government and non-governmental organisations. Many are still active in environment and sustainability capacity development.

Having celebrated important milestones, several studies, including the SADC Environment Capacity Assessment of 2012, indicate new capacity needs due to emerging issues such as climate change. Together with the vision of the Rio+20 Outcome “The Future We Want”, this calls upon renewed regional capacity development through the SADC REEP, for which more support is being encouraged and mobilised. This has already started bearing fruit, as evidenced by the Orange-Senqu River Learning Box project launched in February 2012 for the benefit of 10 to 12- year olds. WESSA and the SADC REEP would like to thank the SADC secretariat, member states, the Swedish government and people, several partners and the SADC REEP community of practice for all their support in the implementation of this programme.

South Africa is a water-stressed country. Over 55% of its wetlands have been destroyed due to poor land management. In response to this, WESSA and WWF initiated the Mondi Wetlands Programme in 1991.

The Mondi Wetlands Programme (MWP) was established in 1991, and is a partnership between WWF South Africa and WESSA, together with two corporate sponsors: the Mazda Wildlife Fund and Mondi Ltd. The MWP strives for improved wetland sustainability practices, through cuttingedge change-oriented projects and grounded research at the socio-ecological nexus.

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The MWP works towards two strategic objectives: 1) Catalysing and supporting stewardship of key wetland ecosystems and surrounding river basins, thereby securing stakeholder engagement for the wise use of wetlands. 2) Strengthening the capacity and skills of appropriate government authorities, and private and communal land users, for the efficient and wise use of wetlands. When the MWP started in 1991, it employed the only full-time wetland conservationist in South Africa, who worked with wetland users outside protected areas. The MWP now employs four field staff, one financial administrator and five master’s research interns. As a direct result of the

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OUR PROJECTS MWP’s catalytic work with its partners, a multimillion dollar wetland industry has been developed, employing over 2 000 people. This is

currently strengthening wetland sustainability practices across a variety of land uses, in multiple river basins across South Africa.

TOWARDS THE WISE USE OF WETLANDS Supporting innovation and change in sugarcane agriculture The MWP works towards wise wetland use and management with a wide range of participants, including the agriculture sector. Of all human activity on the planet, agriculture is the single largest threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. For this reason, consumers and organised businesses are increasingly asking for greater accountability and less impact across supply chains, from producers such as farmers too. This is a significant challenge for farmers, however, as farming is a high-risk activity. High input costs, low returns, perverse trade barriers and government subsidies, coupled with the vagaries of climate change and uncertain land tenure in South Africa, all contribute to stifling innovation and adaptation because of the high degree of uncertainty and risk involved. This is where the MWP’s Sustainable Sugarcane Project has come into play. By securing seed funding from WWF and working together with innovative farmers and industry leaders in the long term, the Sustainable Sugarcane Project has developed a tool, called SuSFarMS, which helps

Farmers learning about the impact of agriculture on Wetlands

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farmers to identify opportunities for, and implement, better management practices and to monitor their progress. The project has now moved from facilitating the co-development of SuSFarMS as a technical knowledge tool, towards facilitating activities that strengthen SuSFarMS-related learning and implementation. Key challenges to sustainability practice implementation at the farmer and extension worker level have been identified, and opportunities for applying these insights to refine existing extension and farmer practice are continually being sought and developed. Future project activities will place a greater emphasis on black smallhold farmers, as well as on exploring opportunities around incentive innovations for farmers participating in the sustainability journey. Two new projects in support of these foci in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands are under development and will begin in the last quarter of 2013, in collaboration with local sugarcane farmers.

Training sugar farmers and Mondi Foresters

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– Unknown

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Each of these projects is a stand-alone project, in which regional co-ordinators from the Energy and Sustainability (E&S) Programme provide guidance and assistance to educators. Over 149 000 students are involved in these projects throughout South Africa. The Eskom WESSA E&S Programme has completed its 17th year of supporting educators, learners and communities in the promotion of a sustainable lifestyle through contextual energy learning. The Eskom Energy and Sustainability Programme is a partnership programme between Eskom and WESSA that provides education for sustainable development, and supports Active Learning Sustainability Projects for young people.

In recent years, the programme has focused on a number of Programme Sections, many of which specifically address adult learning and support, thereby contributing to community development.

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Young Entrepreneurs

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STEP 1 – ACTIVE LEARNING PROJECTS In Active Learning Projects, young people are given support to identify contextual environmental issues, research, plan, take action, and monitor and evaluate their projects.

STEP 2 – EDUCATOR WORKSHOPS Energy misinformation is always a challenge, particularly in schools and among educators. This section assists educators to understand energy issues.

STEP 3 – STRATEGIC AREAS These are areas that are close to Eskom builds and new-builds, and this section is designed to support communities and schools and contribute to maintaining an Eskom presence in these regions.

STEP 4 – EDUCATOR ACCREDITED TRAINING This section supports educators at E&S Programme schools to obtain additional credits for their professional development and is designed to broaden the environmental perspectives of their teaching and to facilitate energy learning programmes at their schools.

STEP 5 – ENTREPRENEURIAL PROJECTS This section contributes towards community development through SMMEs.

STEP 6 – EDIBLE PLANT NETWORKS The Edible Plant Networks enable the programme to make the leap from school to community by establishing large-scale school and community food gardens that typically consist of a community greenhouse or shade-house for plant propagation, vegetable beds and orchards.

STEP 7 – CLIMATE CHANGE COURSES The climate change course is a three-day course attended by young adults who are about to enter the workplace. The course material offers instruction in the science of climate change, but most importantly focuses on the environmental impact that every person makes every day in their work tasks and their homes. The course aims at providing the learners with an understanding that many of these impacts can be reduced.

STEP 8 – RURAL SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT The Eskom Development Foundation has in the past made once-off donations to many rural schools. This section supports these schools on a regular basis, offering curriculum support and other environmental assistance. The E&S Programme therefore maintains the Eskom and WESSA presence at these schools through additional support.

THE ETA AWARDS 2012 From seven projects in three categories in the semi-finalist round, we are proud to announce three wins in three categories in these awards. In addition, a special award from Young Designers

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(groups) went to a small school in the middle of the Knysna Forest for their project “Leave the wood on the trees!”

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The Eco-Schools Programme is an international programme of the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) and is active in 51 countries around the world. The programme is aimed at creating awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities as well as supporting ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) in the national curriculum. Eco-Schools was initiated in South Africa in 2003, with WESSA as the implementing agent. Eco-Schools supports primary, secondary, special needs schools and home schools. WESSA has registered over 1 200 schools to date, WESSA aims to register a total of 5 000 schools by 2015. This programme is seen as one of the most important schools and environmental programmes in South Africa.

Bridget Ringdahl, WESSA’s national Eco-Schools programme manager, and children watering a pyramid vegetable garden established at one of the Eco-Schools in Limpopo.

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CELEBRATING A DIAMOND DECADE OF ECO-SCHOOLS IN SOUTH AFRICA Capacity Building for Environmental Learning and Action

– Nelisiwe Langa – Emangwaneni Primary – Bulwer, KZN Water research and conservation, recycling projects, food security and indigenous gardens, hotboxes and solar cookers, wetland restoration, rhino conservation and health focused tuckshops are just some of the actions embraced by schools that are participating in the WESSA Eco-Schools Programme, the only nationally implemented environmental education programme in South Africa. Now in its 11th year, some Eco-Schools have accomplished the amazing achievement of being with the programme for 10 years of sustained environmental work! The Eco-schools programme has also become a valuable framework for schools to work toward sustainable development goals and to support environmental content in the curriculum. The programme is aligned to the Department of Basic Education’s goals of supporting quality teaching and learning where all our materials are CAPS aligned, as well as whole school development projects that help schools to implement whole school improvement plans. Eco-Schools also support the professional development of teachers through the “Fundisa for Change” teacher education network, of which Eco-Schools is a key partner. Since Eco-Schools was launched in South Africa in 2003, with

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National funding support from Nampak and PetroSA, the number of schools that have registered has increased from 100 in the first year to over 1 170 schools in 2013. Of these schools, more than half have been working with the programme for three or more years, which is ultimately one of the core aims: ensuring that efforts for better environmental learning and action are sustained and become part of how schools are managed. Ixopo Primary is one of the schools to have achieved international flag status and has been with the programme for 8 years. A very proud M Mdluli, Department of Basic Education Circuit Manager, Sisonke, said, “Ixopo Primary is the hope and success we should be acknowledging, especially in light of the extremely poor matric results that our district has reflected. The EcoSchools programme has shown that it is able to mobilise schools to become a voice of the environment while ensuring good curriculumbased learning. We would love to see schools all over the district and country taking up the Eco-Schools challenge.” While schools are encouraged to look at local issues, this does not discourage them from looking further afield. Being an international

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OUR PROJECTS programme, the schools are able to link up with Eco-Schools from the other 51 countries to learn about issues that may be common or different and also to see that we are all just part of one big ecosystem. Eco-Schools in South Africa are also focusing on conservation education that is relevant to the international sharing of experiences and environmental concerns. For example,

importantly they have been sub-titled in three languages, namely Mandarin, Vietnamese and Thai. The rhino talks can be viewed at the link http://tinyurl.com/odv8p6d. Eco-Schools also encourages “greenpreneurship” or school based development where an environmental project can help the school to become financially selfsustaining. An entrepreneurial school is one that has a business owned and operated by its staff and students. Through a partnership project with the Saville Foundation, Eco-Schools use their Action Project as the basis for their entrepreneurial activities, for example, making energy-saving wonderbags, recycling programmes, tree nurseries, farm stalls and food markets selling produce from food gardening initiatives and selling craft made from “upcycled” waste.

