RCE KwaZulu Natal-2017

1. Project Title: 
The Greater uMngeni Biosphere Reserve Initiative
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
3. Project partner contact information : 
The Greater uMngeni Biosphere Reserve Initiative
Jim Taylor
Alternative project contact: 
Vivo Venter
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

The project of developing a biosphere in KwaZulu-Natal began in 2014. WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) submitted an application for funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) with a proposal to make a year-long process to develop a biosphere reserve, which would be the first UNESCO registered biosphere reserve in the province. The proposal was accepted and WESSA started the project in July 2014. The biosphere reserve in KwaZulu-Natal is located in their midlands and connects with the greater uMngeni river. The biosphere reaches from uMngeni River system to Nagle Dam, and it also includes important areas of the Karkloof River system.

South Africa is ranked as the third most biologically diverse country in the world, and more than 34% of terrestrial ecosystems fall within the vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered categories. And it is estimated that 50% of the wetlands, which is amongst the most diverse have been lost to urban and industrial development and agriculture. The loss of wetlands is problematic for having clean water which is critical for KwaZulu-Natal with the uMngeni River being the second largest water hub in South Africa.

The Greater uMngeni Biosphere Reserve Initiative is not required to have its own ownership from the UNESCO. All biosphere reserves have their own governance to ensure that they meet their functions and objectives, much because the reserves need to be open, evolving and adapting for the local community. There is a need for the local community to respond better to political, economic and social pressures, which all can affect the ecological and cultural value of the biosphere reserve if the local community respond badly.  

Galliers,G. De Lange, J. Qulu, A. & Dukhi, A. (2014). The Greater uMngeni Biosphere Reserve Initiative. Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa & Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. Published 2015. 

6. Project status
On Going
As above – we are seeking funds to complete the project.
8. Tagging