uMkhuze Environmental Education Camp

uMkhuze Environmental Education Camp

R390 000 donated to the uMkhuze Educational Camp

uMkhuze is a 34 000 ha protected area situated on the coastal plain, east of the Lebombo Mountains in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. The protected area forms a part of the World Heritage Site proclaimed by UNESCO and is home to the Big 5 as well as African wild dogs and cheetah. “uMkhuze Game Reserve is also well known as one of the founding populations for black rhino, post the massive decline of the species to 110 individuals in just two populations. It also provides habitat for nesting vultures and pink backed pelicans. (Brigitte Church, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Park Ecologist 2022).

Conserv Earth committed to assisting Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) with the provision of equipment and funding of camp expenses such as travel and food for the uMkhuze section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Environmental Education Camp. The camp has been restored and has been operating for the past year, with numerous educational camps and local students going through the weekend course. We have sponsored 6 camps throughout the year, and Simon Nxumalo (community liaison) as well as Eduard Goosen (Cluster Conservation Manager uMkhuze-Ozabeni) have been the champions driving this initiative.

On behalf of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, I write this letter as a sign of how grateful I am, for all the contributions you have made to sustain the environmental education centre. I assure you that the mind set of communities neighbouring the park will be changed by the up and running of this camp. Sitting together, sharing the importance of conservation, tourism, environmental issues and their challenges will add value in their minds so that they can be part of solutions themselves.

The camp held on the 12th to the 13th of July 2022 with KwaJobe traditional leadership was successful because of your contribution. In their comments before they left the senior Induna “he acknowledged how important is this educational centre because they have learnt a lot about conservation…he also said that we are leaving them with a challenge of sharing this valuable information to the community so that themselves can be buffer zone against poaching. He added the importance of this centre for conservation education gatherings. On the 14th 16TH July 2022 the youth followed and it also a success with a great excitement as it was their first time overnighting in park together for time first time as environmental club. The following is what they are saying as evidence from themSimon Nxumalo

With Conserv Earth’s support, EKZNW’s have arranged and executed on putting through 300 people through the uMkhuze Environmental Camp by the end of the year.

The expected outputs of this camp include:

  • Running up to 12 environmental camps per year.
  • Establishment of environmental clubs in neighbouring communities and schools.
  • Identification of potential candidates for further skills development programmes in conservation careers.
  • Strengthen traditional authority support.
  • Increased collaboration with other government departments (Education, SDD, Tourism).

Conserv Earth is proud to be supporting this fantastic Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife initiative. We look forward to sharing the camp’s progress with you.

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