Eco-Schools in the Whale Coast conservation area of the Western Cape pioneered the “Talking Rhino” initiative by asking the critical question, “If we don’t tackle the source of the demand of the rhino horn issue, how are we ever going to make any long-standing change?”. Eco-Schools in this area developed a series of 3-minute YouTube video clips to share their thoughts regarding the loss of rhino in our country. The videos appeal to learners in schools in China, Vietnam and Thailand to play an active role in dispelling the belief that rhino horn has any medicinal properties and to raise awareness of how cultural beliefs and practices in these countries are impacting Africa. The videos also encourage learners to report any trade and illegal activities concerning rhinos, and

Through the enthusiasm and commitment that shines from all Eco-Schools, there is no doubt that Eco-Schools will continue to spread and inspire other schools to join one of the most important challenges of our time: the urgent need to save ourselves and our home – our planet!

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Training and Capacity Building Programme has been responsible for many courses across five

provinces and has engaged with nearly 400 course participants from diverse sectors of society. These have included for example, tertiary institutions, city councilors, developers, NGOs, WESSA members, architects, planners, private environmental organisations, national, provincial and local government staff. The project has engaged with environmental assessment at many different levels, including the development of EIA resources, the promotion of best practice and Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) at a professional level, macro-planning

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tools, commenting on policy as well as direct involvement in a number of EIAs. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is now an integral process in South Africa’s environmental management mix. It has been around for many years, but it still remains a complex field to the point that it can be a disempowering process for society. There is a desperate need to improve EIA capacity in order to get optimal and meaningful public participation and better decision-making. At the same time, the environmental sector needs this capacitation in order to increase the level of accountability through the proactive promotion of best practice principles. The EIA Training Programme has been contributing directly to improve this constraint in EIA processes. The aim of the programme is to build EIA

capacity through the implementation of an EIA course and by engaging with selected EIAs and other land use planning tools with the intention of enabling changes in developmental practice to more environmentally sustainable options.

A TOTAL OF 22 COURSES AND ONE WORKSHOP HAVE BEEN RUN ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND NEARLY 600 PEOPLE HAVE ATTENDED THEM. In addition, there have been numerous presentations made during the project period on other courses, workshop and fora. 2012 was the busiest year in the programme’s history, in that it ran a record number of courses, some of which were for the first time also held in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY (EIAMS) The programme continues to play an important role in the development of the National Environmental Impact Assessment Management Strategy (EIAMS). This three-year process was implemented by the Department of Environmental Affairs in recognition of the fact that in the ten years since EIA was introduced it had not led to better environmental

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management and therefore left a lot of room for improvement. WESSA has been represented on the multi-stakeholder Project Steering Committee, which has been responsible for driving the review of environmental management in South Africa that will culminate in an integrated environmental management strategy for the country.

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the catchment and harvesting rain water. All this and much more is happening as we speak, and is being made possible through the Orange-Senqu River Learning Box Project. After all, healthy rivers mean healthy people.

The Orange-Senqu: River Learning Box, Action Learning for a Living River, is an innovative and creative education response to the sustainable water resources management needs of the Orange-Senqu river basin. The development of this project has been undertaken by the Orange-Senqu River Basin Commission (ORASECOM). This two-year project (2012 to 2013) is being implemented by WESSA in partnership with Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Botswana, the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) in Lesotho, the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), and the WESSA Northern Areas Region in South Africa. The overall objective of the Orange-Senqu River Learning Box Project is to develop learner educational materials that introduce issues concerning the basin for schools, and provide educational resource materials for 10-12 year-old school children, who will learn to understand and promote sustainable water resource development and management in the basin. Imagine a classroom in Africa where children are creating a catchment and watching soil run-off (erosion), and extracting water from a borehole to see how it works, exploring water quality and monitoring water use, measuring the particulate matter (turbidity), rehabilitating

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The River Learning Box project adopted action learning as the framework for teachers to guide activities at the classroom level. Action learning enables learning and teaching processes that are responsive, flexible and participatory, and allows the mobilisation of prior knowledge and understanding that participants (teachers and learners) bring into teaching and learning situations. This type of learning supports the finding out (fieldwork) and critique of information (start-up stories and stories of change); enables learners to question, explore and experiment in context; supports meaningful action (modeling); and encourages reporting on learning processes in ways that lead to social change. The main output of The Orange-Senqu River Learning Box Project is the development and dissemination of an educational resource in the form of a “River Learning Box”. So far, WESSA has conducted capacity building workshops for teachers and learners in the targeted age group (10-14 years old or Grade 4-6) in the riparian states.

THESE ACTIVITIES ARE AIMED AT INCREASING AWARENESS AMONG TEACHERS AND SCHOOLCHILDREN ABOUT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOP­ MENT AND TRANS-BOUNDARY WATER MANAGEMENT. This project has been made possible by the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM), with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in delegated cooperation with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the

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Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Children modelling ‘change choice’ practices

WESSA’s involvement in this project has led to teachers and learners using the river learning box materials to enhance their understanding of water management at the basin level and household level.

Here are some stories of change from teachers and learners; these are just some examples of activities taking place in South Africa and the Orange-Senqu river basin, through the support of WESSA and its international partners, to ensure that water, our scarce resource, is managed sustainably.

Lebohang Mot hibeli, Grade 6, Tjabatsohle Primary School , Free State. Zanele Mthoh lakali, a 12-yea r-old learner from Sandile Primary Scho ol, Gauteng.

odo ner from Mez Grade 6 lear Kedibone, a ol, Gauteng. Primary Scho

The Working for Ecosystems (WFE) programme, facilitated by WESSA, is now in its seventh year. The programme is implemented through a process of management interventions in high-priority biodiversity areas, predominantly rural areas of conservation significance. Sites targeted over the past year include Ntshongweni, Drummond, Paradise Valley Nature Reserve, Roosefontein Nature Reserve, Umzinyathi, Ngonweni and Hullet’s Bush, as selected under the auspices of the eThekwini Municipality Environmental Planning

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and Climate Protection Department. Environmental Best Practice Guidelines are followed in order to reduce any negative impacts to indigenous fauna and flora in these environmentally sensitive areas. Rapid response and regular follow-ups ensure that emerging weeds are kept to a minimum, thereby promoting quick recovery in areas cleared of invasive alien plant (IAP) species. Numerous ecological and social benefits are derived from IAP removal. Improved ecosystem services result from an increase in

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OUR PROJECTS water quality and quantity; a reduction in soil erosion; healthier nutrient cycling; decreased habitat fragmentation, and resilience against climatic extremes and their associated impacts. As such, local communities benefit from the resultant functioning, biodiverse ecosystems, particularly through the increased availability of stream water and suitable grazing areas. The programme employs people from marginalised backgrounds, applying government’s Expanded Public Works Programme principles and practices. There is a specific focus on youth employment and skills development, in a bid to foster responsible youth. Programme workers attend a basic 3-day IAP training course.

BETWEEN JULY 2011 AND JUNE 2012, 18 334 PERSON DAYS WERE WORKED & 149 JOBS WERE CREATED, WITH 40% OF THESE BEING FOR YOUTH AND 43% FOR FEMALES. A TOTAL OF 110 TRAINING DAYS TOOK PLACE, AND TWO SMMES WERE CREATED.

Linda Mlotshwa, who was appointed as a supervisor in Phase 1 of the newly launched WFE programme in 2007, is such an example. Through his passion, hard work and determination, he moved up the WFE ladder and is now developing managerial, organisational and training skills to further his career as a field manager employed by WESSA. In light of cradle-to-cradle methodology, WESSA has researched bio-char as a byproduct of cut IAP material. The charcoal acts as an organic soil fertiliser and also sequesters carbon for climate change mitigation purposes. It is proposed that community members supplement their income by creating bio-char to sell to farmers. In summation, the WFE programme is a critical, innovative tool that increases the functionality of ecosystem goods and services; improves the lives of the local communities, and helps them adapt to inevitable climate change impacts.

The programme has a strong sustainable capacity development focus, and partners with the Small Enterprise Development Association (SEDA) in an effort to equip individuals with the skills required for registration and operation as cooperatives. They are taken through the process of setting up, marketing and managing a business, and receive assistance when compiling quotations, invoicing, tracking expenses, bookkeeping and registering on the city’s procurement database. Businesses established within the WFE programme are encouraged to contract back to the programme, as they then receive additional training and supervision from WESSA. Individuals are also encouraged to progress within the programme.

