Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change

Associates

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) is striving to be a world-renowned biodiversity conservation agency. It prides itself in its rich heritage attributed to excellent work of its predecessors spanning over a period of years. EKZNW has a legislative mandate which rests the custodianship of biodiversity conservation within the organisation. As a public entity EKZNW therefore is primarily accountable to the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and ultimately to the communities of KwaZulu-Natal. Such accountability suggests a two-fold responsibility, namely:

• EKZNW business must be discharged within the legislative framework.
• Legislative compliance must not be an end in itself, but a means to sustainable biodiversity conservation which provides a social, economic, and environmental development platform.

Therefore, the relevance of EKZNW lies in its conscious acknowledgement of the dynamic environment it operates in. Changing environment calls for ongoing realignment of entities and it was with this in mind that the KZN Nature Conservation Board has the following Vision and Mission:

VISION:
'To be a world renowned leader in the practice of biodiversity conservation and protected area management”

MISSION STATEMENT:
'To ensure effective management and sustainable use of KwaZulu Natal's biodiversity and protected areas in collaboration with the community'.

The primary functions of the Board are:
1. to direct the management of –
2. nature conservation within the province;
1. protected areas; and
2. the development and promotion of ecotourism facilities within the protected areas; and
3. to ensure the proper, efficient and effective management of the Conservation Service.

As an organization, EKZNW is as the rest of the country in the 14th year of our democracy. Major changes have occurred with the rationalization and integration of the Natal Parks Board and the KwaZulu Department of Nature Conservation in 1998 to create a solid single entity.

EKZNW manages 96 protected areas and is recognised as a leader in the field of sustainable biodiversity conservation. In the last decade the organisation has broadened its focus to become more relevant to communities living adjacent to the Parks (primarily through job creation and sustainable natural resource harvesting). It has also invested in the planning phase of the repositioning of ecotourism to:
• contribute in a more substantial way to provincial growth and development, and
• where possible subsidize EKZNW biodiversity conservation activities.

The broadening of the focus is especially significant as many of the nature conservation areas in KwaZulu Natal are in remote rural areas, away from existing protected areas. This is where innovative programmes are being implemented, such as the Biodiversity Stewardship programme, where the socio-economic position of communities becoming involved in formal conservation is encouraged.

Responsible management of biodiversity conservation is recognized world wide as being a critical success factor for sustained economic development and in KZN it has an especially important role to play in job creation and poverty alleviation in remote rural areas. EKZNW is dedicated to ensuring the protection of important biodiversity inside and outside of the protected areas, for the enjoyment of all members of the public and the inherent value for biodiversity elements.

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Click the image to enlarge: Stewardship corridors: a mist belt forest on the boudary of communal land in south eastern KwaZulu Natal
Stewardship corridors: a mist belt forest on the boudary of communal land in south eastern KwaZulu Natal
Click the image to enlarge: CAP team and EKZNW meeting Nkosi Baleni at the Umgano Stewardship site in April 2010
CAP team and EKZNW meeting Nkosi Baleni at the Umgano Stewardship site in April 2010
Click the image to enlarge: Kevin McCann  in the field - Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Biodiversity Stewardship Programme Manager
Kevin McCann in the field - Ezemvelo KwaZulu Natal Biodiversity Stewardship Programme Manager
Click the image to enlarge: Community Conservation Officer and field ranger strategizing on a recent burn as part of the fire management plan of Umgano reserve
Community Conservation Officer and field ranger strategizing on a recent burn as part of the fire management plan of Umgano reserve
Click the image to enlarge: Stewardship in grassland areas involves integrating existing economic uses of the land to secure conservation areas
Stewardship in grassland areas involves integrating existing economic uses of the land to secure conservation areas
Click the image to enlarge:
Posted: 10/23/2008 (8:19:11 AM)

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