Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change


Wildlands Conservation Trust

The Wildlands Conservation Trust is a dynamic, innovative, non-profit organisation working to conserve the natural heritage of our beautiful country. To meet this objective we work closely with our community, corporate and private partners, as well as other conservstion NGO's on our six core programmes. 

These programmes are:
(1) Conservation SPACE,
(2) Maputaland-Pondoland_Albany Biodiversity Hotspot,
(3) Sustainable Communities,
(4) Greening Your Future,
(5) Green Leaders, and
(6) Wildlands Recycling

Conservation Programmes

Conservation SPACE

The long-term preservation of southern Africa's wild lands and the conservation of its unique biodiversity cannot happen in isolation. Many of the communities living in and around these areas in South Africa live in poverty, and rely heavily on the natural resources provided by the land. For this reason Wildlands is working closely with communities and other stakeholders to expand the existing land under conservation ensuring the effective management and sustainable use of these areas as well as ensuring communities benefit througheco-tourism initiatives. Wildlands also supports the work of the KZN Biodiversity Stewardship Programme (run by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife) and a number of priority species monitoring and protection programmes in these areas through our Conservation Capital Fund and with funds raised from our Bonitas Wild Series events.

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot

Between September 2010 and August 2015 the Wildlands Conservation Trust will be the Regional Implementing Team for a US$6.65 million investment by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Global Biodiversity Hotspot. In this role Wildlands is responsible for soliciting, designing and awarding grants to civil society organisations and community groups that will protect biodiversity in the Hotspot and strengthen the role of civil society in conservation in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. The appointment of Wildlands as Regional Implementation Team for this investment affirms the growing role of the Trust as one of the leading conservation NGOs in the Southern African region and presents new opportunities for partnerships and relationships between conservation NGOs in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique.

Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities, which developed off the back of (and now incorporates) the Indigenous Trees for Life programme, has rapidly grown into a world-class sustainable development programme. Through this programme Wildlands is improving people's livelihoods, educating people about the environment and developing entrepreneurial skills with the aim of building vibrant, healthy, sustainable communities that contribute to the Green Economy.

Greening Your Future

Greening your Future is a forest restoration and climate change mitigation initiative, with a focus on community upliftment. Trees grown by Wildlands 'tree-preneurs' are planted by green teams or community landowners to reforest degraded land. This helps restore ecosystems, bringing back the naturally- occurring biodiversity, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, as well as supplementing livelihoods for both the growers and the planters of the trees. A growing forest of trees, using the natural process of photosynthesis, absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, 'sinking' the carbon. Wildlands is applying the internationally-recognised Climate, Community and Biodiversity design standard to guide the development and rollout of these projects.

Green Leaders

Green Leaders is focused on nurturing environmental awareness and leadership amongst our partners, including our tree-preneurs, waste-preneurs, community and business leaders. Our projects involve direct hands-on learning experiences, through which we expose our potential green leaders to our region’s spectacular biodiversity and connect them with ways they can make a difference.

Wildlands Recycling

At least 70-80% of household waste is recyclable, and yet much of it ends up in landfills! In February 2010, Wildlands decided it was time to stop preaching and start practising recycling. Together with the waste collected from waste-preneurs, Wildlands has partnered with the African Conservation Trust to collect recyclables from schools, businesses and housing estates in the Midlands, Mooi River, Greytown and Richmond areas. Emerging Recycling Entrepreneurs sort the waste at a central depot and then sell the various streams on for recycling. We collect white paper, mixed paper, cardboard, newspaper, plastic, glass, cans and tetrapak.

Jojo Tanks are making a difference in KwaJobe

Posted on the Wildlands Conservation Trust website 30/07/2010

Thirty members of the KwaJobe community near Mkhuze Game Reserve received Jojo Tanks for rainwater storage last month, and this they have achieved by growing indigenous trees.

NGO the Wildlands Conservation Trust runs the Indigenous Trees for Life project where people in need are shown how to grow indigenous trees from seed and nurture them to a certain height. Known as tree-preneurs, the people then trade the trees for goods such as groceries, school uniforms and clothes, bicycles, wheelbarrows and now Jojo tanks.

Mirium Nlenyam was one of first tree-preneurs in KwaJobe at the start of the project in 2004 “I don’t know how many trees I have grown in the years but I have grown many. I have bought food, clothes and bikes for my children and two wheelbarrows. Today I am buying my third Jojo tank.”

A tree-preneur needs to grow 532 indigenous trees to a height of 30cm in order to purchase a 1500 litre Jojo tank, and many people in this community now want to join the programme after seeing others purchasing Jojo tanks with trees.

There are few sources of clean water here and most of the community access water from Muze Pan, a wetland area a few kilometres walk for many people.“I am buying the Jojo’s so that I can get clean water because I don’t want to drink the water from the pan. The animals go there and when I drink the water from the pan, I get sick. I use the water from the tanks for drinking and cooking and washing my white clothes. The tanks have helped a lot because I’m getting old now and I can’t carry 25 litres from the pan every day.”

For every 1500 litre Jojo tank purchased by Wildlands for tree-preneurs to buy, Jojo is matching it with a donated one, up to 200 tanks. This frees up much needed funds for Wildlands to develop the tree growing programme further.

Charmaine Veldman, Programme manager for Indigenous Trees for Life, said that the demand for Jojo tanks is a reflection of how difficult access to water is for so many in our rural communities in South Africa, especially for woman who have to walk kilometres to get drinking water. “Harvesting and using rainwater adds significantly to the quality of life for the people in KwaJobe, and through hard work and dedication to the propagation of indigenous trees which are planted back into their community, they are able to achieve this for themselves.” Veldman said.

Pieter du Plessis from Jojo Tanks attended the handover of the Jojo tanks and he spoke to the community members gathered: “We thank you for doing what you are doing; growing trees. We can help by working with you and Wildlands and donating the tanks, but nothing in life comes for free, so these tanks are not a gift but a symbol of your hard work.”

Click the image to enlarge: Map of the Conservation Footprint of the Wildlands Conservation Trust (click on the image to enlarge the map)
Map of the Conservation Footprint of the Wildlands Conservation Trust (click on the image to enlarge the map)
Click the image to enlarge: KwaJobe
Click the image to enlarge: Buffelsdraai carbon sink planting team
Buffelsdraai carbon sink planting team
Click the image to enlarge: Community member in the KwaJobe community carrying wood
Community member in the KwaJobe community carrying wood
Click the image to enlarge: Wildlands Conservation Trust - people and the environment
Wildlands Conservation Trust - people and the environment
Click the image to enlarge: WCT facilitator planting a coral tree
WCT facilitator planting a coral tree
Click the image to enlarge: Planting along the boundaries of a small scale plot belonging to a landowner in KwaJobe
Planting along the boundaries of a small scale plot belonging to a landowner in KwaJobe
Posted: 2/17/2011 (6:24:46 AM)

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