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Linda Mlotshwa (right) presenting training on how to control invasive alien plants

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COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO NTSUBANE FOREST MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS The Ntsubane Forest is the largest remaining indigenous forest complex on the Wild Coast. It includes critical ecosystems highlighted in the Maputo-Pondoland-Albany corridor and is made up of seven forest clusters stretching north from the Mzimbuvu River to Lambassi, south of the Mkambati conservation area. The complex is recognised as state forest under the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, with adjacent community forests being under the management of local traditional leadership. This forest complex is increasingly vulnerable, under-researched and in critical need of sustained management and project-based support to reduce the current unsustainable socio-ecological pressures. The “Collaborative Approach to Ntsubane Forest Management and Sustainable Livelihoods” project, funded through the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), is one of WESSA’s projects in this internationally recognised priority biodiversity region. A combination of parallel intervention strategies targeting conservation reform, social and economic empowerment, agricultural and other land use practice changes are urgently required to address the current unsustainable trend of deforestation and degradation. WESSA is working in five forest nodes in Ntsubane. A collaborative stakeholder process revealed deep concern for the continued threat to forests posed by human encroachment, inadequate management, largely unchecked spread of invasive alien plant species and the increase in degradation of the natural resources. Further aspects highlighted by communities included their inability to act effectively in the decision-making and implementation of conservation practices as it relates to the forests, as well as difficulties in accessing economic opportunities presented by forests.

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New saplings arrive to help rehabilitate Goso Forest

WESSA has undertaken intensive training and capacity building of over 60 beneficiaries drawn from the forest communities. These communities are now equipped for change and motivated, and have effectively brought about conservation outcomes at five pilot sites. Work has included the eradication of invasive plants, rehabilitation of degraded forest sites, forest fringe rehabilitation work, building a micronursery and propagating high-demand seedlings for forest restoration work. These practical interventions are endorsed by human capital and governance skills development across all stakeholders. This includes:

EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES TO IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE MORE EFFECTIVELY WITH THE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES AND POTENTIALS AFFORDED BY OUR NATURAL RESOURCES.

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OUR PROJECTS Economic benefit is directly linked to the management of and responsibility for these resources. Therefore, WESSA is acutely cognisant of the importance of ongoing support to strengthen stakeholder relationships, having input into land use planning decisions and capacitating communities to make decisions and take actions based on sustainable outcomes.

more effective, and WESSA is looking to support these through further action-based project work in the area. The ongoing mentoring, support, capacity building and intra-stakeholder liaison functions, as being performed by WESSA during this pilot CEPF project, need to be prioritised and institutionalised within regional and national frameworks for natural resource sustainability.

Socio-economic development cannot merely be “jobs fund” initiatives in these forest communities. It is essential that sustainable livelihoods be developed through increased project support. This vision, to date, has included WESSA engaging forest users and crafters in a series of workshops, product assessments and evaluations, and facilitating a proposed strategy for access to markets for crafters. Further opportunities through seedling supply and nursery expansion are being considered. This will target highdemand plant species and contribute to the regeneration of biodiversity that is threatened by current and historical plant, tree and bark harvesting practices.

The deforestation, forest degradation and invasive alien plant encroachment affecting and threatening the ecosystem services of the Wild Coast’s natural resources require increased and urgent attention. Evidence that the Wild Coast’s ecosystem services are collapsing can be widely seen, from the reduced numbers of the endangered Cape Parrot that traverses the Ntsubane corridor for feeding and breeding, to the estimated 43 200 000 cubic meters of soil lost in a 24-hour period through the mouth of the Umzimvubu River as a result of poor catchment management. Ntsubane’s bioregion is a valuable asset, and thus sustained socioecological development towards sustainability must continue to be driven by all sectors of South African society with an increased sense of urgency.

The Wild Coast Forest Users’ Association and Participatory Forest Management Committees are being revitalised and empowered to be

Local wood harvesters retrieve invasive alien timbers from the project site as part of the initiative to reduce indigenous tree harvesting for fuel. Photo: Mike Denison

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The spread of forest communities into indigenous forest leads to fragmented clusters in the complex. Photo ©: John Costello

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Setting deliberate fire to grasslands places enormous pressure on the forest fringe and results in higher numbers of invasive plant species around and in the forests. Photo Mike Denison

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over a decade conducted research and tracked elephants in the Greater Limpopo region to answer a number of conservation and management questions. The project also creates awareness around elephants and their survival at a time when populations are being decimated across Africa.

WESSA provides support to the Elephants Alive project, which works in association with Save the Elephants. WESSA has been involved in the project for six years. Elephants Alive, operating as Save the Elephants – South Africa, has for

In 2012, WESSA raised additional funds for the collaring of another large bull in the northern section of the Kruger National Park. This was to achieve one of the project aims, which is to promote the conservation of the remaining large-tusked bulls as flagship individuals to address broader conservation concerns.

WESSA, together with the Wildlife Society of the USA, played lead-host roles at the IVth International Wildlife Management Congress (IWMC) in Durban, held at the ICC in July 2012. It was the first time that this congress was hosted on South African soil. The 300 attendees included wildlife professionals from over 40 countries, and featured over 100 wildlife presentations. The congress also hosted panel discussions, including one on the current rhino poaching crisis. It offered insight into the various global wildlife management challenges, as well as some interesting research findings and solutions. It was fitting that WESSA and SANParks co-hosted the event because more than 86 years ago, WESSA and the then National Parks Board began to work together for the proclamation of the Kruger National Park, after WESSA successfully campaigned for its establishment.

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OUR PROJECTS THE THEME FOR THE CONGRESS WAS ‘COOPERATIVE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT ACROSS BORDERS: LEARNING IN THE FACE OF CHANGE.’ GIVEN THE NEED FOR GLOBAL LEARNING ON HOW WE CAN BETTER MANAGE AND SECURE OUR WILDLIFE HERITAGE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS THIS COULD NOT HAVE COME AT A BETTER TIME. The IVth IWMC’s scientific program included keynote addresses from leading wildlife conservation and management experts,

workshops, symposia and panel discussions on critical issues, such as Africa’s rhino crisis and other illegal trade concerns across the world. In addition, the IWMC offered an exhibition component, where delegates could network with like-minded professionals from other countries. Delegates from far and wide attended the congress, and some of the countries that were represented are: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, USA, Zimbabwe and of course a large contingent from South Africa.

WESSA THANKS THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS FOR THE ROLE IN THE SUCCESSFUL HOSTING OF THE CONGRESS: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife eThekwini Municipality Department of Water and Environmental Affairs Department of Economic development and

Tourism, KZN SADC Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau The Conference Company

Share-Net is coordinated by WESSA in the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, outside Howick in KwaZulu-Natal. Operating alongside and in partnership with the SADC Regional Environmental Education Centre, WESSA Share-Net provides stronger support to environmental education initiatives in the southern African region.

WESSA Share-Net is an innovative South African-based informal networking project that supports environmental education through the provision of resource materials.

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In our quest for living and working more sustainably and reducing our carbon emissions, the majority of WESSA Share-Net resources are printed using non-toxic ink, derived from soya, rather than from petroleum. We also use solar energy rather than fossil-based energy sources.

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All of WESSA Share-Net resources are copyright-free for educational purposes, and redevelopment for local use is encouraged. The

environmental materials can be used to complement one another and provide a rich, integrated learning experience.

SHARE-NET HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAST YEAR: • • •

INSTALLING FOUR MORE SKYLIGHTS in our printing and storage rooms, thus making use of natural light and reducing the need for conventional electrical lights. OFFERING THE DELP COURSE, which is a 26-credit course on developing environmental learning programmes and resources. PUBLISHING A RANGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING SUPPORT MATERIALS, including stories of change from the USAID- funded “Stepping Up to Sustainability” programme. “Adapting to Climate Change: Step by Step”, volumes 1 and 2, contain over 90 stories from across South Africa about how people have stepped up to sustainability. These booklets are downloadable from the WESSA website.

WESSA has continued to play an environmental advocacy role by raising a number of compliance-related issues and commenting on selected Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), strategic plans and proposed or draft legislation that have an impact on WESSA’s strategic focal areas of life-supporting ecosystems such as water, energy and biodiversity. WESSA continues to be an active and credible influence on environmental governance in South Africa, working to fulfil its vision of a South Africa that is wisely managed to ensure environmental sustainability.

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On the Wild Coast, WESSA has continued work on issues of compliance and law enforcement. An effort is being made to improve these interventions by making use of existing legislation and providing input into the development of the Spatial and Environmental Guidelines for the Wild Coast. However, incidents of non-compliance are still increasing and therefore there is a growing urgency to find solutions. In the Western Cape, WESSA has commented on the DEA-led review of the efficacy of the EIA

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OUR PROJECTS process; the City of Cape Town’s electricity tariffing structures (with specific reference to the use of renewable energies); and several EIAs and issues of non-compliance, particularly relaiting to freshwater, marine and coastal issues.

AT THE LANDSCAPE LEVEL, WESSA IS A REGIONAL LEADER IN DEVELOPING AND ESTABLISHING PROACTIVE MEASURES TO PROVIDE INCREASED ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO THREATENED ECOSYSTEMS. Examples of these eco-systems are the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve, the Gouritz Initiative in Eden District Municipality and Protected Natural Environment applications for the threatened estuarine wetland system of Verlorenvlei and part of its catchment on the West Coast. In KZN, WESSA commented on the EIAs for over 400 development applications, mining applications and water-use licences combined. In December 2012, after several years of work and litigation, the Save Vetch’s Association (of which WESSA is a founding member) were pleased to achieve an out-ofcourt settlement over the proposed Vetch’s

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Small Craft Harbour. This settlement brought to an end years of dispute focused on the use and development plans for Vetch’s beach as part of the multi-billion rand Point Waterfront Development. The settlement has allowed for some development on the beach without compromising the association’s principles of safeguarding a unique environment while allowing public access to these resources. WESSA’s Northern Areas has been focusing on environmental ‘hot spots’ in the region, especially in the Magaliesberg area as part of the WESSA Magaliesberg Last Frontier project. A number of Section 24G applications (for rectification of unauthorised commence­ ment or continuation of listed activities) were appealed to ensure building did not continue after the applicable fines were paid for illegal development. In particular, WESSA supported the Magaliesberg Protection Association in appealing the Kgaswane Lodge’s Section 24G application to the Supreme Court. The appeal was dismissed. However, some very important points were made by the judge that could discourage future developers from following a similar course of action. In a separate intervention, attempts to build new cell phone towers on the mountain in the Magaliesberg Protected Natural Environment were stopped through a stakeholder engagement process in

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which WESSA was involved. The Magaliesberg Biosphere application was completed and submitted to UNESCO in early 2013 and work on this application is ongoing. The development of new coal mines and power stations in the Waterberg area is being constantly monitored, as are extensive prospecting and mining applications throughout the region. The importance of compliance and advocacy in caring for the environment is always stressed in the numerous courses run via WESSA’s environmental education staff across the country and regularly

carried further into the community via the media where newspaper articles, letters to the press and radio features stress the importance of public participation in caring for the earth.

