iSimangaliso invites public to view draft Integrated Management Plan
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site invites the public to review and comment on its Draft Integrated Management Plan (IMP) and Estuary Management Plans during the comment period 17 May 2016 – 17 July 2016. This can be viewed at www.acerafrica.co.za under the menu item Current Projects.
Three outstanding universal values were attributed to the Park by UNESCO – biodiversity, ecosystems and superlative natural beauty. Indigenous peoples have shaped the environment over generations and remain an integral part of its management and use.
The iSimangaliso Authority’s mandate is to balance conservation and sustainable development – which is the new model for protected area management in Africa. In the words of both former SA President Nelson Mandela and current President Jacob Zuma, it is striving to end the paradox of “poverty amongst natural plenty” in the region.
The Authority’s development and empowerment priority is to deliver tourism developments linked to land claimant co-management agreements that create jobs, stimulate economic growth and generate revenue that contribute towards community empowerment. Despite the challenges of the global economic slowdown, opportunities for tourism growth remain. Already, the Park contributes 6.7% of KwaZulu-Natal’s gross domestic product with over 6900 permanent tourism jobs created. The 2017 IMP sets the framework to take this to new heights. Alongside this, iSimangaliso will continue to implement other programmes that deliver benefits and contribute toward community empowerment.
iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis says, “On-going consultation and dialogue with our co-management partners and other community stakeholders is vitally important. During the course of the Park’s rewilding, guided by this IMP, the Authority will implement strategies to promote meaningful participation by stakeholders, and will continue to prioritise the maintenance of effective relationships with iSimangaliso’s neighbours. Experience shows that the time and effort put into creating and maintaining clear channels of communication is an essential investment in conservation. Indeed, achieving the rewilding vision and strategy set out in this IMP for this unique World Heritage Site depends upon it.”
The IMP can be downloaded from www.acerafrica.co.za under the “iSimangaliso Integrated Management Plan” link and hard copies are available at:
- ACER (Africa) Environmental Consultants’ Office (Mtunzini)
- Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife offices at uMkhuze, Sodwana Bay, Kosi Bay and Pietermaritzburg
- The Crocodile Centre (St Lucia)
- Ghost Mountain Inn, Mkuze
- The following public libraries nationally: Durban Central, Durban North, Hluhluwe, Jozini, Mtubatuba, Manguzi, Mbazwana, Richards Bay, and St Lucia, Bryanston, Rosebank, Blackheath, Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Nelspruit Public Library and Cape Town’s Public Library.
In an endeavour to ensure all interested parties an opportunity to comment, iSimangaliso will also host a series of open public days:
- Tuesday 21 June 2016 – Mbazwana Thusong Service Centre from 9h00 – 12h00
- Tuesday 21 June 2016 – the Protea Hotel in Hluhluwe from 14h00 – 17h00
- Wednesday 22 June 2016 – the Siyabonga Craft Centre in St Lucia from 9h00 – 12h00
- Thursday 28 June 2016 – the Durban Botanic Gardens from 15h00 – 19h00
“Ownership of this national treasure by all South Africans is essential and the public is encouraged to input into the IMP document,” concludes Zaloumis.
Media enquiries should be directed to Bronwyn Coppola on 083 450 9111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.