Saturday, January 31, 2009

St. Lucia Estuary - Nominated

I want to use this platform to congratulate the hard working people of St. Lucia Estuary, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, with the South African Tourism Welcome Award Nomination.

a Small community  with dedication  to  protect the  environment  and trade  with  in  the confine's of World Heritage Status.

The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park received  World Heritage  status as after a century of dedication to community  development  and  wildlife  protection. 

St. Lucia was proclaimed a Game Reserve in 1895, a RAMSAR site in the 70's and was the first to protect Turtle beaches under George Hughs.

In 1999 the management of the Park was changed and a name change soon followed. The new CEO changed the name to iSimangaliso Wetlands Park and soon started the proceedings of trade marking the area.

By: Petrus Viviers
083 584 7473

 

Monday, January 26, 2009

iSimangaliso IMP

The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park Authority has put their IMP out for public comment. Information about this can be found at For Africa.

Wikipedia also offer a wealth information regarding this World Heritage Site.

More information cannot be found at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authorities Web site. This site is currently a static one page picture linking to an email address.

Acer Africa does most of the EIA for the Wetlands Park. Contact Details for The park can be found here.

It is sad that the local websites are not fed with information regarding developments in and around the park.

Websites:
St. LuciaOrgZa
iSimagalisoCoZa
Park Authority
ElephantCoastCoZa
Accommodation

By: Petrus Viviers

petrus@forafrica.co.za
0835847473

Sunday, January 25, 2009

For Africa Launches a new section

For Africa Internet Services is based in St. Lucia Estuary, iSimangaliso Wetlands park, the first World Heritage site of South Africa. Hosting pages on St. Lucia since 1993 and with domain names such as ww.elephantcoast.co.za, www.stlucia.org.za, www.isimangaliso.co.za and the mother ship www.forafrica.co.za to back us up on the world wide web.

We have started a few new things on For Africa

  1. Fishing Report -
    This part of the domain offers regular updates with fishing reports and we are always looking for people to add their own stories and photo's. We also invite clubs and event organizers to add  their events  to these pages.
  2. Property 4 Sale -
    The property section is the slowest growing segment. Property sale comes with a great deal of responsibilities and we hope to show our sellers that we have a good reputation and a large reader base.
  3. Cars 4 Sale -
    This is our fastest growing  addition. We now have three traders on board. Richardsbay, Mtubatuba and Benoni.
  4. 4u2stay -
    Our newest  venture  is all about accommodation  and travel.  We  are  well  established  in the  Durban  and  Overberg  regions  and wish  to  expand  in the  Eastern  Cape and  Free State Regions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

[Fwd: Your Profile Is Disabled] Phishing eMail

This is a serious warning..... They even use fnb.co.za email .... but the link is bogus...

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Your Profile Is Disabled
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 2009 05:09:47 -0800
From: FNB Online Services<ibanking@fnb.co.za>


 
Dear Customer,
Your profile is currently disabled,Click link below to restore your profile.

Restore Your Profile.
 
Thanks

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wet Wetlands?

St. Lucia Estuary, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, is in need of rain. The Wetlands need water. The past two days have delivered just that.

What can one do on a rainy day in the Wetlands?

  1. Sleep In... After about 09h00 the rain stop from time to time and the various walking trails will not disappoint.
  2. Walking  Trails - The walking trail at the end of McKenzi street  has many small animals and birds. The trees do give some protection against sudden rain.
  3.  Crocodile Center - This is a must, best on rainy day
  4. Drive amongst the new routes on the Eastern Shores... Rhino Card will help cut the cost
  5. Trip to iMfolozi Hluhluwe. Early morning sitings is good at the Memorial gate is excellent. Lunch at the Centenary Center.
  6. Movies at Richards Bay. 76km South  of St. Lucia. Big Shopping Center, Harbor  and Nu Metro  Movies
Let St. Lucia be the destination, your Hub to the Elephant Coast of South Africa. The South Coast has Steve Hofmeyr, We have Whales, Hippo's and the Big5

Saturday, January 10, 2009

No water?

The nothern part of the IMfolozi Hluhluwe Game Reserve is very dry
--
This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by Pinpoint, and is
believed to be clean.

Just a visit to iMfolozi

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dangerous content by Pinpoint, and is
believed to be clean.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Driving on Beaches



Why at Sodwana and not St. Lucia and Cape Vidal....

Between the low and the high water mark, Intertidal Zone, there is no damage that the tide cannot repair... Ban Booze not vehicles...