The Mpumalanga Feeding Through Greening Project (MFTGP) is an Eskom-funded project, implemented by WESSA in partnership with DEDET (Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism). The project, which has engaged approximately 4 657 community members, has been implemented in phases according to key deliverables; these include tree planting, nursery assembly and production, training, employment, interventions, and stakeholder engagement. The geographic distribution of the project includes the Nkangala, Gert Sibande and Ehlanzeni District Municipalities. The objectives are to provide green belts that are strategic from a municipal perspective; assist municipalities in fulfilling provincial climate change mitigation and adaptation obligations; actualise project initiatives prior to and beyond COP17 in 2011; provide employment opportunities for impoverished local communities, and develop their tree planting, nursery management and plant propagation skills, specifically in the youth sector.

Initially 5 270 trees were planted, followed by an additional 649 to replace those lost or damaged during the project. An average of 10% tree loss has been recorded. Such loss may be attributed to removal, damage or morbidity. On the other hand, approximately 72% of trees have shown signs of new growth and are considered to be thriving in the homes of their custodians. Lemson Betha, of the WESSA Northern Areas region, has focused his efforts on the Nkangala District, thereby benefitting the Thembisile Hani and Dr J.S. Moroka Municipalities. A total of 1 500 trees were planted in each municipality, half of these trees being fruitbearing species. Planted trees were monitored, and their change over time was calculated from height differences and observed damage. Tree monitoring revealed a success rate of more than 75%. Trees were also mapped using their GPS coordinates. Two nurseries were set up and plant propagation courses were administered in order to train local community members to become nursery custodians. As such, the project has resulted in 36 community members receiving temporary employment.

THE MFTGP HAS PLANTED A TOTAL OF 5 919 TREES TO DATE.

Community members have responded positively to the project, and it has been well received by all its stakeholders.

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Going forward, a policy action plan will seek to encourage the development of environmental governance projects, within the organisation and in collaboration with other individuals, organisations and agencies in environmental governance work.

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– Maryna Mannes

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YOUNG ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS WANTING TO ARE URGED TO START SMALLER The Western Cape’s Stepping up to Environmental Leadership Project was developed out of WESSA’s National Stepping up to Sustainability Programme. Generously sponsored by the DG Murray Trust, the programme has sought to introduce a small cadre of local youth to the integrated concepts of leadership and sustainability, with each of the original 20 participants being tasked with developing a modest project designed to weld an appropriate green technology with a community need (supplying a community crèche with solar panels and LED lights, for instance). However, aspirations to do much, much more, have made the project more complex and demanding as the young leaders have explored ways of making a bigger impact,

with ideas like city-wide food forests, a major grey-water reuse system, a large fabric recycling initiative and a shopping mall renewable energy refit. Not dampening enthusiasm, while steering it towards more achievable objectives, has been a challenge for project facilitators Patrick Dowling and Stephen Davis. Making links with another WESSA project, the DEA-sponsored Youth Environmental Services, has provided an opportunity for the leadership group to mentor less experienced youth in implementing small but effective and practical projects, as first envisaged. https://vimeo.com/71003993

Historically, WESSA Stop the Spread provided skills training on invasive alien identification and control methods to teams working in the field. Growing out of the training of skills to coordinate actual invasive alien plant clearing projects has been a natural and exciting development. Experience gained from the WES team has been invaluable in developing the WESSA Stop the Spread CSI Partnership model. WESSA Stop the Spread has recently broadened its reach and successfully participates in CSI corporate partnerships, to the benefit of both the environment and previously disadvantaged communities.

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The first invasive alien plant clearing project undertaken by WESSA Stop the Spread fell under a WESSA Eastern Cape initiative, which was sponsored by Coca-Cola Fortune. An area of 15 hectare along the Umzimkulu River and near the Port Shepstone Coca-Cola

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OUR PROJECTS Fortune premises was selected by WESSA Stop the Spread and Port Shepstone Coca-Cola Fortune staff. (See map) The project enabled WESSA Stop the Spread and Coca-Cola Fortune to provide green jobs for 14 people who were previously unemployed. The Port Shepstone team comprised mainly women from the neighbouring local community of Louisiana. The team received specialist training in invasive alien plant identification and best practice control methods, and all successfully achieved their herbicide applicator accreditation.

Following the very successful first phase of this clearing project, certificates of participation were presented to all team members. Prior to the commencement of follow-up clearing at the site, the team, assisted by Moses Mkhize – a WESSA Stop the Spread training facilitator, formed their own co-op and are in the process of registering on the local municipal database as service providers. On a recent walk in the area, Umtentewini Conservancy Chairman Alex Skene and Geoff Nicholls identified more than 200 indigenous species.

Map illustrating the area along the Umzimkulu River at Port Shepstone where clearing has taken place.

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“FUNDISA FOR CHANGE”: ENHANCING TRANSFORMATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING THROUGH TEACHER EDUCATION” Development Cooperation) and Murray and Roberts), has conceptualised a new approach to Environment and Sustainability Teacher Education, aligned with the Department of Basic Education’s priorities of ‘building quality teaching and learning’ in South African schools, and with strengthening the implementation of the CAPS curriculum policy and the new Higher Education Qualifications Framework for Teacher Education.

Eco-School Coordinators and lead teachers, with partners from Water Affairs, SANBI Sanparks and the DBE at Training of Trainers Workshop in the Eastern Cape

The WESSA Eco-Schools programme is a key partner in the “Fundisa for Change” Network, a collaboration of partners from the environmental sector (state, parastatal and NGO) who are jointly responding to the need to strengthen teacher education and practice, particularly with regard to environmental content and concepts in the curriculum (CAPS), as well as in “new” knowledge such as climate change. The network, coordinated by Rhodes University and supported by funding from GIZ (German International

In 2009, WESSA, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) and in collaboration with other stakeholders, engaged in a programme called the Baakens Valley Recovery Programme (BVRP), funded by the Table Mountain Fund (TMF). The BVRP sought to recover the Baakens Valley as a safe and welcoming recreational space and

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The course aims to build teacher capacity in educating about the environment and introduces teachers to the relevant knowledge, teaching methods and assessment practices that will enable them to teach the existing environmental content in the CAPS more confidently and successfully. The WESSA Eco-Schools programme has implemented a series of training workshops for partners in the environmental sector to capacitate them to work with the Fundisa materials and to join the network, as well as to help the sector partners to become directly involved with teacher development. The partnership model builds the capacity of both partners and educators through a process of collaborative learning, and adds to the value proposition of the Eco-Schools programme through accredited training.country.

resource for the community, while sustaining the remarkable flora and fauna of the valley. The Baakens Valley is a prominent natural feature of the city and its river cuts through the city from its upper reaches until it flows into the harbour. It is the backbone of the natural green corridors of the NMBM and much of it is set aside as public open space, with a large section being declared as the Settlers Park Nature Reserve. Great

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OUR PROJECTS progress has been made in securing the safety of the valley through the employment and training of five Baakens Valley Rangers and the implementation of a ‘Walk Safe’ programme. Partnerships with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and local private security companies have proven most beneficial in securing the valley. A botanical survey was completed, which revealed that several endangered species still reside in the valley, and an exciting booklet setting out the history and the biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the valley has been produced. Posters about the amazing biodiversity of the valley are shared with teachers and learners who visit. Subsequent to the completion of the TMFsponsored programme, further funding was obtained from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund to continue developing this programme, which has been renamed the Baakens Valley Community Partnership (BVCP). The BVCP has successfully set out to build on the previous programme and to secure the valley as a safe community resource and functional ecological corridor. In addition, a major focus has been strengthening community participation though involving partners such as the Baakens Valley Trust, the Ubuntu Environmental Trust, the Walmer Youth Development Forum and various church and recreational groups. Promoting the use of the valley for recreation has resulted in many events now being held in the valley. These include an annual Carols by Candlelight event, the Freedom Day Picnic Concert, regular walks supported by BirdLife

and Baakens Valley Trust members, FatTracks MTBike races, and church group picnics. Some job opportunities have been provided, with groups from Walmer Township undertaking alien clearing projects, and corporate sponsorship has also been received for various activities. School groups are now visiting the valley on a weekly basis, and there are increasing environmental education opportunities as well as growing tourism opportunities. Coca-Cola Fortune has provided much-needed funding for the continued employment of the Baakens Valley Rangers and alien vegetation clearing. Crime in the valley, which was previously rife, is now under control, with regular patrols taking place.

