MEMBERS of the many conservancies in this area will be interested to know that their provincial umbrella body, Conservation KZN, is planning to expand to enable it to engage more effectively in environmental advocacy strategies.
According to its recent newsletter, the organisation, formally known as the KZN Conservancies Association, has decided to widen civic conservation outside its own membership. It will do this by offering affiliation to other conservation organisations, of which there are more than 100 in KwaZulu-Natal.
These include environmental non-governmental organisations, private nature reserves, eco-estates, birding and wildlife clubs, office and industrial parks, educational institutions, environmental monitoring groups and even environmentally-supportive sporting bodies.
Aside from the exchange of information and ideas that this would generate, the objective of Conservation KZN is to create an influential alliance and a powerful advocacy group playing a role in environmental policy.
The newsletter also reports on a development that would be of great interest to local nature lovers. The Swartberg Mountains at the southern end of the Drakensberg are now a part of Maloti-Drakensberg Park, bringing this magnificent trans-frontier park and World Heritage site one step closer to the South Coast.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has purchased one of three beautiful farms neighbouring the park and is hoping to purchase a second, adjoining, farm.
Through a group of its members, Conservation KZN is attempting to purchase the third farm to complete the chain of properties linked to the park and possibly the UNESCO World Heritage area in the future.