RCE KwaZulu Natal-2017

1. Project Title: 
Declaration of uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve as an officially protected area
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
3. Project partner contact information : 
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
Signing Authority
Matthew Cocks
Unit Leader
Alternative project contact: 
Sphe Dladla
Ecology and Education
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve is in the process of finalising the status of the reserve as a protected area under the PAMS and Biodiversity Stewardship Process. uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve is an integral part of their conservation and environmental education activities. The uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve is not yet declared as a protected area. Referring to correspondence and board resolutions between 2011 and 2016, uMngeni Valley entered into the process of working through the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme to become declared a legal Nature Reserve.


The PAMS and Stewardship Process has been underway at uMngeni Valley and is now finalised to the point where the Management Plan is completed and ready for submission. The Management Plan incorporates the new business plan for uMngeni Valley, including the affected areas of the tented camp and satellite classrooms within the reserve.


The reasoning behind why we are undertaking this process is described below:

Our reputation and credibility will be strengthened because we will be seen to be supporting the ethos and vision of WESSA. i.e. “People Caring for the Earth” and taking steps to safeguard not only uMngeni but the greater uMngeni Valley Biosphere. uMngeni currently has no legal status as a protected area. It continues to be at risk and cannot currently enjoy the numerous benefits provided by protected status.

WESSA will be taking the lead in not only the protection of our own jewel but also as part of a WESSA proposed Biosphere Reserve, where uMngeni currently forms part of the core conservation areas.

The Biosphere Reserve will be the first in KZN if achieved and it has received great support from the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. The project proposal for the initiation of developing the Biosphere Reserve has received preliminary support from the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund for an amount of $70,000. Additionally, the Rietspruit Conservancy which adjoins the uMngeni also wants to become a Stewardship site but they are only able to once uMngeni is declared a Nature Reserve. Any development or activity

that is consistent with a nature reserve would be permissible from tourism to education and conferences and events.

We expect that this process will be completed in mid-2018.

6. Project status
On Going
Management Plan is completed, and ready for submittal. Awaiting board approval to move forward with public participation
8. Tagging
Africa and Middle East