From left to right: Rasta Hombile (Walmer Youth Development Forum member), Ernest Sineli (Ranger), Morgan Griffiths (WESSA Senior Conservation Officer), Rev. Zolile Dayimani and Kennedy Mabanga (Ranger) getting ready for the Freedom Day picnic celebrations held at Settlers Park in 2013.

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In 2012, the WESSA Western Cape Region was approached by the National and Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs to co-develop and implement a unique Environmental Protection and Infrastructure Programme (EPIP), called the Youth Environmental Services (YES) Project, for the Western Cape province. The aim of the youth development initiative is to provide skills to young people between the ages of 15 and 34 years from historically disadvantaged backgrounds in order to respond to environmental risks and challenges within host workplaces; create pathways and access to opportunities for further education or training; and, where possible, connect beneficiaries to employment opportunities within the environmental sector. The YES Project commenced in January 2013 and is being implemented by the WESSA Western Cape Region over a period of three years, until December 2015. The project focuses on four different district municipalities within the Western Cape province. These include Eden District Municipality, Winelands District Municipality, Overberg District Municipality and the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality. The poorest communities within these municipalities, who live in low socioeconomic circumstances with poor service delivery and high unemployment rates, have been selected for inclusion in the programme. Most of the communities targeted are either adjacent or in close proximity to key ecosystems that are of significant ecological importance and contribute meaningfully to the livelihoods of the immediate communities in which they are found.

THE YES PROGRAMME RESPONDS DIRECTLY TO THE NEED FOR EMPLOYMENT AND/OR EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOUTH AFRICAN YOUTH AGED BETWEEN 15 AND 34 YEARS. In a report by the International Labour Organisation on global employment trends for youth in 2013, the unemployment rate for youth globally is estimated at 12.6% in 2013 (73.4 million in 2013). According to Stats SA’s 2012 third-quarter Labour Force Survey, South Africa’s statistic for youth unemployment is 48.2% – almost double the national overall unemployment figure of 25% in 2013. Many young people across South Africa are not in employment, education or training. Transitions into decent work opportunities from a basic formal education background are slow and difficult. The economic and social costs of unemployment, long-term unemployment, discouragement and widespread low-quality jobs for young people continue to increase and undermine our economy’s growth potential. In line with WESSA’s response to the national Human Capital Development Strategy as set out by the Department of Environmental Affairs, a large component of the YES project involves formal accredited training on the NQF Level 2 Environmental Practices Skills Development Programme, health and safety, first aid training, non-accredited professional development initiatives, as well as building beneficiaries’ workplace-based experience at various host institutions.

THE “YES” VISION IS TO DEVELOP GREEN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY SKILLS IN OUR YOUTH, in support of a green economy, empower them to create access to exit opportunities in further education and/or further employment in the sector, and provide environmental services to local communities in the Western Cape.

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OUR PROJECTS Currently, 100 BENEFICIARIES per annum are being recruited and placed with mentors in workplace institutions throughout WESSA’s partner organisations in three areas within the Western Cape, namely Cape Town, Hermanus and George, for phase one of the project. Learners engage in holistic personal and professional development and training, and also contribute to community service programmes within their communities. One of the highlights during the first six months of the YES project has been that over 10% of the

On 23 April 2012, work commenced on the Lotto-funded Pines Kenmare project in the Mogale City municipal area. This area of approximately 100 hectare is of high ecological value, running along the Pines and Kenmare Kloof areas within the City of Krugersdorp. The focus of the project was intensive action to clear vast areas of alien invasive plants that have clogged up the river system and closed the valley for many years. Key invasive species identified were various Australian Wattles and American Bramble, and the area to be cleared was 33 hectare in size. This area is a very important catchment area, as the Kenmare and the Pines spruits both originate very close to the continental water divide, which separates surface run-off towards the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Both of these

The end of cleaning invasive alien plants is in sight

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original intake of beneficiaries have already made significant contributions and been employed at their host organisations or other external institutions as a result of the exposure from the project, while others have gone on to finding placements in higher education or training interventions. WESSA continues to work with partner organisations, mentors and the beneficiaries to attain a 75% success rate in providing suitable exit opportunities in the environmental sector for those beneficiaries realising their potential through the YES Project.

streams are recognised for the fact that they form the headwaters of Muldersdrift-se-Loop, which is the origin of the Crocodile River. Both Kloof areas are also recognised for their exceptional biodiversity potential and are graded as irreplaceable sites by the Gauteng Nature Conservation department. One of the Red Data species found just downstream from the confluence of these two streams is a colony of fish that are the only species of their kind. These fish are found near the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, which is a protected area in terms of the NEM: Protected Areas Act. The current infestations of alien invasive plants and their associated seed banks are widely considered to be a threat to biodiversity, water quality and various ecological processes in the catchment area.

The IAP cleaning team

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Kenmare Valley, restored

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ON ITS COMPLETION IN JULY 2013, THIS PROJECT WILL HAVE ACHIEVED THE FOLLOWING: • • • • •

Built partnerships between the municipality, commerce, industry, conservation and residential bodies in the surrounding catchment. Provided extensive training and work for 11 people. Cleared approximately 33 hectare of the catchment area of invasive alien plants. Communicated and implemented existing government principles and mandates for the invasive alien species programmes. Opened up a green belt area for potential use by nature trails and other recreational activities.

topical issues in support of the school curriculum. The magazine imparts knowledge in a fun and interactive manner, and aims to stimulate interest and active participation in “Caring for the Earth”.

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Kids caring for the Earth

EnviroKids has had a successful 34 years of publishing, and 2012/13 was no exception. Magazines have been widely distributed to WESSA members, Eco-Schools, several other environmental NGOs and the City of Cape Town YES programme. Furthermore, 700 sponsored copies have contributed towards education at under-resourced schools through the EnviroKids In Schools project. The magazine content is currently thematic and the chosen themes have covered a wide range of

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The May theme for 2012 was Recycling Waste. This issue of the magazine looked at how nothing is wasted in nature and contrasted this with the huge dump sites and water pollution generated by humans. Articles covered how to recycle waste at school and at home, plastics recycling, how to make a worm farm, and ideas for fun things to make and do with recycled material. The August issue, with the theme of Ocean Nurseries, supported National Marine Week. The focus was on the importance of conserving the breeding and nursery habitats of fish and other marine animals in the open ocean and in coastal areas, estuaries, beaches, and special habitats such as shark nurseries. The November theme, Saving Rhinos, addressed the problem of poaching and the importance of conserving rhinos and other big game animals in wilderness areas. This issue was very popular and was published when poaching was making news headlines. It generated requests for a reprint of 3 000 copies in March, with another pending, for distribution to communities living around “rhino hotspot” parks. Intrepid explorer, Kingsley Holgate, took a batch of magazines from this issue to distribute at his “Lebombo Expedition” in June 2013.

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OUR PROJECTS Finally, the first EnviroKids of 2013 supported National Water Week in March. The theme, Conserving Water, covered the importance of water in our lives, and how to become water-wise. The water conservation strategies of plants and animals living in dry areas also made for interesting reading. Each of the four issues during the year also contained one in a series of four articles entitled One River – Four Nations. These were funded by the ORASECOM (Orange-Senqu River Basin Commission) project and highlighted the importance of the Orange-Senqu River in each of its sub-basins.

Wayne Stead from WESSA handing over the Rhino edition of the Envirokids magazine to Kingsley Holgate, for distribution to schools in three countries

Since 2010, WESSA has been key partner and contributor in the magazine Environment – People and Conservation in South Africa, in association with several other organisations. Now a leading magazine, Environment provides a medium for all the conservation NGOs involved to deepen the understanding of environmental work in the country. The quarterly publication is thematic, and edited by respected South African environmentalist Dr John Ledger.

For most of us, ‘shack’ is not a word that stirs up thoughts of home, but rather emotive images of the exact opposite. The stark reality is that for so the question we need to answer is: How do we help to create informal homes that are

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A concept that attempts to answer this question is the Touching the Earth Lightly (TEL) Green Shack. Designed by Stephen Lamb (in collaboration with Andrew Lord) for the 2013 Design Indaba, the Green Shack utilises sustainable technologies (where possible) to address the issues of flooding, shack fires, food security and thermal insulation. WESSA and the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation formed a partnership to co-fund this creation and, subsequent to the Design Indaba, the Green Shack has found its home in our sustainability commons. Currently WESSA is providing the project management and sustainability functions, while the Ackerman Pick n Pay Foundation is considering supporting the food security aspect through the provision of vertical gardens. Anyone interested in seeing The Green Shack first hand is welcome to visit our sustainability commons at WESSA in Cape Town. You will be warmly welcomed by our recently appointed sustainability ambassador, Randall du Plessis. Randall is a YES Programme participant who is being hosted by WESSA. As our sustainability

ambassador, one of his tasks is assisting in the monitoring and maintenance of the Green Shack and its vertical gardens. Other responsibilities include familiarising himself with the wide variety of sustainable technologies on our commons and demonstrating or explaining to visitors how these technologies work. His role as sustainability ambassador, which is well aligned with our USAID-funded “Stepping Up to Sustainability” project, has given him the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills from sustainability experts and provided him with a healthy sense of ownership here at WESSA. From this foundation, Randall wants to build a career in the environmental field and, perhaps more importantly, he desires to take what he is learning back to his community and to teach them about the importance of treasuring the environment. In light of this, it is not surprising that what is most important to him is that “everyday that I am here, I learn something new. Learning is everything”. Without people like Randall, who are passionate about teaching their local communities about the importance of a healthy environment, creations like the Green Shack will never be more than a concept.

DEA/WESSA YES programme participants take a look at the Green Shack, now housed in WESSA’s office garden in Cape Town

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community members were employed and given specialist training for the clearing and removal of alien plants. This team has worked consistently throughout the year and has, to date, completed the initial clearance of 412 hectares of the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve, which has had a significant impact on our biodiversity conservation work in Umgeni Valley. The second project was a joint initiative with the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA), the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve.

The Umgeni Valley Education Centre enjoyed significant growth in 2012. This has been partly due to the very successful and much-needed Independent Research Projects (IRPs) that the team runs for the Independent Examinations Board schools. The excellent work done by the education team in 2011 has meant a significant increase in “word of mouth” bookings and repeat visits from many schools. The programmes are all designed to achieve the school educator’s desired outcomes and meet the relevant curriculum requirements. The Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve had a busy and challenging year, with two major projects becoming the core of our focus over the year. The first project was the Lotto Alien Invasive Plant Project, where 57 of our local

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The aim of the project was to introduce a quality management system for the reserve and all its operations. The planning stage of the Protected Areas Management System (PAMS) has been completed and it is now in its implementation stage. The system is designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all operations at Umgeni Valley – from education, conservation and hospitality, through to administration – continually reaching for the best practice target, and in so doing, making Umgeni Valley one of the best managed conservation areas in Southern Africa. This is the first time the PAMS system has been implemented in Southern Africa, as it has previously mainly been used in East Africa, and it will be a significant achievement for Umgeni Valley to complete this certification and continue its management in this manner.

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The team at Umgeni Valley has been hard at work over this past year, trying to create an umgeni valley that is financially and environmentally sustainable.

We will continue in this manner throughout the coming year, and believe that there are many more exciting successes to look forward to.

The Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve is situated near Howick, just 20 minutes from Pietermaritzburg. The reserve is home to giraffe, zebra, a variety of antelope and over 260 bird species. The education centre is one of the oldest and firmly established environmental education centres in Africa. One-day to five-day courses are offered, with a flexible programme to allow for input from teachers. An indigenous tree trail surrounds the main education centre and visitors can enjoy self-guided walks, during which they are sure to spot the animals in this beautiful reserve.

A group of learners and education staff on a walk through the reserve

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while “word of mouth” continues to succeed in drawing people to the facility. Twinstreams received significant funding to run the KZN Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs’ CARE project, in which our guides have worked with 12 different schools in the area, helping them to become involved in Eco-Schools Projects. An integral part of the project is teacher training and capacity building, and we held an Environmental Educators course in the first week of July that was enthusiastically attended by 25 people from around the country.

The Twinstreams Environmental Education Centre enjoyed a successful year, with many new schools visiting the centre to enjoy the experiential environmental learning experience provided by our staff. Our new website and e-newsletter have helped to generate new interest as well as repeat visits,

During the course of the year, we also converted our old “frog house” from a storage room into a new dormitory, which sleeps an additional 10 students, and we have plans to extend and improve our Eco-House with additional bathrooms and a self-catering kitchen. With these new facilities in place, we can look forward to another successful year at Twinstreams.

Established in 1952 by Dr Ian Garland, the WESSA Twinstreams Environmental Education Centre is the oldest environmental education centre in South Africa. Situated in the middle of a dune forest on the outskirts of the magnificent Mtunzini Eco-Village on the Zululand coastline, the centre provides an excellent outdoor learning environment, complete with mangrove swamps, estuaries, long stretches of beach, superlative birding and forest hikes.

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Settlers Primary. During Arbour Week in September, the Treasure Beach Centre conducted tree planting ceremonies at these schools and hosted a beach clean-up. A workshop focusing on climate change, energy and water that was held at the centre, providing tools for learning and change that could be sustainably implemented at the participating schools. In October, the learners visited the rock pools at Treasure Beach to learn about all the marine creatures living in the rock pools, such as octopus, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and anemones. In addition, 200 of the learners were taught about food gardening at the centre, which involved planting, composting, worm farming and plant propagation. During the last year, the Treasure Beach Environmental Education Centre completed the Mondi Climate Change 2012 project, which involved introducing sustainable living practices to five local schools in the South Durban Basin, namely Jungarth Primary, Alipore Primary, St Marys Primary, Parsee Rustomjee Primary and

This project was all made possible by funding from Mondi Merebank. We would particularly like to thank the Mondi Merebank CSI team for the sponsorship, and for their continued support for education in the schools of the South Durban Basin.

WESSA Treasure Beach Environmental Education Centre is located at the Bluff on the Durban coast and offers a “HANDSON” OUTDOOR CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE, where children can explore the wonders and diversity of the fascinating invertebrates and vertebrates that inhabit the intertidal zone. Interactive activities and workshops encourage a practical understanding of ecology, and highlight the learners’ role in caring for the environment and preserving our natural heritage. Learners at Treasure Beach Environmental Education Centre discovering how to use a solar cooker

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ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRES

The Bush Pigs Environmental Education Centre conducted an energy and waste audit of their own environmental practices and, based on the results, started implementing sustainable technologies to reduce their energy use and carbon footprint. These efforts resulted in the centre producing six tonnes of organic waste over a period of one year and saving 7 000 kWh of electricity over a measured seven-month period. A permanent exhibition of sustainable technologies was set up at the centre to demonstrate sustainable living practices to visitors, and suggest best practices that can be adopted. In 2012, Bush Pigs was nominated as runner-up in the Community category of the Eskom eta energy efficiency awards, for their efforts in sustainability. Bush Pigs continues to provide service excellence to visiting schools, some of which have been regular visitors to the centre over the past 20 years. The objective and core belief of the staff is that environmental education is the key to encouraging responsible stewardship of the earth among the youth and future generations. This is achieved through experiential, hands-on learning, allowing the children to have fun while learning, being led by passionate educators who foster a sense of valuing and appreciating the earth.

Learners enjoying one of the challenging activities offered at Bush Pigs

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The centre offers a four-camp system, through which learners can rotate depending on their length of stay. All the camps are unique, offering different programmes that are designed to challenge each individual mentally, physically and spiritually. Focus areas at the centre and at the camps are sustainability (biodiversity, water, energy and waste), adventure, leadership, social responsibility, culture and heritage and – more recently – capacity building through workshops and courses.

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Nestled on 260 hectares, close to the foothills of the Waterberg in Limpopo, the Bush Pigs Environmental Education Centre has been operating since 1987 and became WESSA’s fourth environmental education centre in 2009. Bush Pigs hosts approximately 3 200 learners annually from schools in Gauteng, Limpopo and Botswana. The centre is one of Limpopo’s premier education centres, and is home to the first Sustainability Commons in the area. Bush Pigs comprises four unique camps, set in different environments on two privately owned farms, and offers a range of challenging activities for learners. The two farms offer diverse habitats, including grasslands, rocky ridges plunging into a ravine, bushveld savannah and a perennial stream with an adjacent wetland. A variety of animal species, including antelope, zebra, giraffe and rhino, are found in the area.

All of the learning material that was provided addressed topical environmental issues closely integrated with the school curriculum and supported the objectives of the National Curriculum Statement.

The Education Centre is administered by WESSA’s Upper South Coast Branch, which has raised funds and supported the centre in its work from its inception. During 2012, approximately 48 school visits to the Umbogavango Environmental Education Centre were arranged, for some 1 600 children that were largely drawn from rural schools in the greater Amanzimtoti area.

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Over the past year, the education programmes at the centre have been run by conservation intern Philisiwe Ndlovu, with the help of Chris Skinner, who is the chairman of the Upper South Coast Branch and an educationalist affiliated with the University of KwaZulu-Natal. During her time at the centre, and as part of her requirements for her Diploma in Nature Conservation, Philisiwe also undertook various research projects, which included a monkey survey, a grassland survey at Vumbuka Reserve and an alien vegetation review. The centre is encouraging visits from schools in close proximity to the Umbogavango Nature Reserve by inviting them to make use of the centre’s facilities for school field trips, and the very first visit from the School for the Deaf in Amanzimtoti took place in February 2013.

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The Umbogavango Nature Reserve and Environmental Education Centre was founded in 1989 and is located within an industrial complex that is situated in Umbogintwini, about 25 km south of Durban. For over 20 years, the centre has provided educational courses for grade 7 pupils from a group of senior primary schools in the southern suburban and semi-rural areas of the eThekwini Municipality. The 36 hectare nature reserve provides a wonderful outdoor classroom for the learners. It comprises a thatched main building; two large freshwater holding dams; over 200 species of birdlife; five bird hides overlooking the dams; six scenic walking trails; more than 100 indigenous tree types; significant wetland areas; indigenous coastal bush; and a variety of small mammals.

WESSA intern, Philisiwe Ndlovu, with a school group outside Umbogavango Environmental Education Centre

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– Proverb

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WESSA BRANCHES Branches are local groups of WESSA members who, in many cases, raise funds and implement local conservation projects and initiatives. They may also help manage and protect sites of special conservation interest on behalf of local municipalities, promote environmental awareness and education in the community, and hold special events and activities for members and the general public in order to encourage active participation in caring for the Earth. Branches are guided by the mission statement, policies and position statements of WESSA, and play an important role in achieving the aims of the organisation.

WESSA acknowledges the value of its members, who over the years have passionately and dedicatedly volunteered their time and expertise to caring for the Earth. In the process, they have made a significant contribution to protecting and rehabilitating the environment, provided high quality environmental education, and helped to build a sustainable world for current and future generations. A selection of brief WESSA Branch reports is listed below and these give an overview of the remarkable breadth and diversity of branch activities that have been undertaken in the past year.

INCORPORATING THE FRIENDS OF THE GEORGE HERONRY (FROGH) A series of geology excursions organised by the branch over the past year proved to be a great success, with Garden Route residents learning about the local geology whilst meeting people and discovering new areas. Experienced geologists developed three routes through the Klein Karoo, along the Coast and around the Kammanassie Mountains. WESSA’s national Stepping up to Sustainability programme and the sustainability commons that the branch established at the Moriarty Environmental Centre at the Garden Route Botanical Garden over the past year drew a fair amount of interest, with people attending a workshop on the making of a vertical garden.

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A workshop demonstration on the construction of a vertical garden

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A dynamic group debated uses for planters, as well as variations to the framework and the watering system. The George-Sedgefield branch is very active, organising monthly talks or outings and maintains regular contact with members, interested individuals and groups through its monthly newsletter and newsflashes.

One of the committee members also has a weekly slot discussing local environmental news on the Eden FM radio station. The WESSA Eden Facebook page has widened the audience with which WESSA engages and is strengthening its relationship with the local community.

INCORPORATING FRIENDS OF THE BLESBOKSPRUIT the big news from this branch is the opening of the Grootvaly Wetland Bird Ringing Research Centre, which took place in March 2013. This centre has been built at the Grootvaly Wetland Reserve, which is at the northern end of the Blesbokspruit Ramsar Site. The new Bird Ringing Research Centre is the first permanent facility of its kind in the country and consists of a laboratory, overnight hostel accommodation, an ablution block, a kitchen and a lecture hall. The main emphasis of this centre is to set up

Highway Branch is a firm believer in the need for Environmental Education and sells donated books to raise funds to sponsor children from local senior primary schools to attend courses at WESSA’s Treasure Beach Environmental Education Centre. In the past they have also used the funds raised to sponsor “Talking Books

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longterm research and Wits University is already getting involved. The Grootvaly Wetland Reserve was formed in 1996 and is managed by a board of trustees that is made up of representatives from local industry, the local metro council, and two members of the WESSA branch, Mike Hood and founder trustee Stan Madden. Until now, the prime function of the trust has been environmental education aimed at the under-privileged primary school children in the area.

for the Blind” with books with a nature or environmental theme. The Branch continues to host its successful monthly meetings, now in their 40th year, arranging talks by guest speakers on various wildlife, natural resources and environmental

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A group of children, sponsored by the branch, searching for creatures in the rock pools at Treasure Beach

matters. The Branch’s latest project involves restoring Glenholme Nature Reserve to its former glory, in partnership with the Kloof Conservancy

and The Kloof and Highway SPCA. The Branch is also supplying various groups with the WESSA’s Tree Labels.

The Upper South Coast Branch runs two projects concurrently, namely the Umbogavango Environmental Education Centre and the Schools’ Beautification Programme. Umbogavango is administered largely by the branch, which has raised funds and supported the centre in its work from inception [see separate article in this publication about Umbogavango]. The school’s Beautification Programme is designed to help educate and encourage school children to treat their environment with respect, by ensuring that their classrooms are clean, the school environment is free from litter, the gardens are well maintained, and that indigenous trees are planted. An action committee is responsible for evaluating the 25 schools participating in the program, with

Learners from Sesifikile Primary enjoying an educational talk during a walk through the reserve

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inspections done five times a year. The learners also have the opportunity to visit the resource centre at Umbogavango Nature Reserve to attend different short courses related to nature conservation and the environment. Heartlands

Leasing, from the Umbogintwini Industrial Association (UIA), is the main sponsor of the project and the branch would like to thank them for their wholehearted support of the venture.

Sani Wildlife is as strong and committed to the environment as ever, and is one of the most active branches in the country. The branch’s evening presentations have addressed a variety of conservation subjects, with interesting speakers and presentations. Branch members have also enjoyed various excursions, including a trip to see the cycads in the Pholela river valley, a spring flower walk, novice birding activities, and a wetland walk jointly hosted with EWT on World Wetlands Day in February 2013.

prevent the destruction of wetlands, land in the riparian zone and natural grasslands. Some activities that they have been monitoring include the tarring of Sani Pass Road and possible development between Underberg and Himeville.

An important component of the branch’s work involves monitoring developments in the area to

The Southern KwaZulu-Natal branch continues to hold its monthly walks, and on these, the branch is privileged to have several local botanical experts to explain the indigenous flora. The branch has also seen a remarkable range of fauna, from the easily spotted oyster-catchers to the well-hidden Fenrica beetles, which assist to control alien invasive plants. The branch’s main project is the management of the Bendigo Nature Reserve on behalf of the local municipality. The reserve is a swamp forest, and one of the last remaining patches of indigenous forest in Southport, KwaZulu-Natal. Over the past year, they have proudly hosted a series of superbly illustrated talks by Mr Geoff Nichols and others. The branch also hosted a local inter-high school Eco-Quiz and the winning team went on to represent the area at the National Quiz in Pietermaritzburg.

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Branch members also take part in various annual biodiversity counts, including the CWAC (waterbird) count, the CAR (large terrestrial birds) count, the Cape Parrot count, the oribi count, ongoing vulture restaurant monitoring as well as the national census, the eland count and checking wattle crane breeding sites.

Branch members on a walk at Ramsgate

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Thirty-two young environmentalists took part in the WESSA Durban branch’s Environmental Youth Leaders’ Course at the end of April 2012. The aim was to develop a network of young leaders committed to building a sustainable future, as well as establish a platform for further learning. It was a very diverse group, ranging from 15 to 25 years of age, from both urban and rural backgrounds. The members of the Durban branch who organised and ran the course were amazed at the response and could not have hoped for a more vibrant and inspiring first group. Crispin Hemson, chair of the Durban branch, said, “We have been highly impressed by the resourcefulness and commitment of the participants. Our task is to build a new generation of environmental leadership, and the potential in this group is obvious.”

the first botanical survey of the Hawaan in 1968, and it is a rare occasion that the author of an original scientific study has the opportunity to re-evaluate his research half a century later. To mark this historic occasion, WESSA’s Durban branch partnered with Botsoc (KZN Coastal Branch) to organise a talk by Prof Moll, giving background and to report back on the current condition of the forest. The evening, attended by well over 100 people, was a remarkable gathering of older WESSA and Botsoc members, re-united in their common passion for this unique forest. Over the past year, the Durban branch has also sponsored several short and longer internships for youth interested in pursuing careers in the environmental sector.

In late September, Professor Eugene Moll revisited the Hawaan Forest. Prof Moll undertook

WESSA Durban Environmental Youth Leaders’ Course

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Each year, the Grahamstown branch mounts a themed Wildlife Experience linked to the prestigious annual WESSA Jack Skead Memorial Lecture. This year’s experience featured deserts, and in September 2012, the branch organised a weekend outing to Nieu-Bethesda in the Karoo, which focused on the geology and palaeontology of the area. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was visited in February 2013 by an intrepid party who had amazing sightings, despite this being a particularly dry year. Following the trip, the branch hosted a panel discussion on the environment and wildlife of the

Kgalagadi Desert. The Jack Skead Memorial Lecture will once again take place later in 2013. The branch committee meets regularly to arrange monthly activites and to manage the business of the branch. Our current watchdog activities include various proposed developments, such as the Grahamstown landfill site and a proposed wind and solar energy farm near Riebeeck East. Major concerns about such developments centre around the existing capacity of the town infrastructure, especially the sewage works, and the impact of these developments on vegetation.

Participants in WESSA Grahamstown Beach’s excursion to Nieu-Bethesda in September 2012, learning about geology and paleontology

Please refer to the WESSA website for a list of all the active WESSA branches.

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BRANCHES AND FRIENDS GROUPS

WESSA FRIENDS GROUPS Wessa has over 70 affiliated friends groups that are active throughout South Africa. These are groups of volunteers that band together to conserve, rehabilitate and protect a natural zone or space of special interest in their local area, and are guided by the mission statement, policies and position statements of WESSA. Over the past year, these groups have remained steadily active in the environment, undertaking a myriad of projects concerning both conservation and advocacy work. These have included raising funds to support their projects; constructing and launching new nature trails; working closely with local biodiversity authorities; rallying support against inappropriate developments such as the threat of mining applications and the construction of power lines in environmentally sensitive areas; river and wetland rehabilitation; clearing alien vegetation; planting of indigenous

trees and other vegetation; erecting signboards and informative posters; conducting frequent bird counts; leading river and coastal clean-ups; and working with local schools and communities to improve environmental education. The Friends have also taken time out from their hard work to enjoy their areas of conservation, by conducting activities such as hosting informative talks by subject experts; leading guided walks for the benefit of their members and their local community; facilitating bird and plant identification courses; and arranging excursions for their members to local places of natural beauty and geological phenomena. WESSA would like acknowledge these groups of committed individuals who embody and encourage the principle of public participation in caring for the Earth. The highlights that follow below capture some examples of the Friends Group’s activities over the past year.

The Friends of Moreleta Kloof in Gauteng have been planning, fundraising and working for three years to make the reserve friendlier for differently abled community members and now have a beautiful bird hide and toilet facility with a rest

deck, accessible to wheelchair users. Visually impaired persons can also enjoy most of the existing pathways to be in contact with the large variety of nature in the reserve.

In December, long-awaited signboards were erected at the start of the boardwalk to Silvermine Dam in the Western Cape, through the efforts of the Friends of Silvermine Nature

Area, providing information to the public about the Cape Floral Kingdom. Pictured here is the Section Ranger and SANParks interns who planted the boards.

In April, Friends of Serene Valley in Gauteng organised an insect walk led by two

entomologists from the Agricultural Research Council, enjoyed by young and old.

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Friends of Nylsvley and Nyl Floodplain in Limpopo co-ordinated a very successful plant

Moreleta Kloof

Silvermine Nature Area

senses and communication course weekend with Professor Braam van Wyk.

Serene Valley

Nylsvley

Please refer to the WESSA website for a list of all the affiliated Friends Groups.

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WESSA is grateful for the support of all our Project Funders, Business Members and Trusts, as well as donations received – monetary and in kind – from both individuals and corporates.

As an NGO, we depend on this funding to allow us to continue to care for the Earth. WESSA also greatly values the support received from the numerous volunteers who give freely and generously of their time and expertise.

WESSA’S NATIONAL CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS ARE PROUDLY AND GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY: The Guy Balderson Fund The Gower Trust The Hans Hoheisen Conservation Trust

The Lomas Wildlife Protection Trust The Maas Maassen Fund

ABB Auto Tec Foundation Business Connexion Bytes Document Solutions Cannon Centre for Environmental Rights Coca-Cola Fortune Conservation International Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund De Beers Department of Agriculture & Environmental Affairs (KZN) Department of Basic Education Department of Environmental Affairs Deutsche Bank The DG Murray Trust Duplo Dynamic Commodities Eden District Municipality Engen Environmental Education Association of Southern Africa (EEASA) Environmental Learning Research Centre Eskom Ethekwini Municipality

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) Investec IUCN LGSETA Lion of Africa Insurance Company Limited Lion Roars Safaris & Lodges Mazda Wildlife Fund Mondi Nampak NIRAS National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund NPC Sea World ORASECOM Orion Engineered Carbons PetroSA Riso Rand Merchant Bank SADC SANBI South African National Parks SASA Government of Sweden The RedCap Foundation

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TMF TSB Sugar Holdings UNDP GEF UNOPS USAID

Wrigley Foundation WWF WWF Nedbank Green Trust XSTRATA XSTRATA Platinum

PLATINUM MEMBERS – R27 500-plus per annum AFRISAM South Africa (Pty) Ltd Honeydew Dairies New Vaal Colliery

Richards Bay Minerals ROSE Foundation Woolworths

GOLD MEMBERS – R11 000-plus per annum ArcelorMittal South Africa Ltd (Newcastle Works) Barberton Mines (Pty) Ltd De Beers Consolidated Mines Deloitte and Touche DERIVCO (Pty) Ltd Eskom Holdings SOC Limited Heartland Leasing (Pty) Ltd Hollard Life Assurance Company Idwala Lime ImproChem (Pty) Ltd Indian Ocean Export Co Johnson and Johnson (Pty) Ltd Lake International Technologies (Pty) Ltd Leisure Development Co Manganese Metal Company (Pty) Ltd Metago Environmental Engineers (Pty) Ltd

Mondi (Ltd) NPC-CIMPOR Oilkol (Pty) Ltd Old Mutual Orion Engineered Carbons (Pty) Ltd Pick n Pay Samancor Chrome Ltd Sappi Limited Selectech (Pty) Ltd Sishen Iron Ore Co (Pty) Ltd Smith and Nephew (Pty) Ltd South African Sugar Association TRANSNET National Ports Authority of SA TRANSNET Pipelines Vondeling Wines

SILVER MEMBERS – R2 500-plus per annum Caltex Mpumalanga North Marketer Capital Supreme (Pty) Ltd Chennells Albertyn Attorneys, Notaries & Conveyancers Doculam (Pty) Ltd Exol Oil Refinery (Pty) Ltd Flamingo Casino Gum Tree Lodge Howick Travel CC Knysna Elephant Park Komatiland Forests (Pty) Ltd Land Resources International (Pty) Ltd (LRI)

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Leriba Lodge Panda Bamboo Products Peter Greeff & Associates Samgro CC Sani Lodge Backpackers South West Clothing t/a Rockface Jeep Schroeder Logistics CC Sublimation House (Pty) Ltd Superstone Mining (Pty) Ltd Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Tswalu Kalahari Reserve UIS Analytical Services

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WESSA is a South African environmental organisation

WITH A MISSION TO IMPLEMENT HIGH IMPACT ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSERVATION PROJECTS WHICH PROMOTE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN CARING FOR THE EARTH.

We have a dedicated team of board members, who each bring with them unique expertise from different fields. Together, our

With a remarkable 87 year history, WESSA has a strong track record of delivering human capacity development projects by working in strategic partnerships, thus enabling people to make more sustainable lifestyle and environmental management choices. Critical focus areas include life-supporting eco-systems such as water, energy and biodiversity.

members make up a varied and extensive talent pool.

NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Dr Richard Lewis (BA, LLB, MBA, D Juris) Chairman of the Board Portfolio: Corporate Governance and HR

Dr Paul Bartels (MSc (Zoology)) Portfolio: Region/Member Liaison

Ms Dianne Perrett (PG Dip Marketing (IMM)) Vice Chairman of the Board Portfolio: Marketing and Communications

Dr Eureta Rosenberg (BMedSc (Hons), MMedSc, BA (Hons), MEd, PhD (Environmental Education)) Portfolio: Environmental Education and Human Capacity Development

Prof Michael Kidd (BCom, LLB, LLM (Environmental Law), PhD) Portfolio: Environmental Law

Dr Howard Hendricks (Bsc (Hons), PhD (Conservation Biology)) Portfolio: Conservation

Mr Andre Steyn (CA (SA)) Portfolio: Finance

Mr Michael Fischer (BCom, PG Dip Accounting, CA (SA)) Portfolio: Project Management

Ms Suzanne Erasmus (BSc (Hons), STD Portfolio: Region/Member Liaison

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Dr Thommie Burger (B (Hons), MSc, PhD (Org Behaviour)) Portfolio: Chief Executive Officer

Mr Garth Barnes (G Dip (Marketing Management), BA (Environmental Management)) Portfolio: Director of Conservation

Mr Mike Ward (BA, MSc (Environmental Science), MBA) Portfolio: Chief Operations Officer

Dr Jim Taylor (BA, HDE, MSc, PhD (Environmental Education)) Portfolio: Director of Environmental Education

OTHER MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE TEAM Ms Roxanne Giannikos Designation: Executive Manager Business Development

Mr Malcolm Powell (BSc, HDE, BEd, Advanced Dip Business Management) Designation: Company Secretary

Mrs Shelley Short (CA (SA)) Designation: Chief Financial Officer

WESSA’s position statements on various current environmental issues may be found at WESSA.ORG.ZA

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NATIONAL OFFICE Umngeni Valley Nature Reserve 1 Karkloof Rd, Howick PO Box 394, Howick, 3290 Tel: 033 330 3931 Fax: 033 330 4576 Email: info@wessa.co.za

HEAD OFFICE 18 Blackwood Str, Bryanston X3 PO Box 435, Ferndale, 2160 Tel: 011 462 5663 Fax: 011 462 8364 Email: info@wessa.co.za

EASTERN CAPE: EAST LONDON REGION Shop 12B, Beacon Bay Crossing North Wing, Cnr N2 & Bonza Bay Rd Beacon Bay, East London PO Box 2909, Beacon Bay, 5205 Tel: 043 748 5798 Fax: 043 748 5816 Email: envirocentre@wessabk.co.za

EASTERN CAPE: PORT ELIZABETH REGION 2B Lawrence Str, Central Hill, Port Elizabeth, 6001 PO Box 12444, Central Hill, 6006 Tel: 041 589 9606/585 1157 Fax: 041 587 3228 Email: martheanne@wessaep.co.za

KWAZULU-NATAL REGION 100 Brand Rd, Durban, 4001 Tel: 031 201 3126 Fax: 031 201 9525 Email: jenny@wessakzn.org.za

LOWVELD REGION PO Box 150, White River, 1240 Tel: 083 630 1782 Email: lowveld@wessa.co.za Secretary: lowveldadmin@wessa.co.za

NORTHERN CAPE REGION c/o McGregor Museum, Egerton Rd, Kimberley, 8301 PO Box 316, Kimberley, 8300 053 829 2717/839 2700 Tel: Fax: 053 841 1433 Email: se@museumsnc.co.za

NORTHERN AREAS REGION 18 Blackwood Str, Bryanston X3 PO Box 435, Ferndale, 2160 Tel: 011 462 5663 Fax: 011 462 8364 Email: info@wessanorth.co.za

WESTERN CAPE REGION 31 The Sanctuary, Kirstenhof, Cape Town PO Box 30145, Tokai, 7966 021 701 1397 Tel: Fax: 021 701 1399 Email: admin@wessa.co.za

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WESSA 2012/2013 Annual Review