What is World Wetlands Day? 2 February

What is World Wetlands Day? 2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular. From 1997 to 2007, the Convention’s Web site has posted reports from more than 95 countries of WWD activities of all sizes and shapes, from lectures and seminars, nature walks, children’s art contests, sampan races, and community clean-up days, to radio and television interviews and letters to newspapers, to the launch of new wetland policies, new Ramsar sites, and new programmes at the national level. Government agencies and private citizens from all over the world have sent us their news, often with photographs, and these annual summaries and 900+ individual reports, with more than 1200 images, make an excellent archive of ideas for future celebrations. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Value of Customer

Customers are very valuable in any business setup. So is information. Since 1993 For Africa has supplied people with relevant information on the St. Lucia and surrounding area. The most frustrating question is the one with no relevance. 
Operator: " Petrus goeie more good morning" 
Caller: "Is this the Wetlands?"
Opperator: "Can I help you sir.?"
Caller: "First awnser me yes or no... is this the Wetlands?"
Operator: "Sir I do not understand your question?"
Caller: "Just answer me yes or no... is this the Wetlands?"

Well the fact that I did Identified myself at the beginning of the call I do not understand how can I admit to being the Wetlands...

Since all information that I have supplied since 1993 was non racial and non political and free of charge I would like to understand to what I am admitting to.

So I answered "no". I might be rude not admitting to being the Wetlands but I am no Cow. So do not call me names or class me into your racism delusions. You do not know me and you can not judge me in one question...

Every body else needing information on who to contact, how to book or any other relevant questions, you are welcome to call me, Petrus Viviers, 083 584 7473.

My spelling is shitty but the information I supply is relevant to the questions and it is for FREEE....

No Beach Driving Killed St. Lucia

The failure to secure sustainable tourism in the iSimangaliso Wetlands could lead to dune mining. Beach driving, which is a lesser evil, had developed over 30 years a  stable economic environment that sustained this pristine wetlands to become the first world heritage site in South Africa. Many first for St. Lucia Wetlands Park.

Time Line -

1575 - discovered and named
1822 - Town by British thrown
1895 - First Game Reserve
1975 - First RAMSAR Site
1999 - First World Heritage Site

Beach ban was only in 2001. It was a mistake by Mr. Vali Moosa, the then Minister of Environmental affairs and Tourism, to ignore the value of South Africa domestic tourist. At the end of 1999 the monitory value of informal income from Domestic tourism in the region of St. Lucia, Mtuabtaba and Incodiba was in the region of 35 million South African rand.

This was not including Sodwana, Mbazwane and Kosibay areas. The income alone from Beach permits sold in St. Lucia Estuary was R4.5 million per year. Cape Vidal's income was over R10 million a year and the St. Lucia Crocodile farm had a annual visitors  through the gates of more than  48 000 people in 1996.

Focus on Domestic Tourism .... it is more profitable at grass root level than Inbound Tourism.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Beach Driving?

PROJECT INFORMATION DOCUMENT (PID)

CONCEPT STAGE

Report No.: AB1767

Project Name

Development, Empowerment and Conservation in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and Surrounding Region

Region

AFRICA

Sector

General agriculture, fishing and forestry sector (100%)

Project ID

P086528

GEF Focal Area

Biodiversity

Borrower(s)

SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT

Implementing Agency


Environment Category

[ ] A [X] B [ ] C [ ] FI [ ] TBD (to be determined)

Date PID Prepared

August 5, 2005

Estimated Date of Appraisal Authorization

June 18, 2006

Estimated Date of Board Approval

March 20, 2007

  1. Key development issues and rationale for Bank involvement

The St Lucia Greater Wetlands Park (GWP), on South Africa’s Northeast coast, is a natural and cultural asset of local and global significance, located in Kwazu Natal, one of the poorest provinces of the country. Its biodiversity and cultural resources have been recognized globally (made the World Heritage List in December 1999; contains 4 of the 15 Ramsar Sites in South Africa; and forms the largest and best-protected area in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot). GWP also forms the core of the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative (LSDI), a trilateral regional program aimed at stimulating development in a severely impoverished zone encompassing northern KwaZulu-Natal, southern Mozambique and eastern Swaziland.


However, the long term sustainability of GWP, as a natural and economic asset capable of driving local development, is under threat. The Maputaland region as a whole and the areas neighboring the GWP in particular, include some of the least developed districts in SA. In addition, as a consequence of the forced displacement of people during the apartheid era--leading among other things to overcrowded and environmentally degraded tribal lands adjoining large protected areas--former land occupants have lodged claims in terms of the Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994 against approximately 90% of the Park. Pioneering agreements settling the three major claims affecting 60% of the Park’s surface area giving title to the claimants were recently signed.

Within a regional context of severe underdevelopment and poverty, major risks to GWP include: disrupted ecological terrestrial and wetlands processes; increasingly unsustainable land use practices (including on privately owned commercial farmland and communally owned subsistence farmland); large-scale commercial afforestation in endemic grasslands and water catchments on the Park’s fringes; the presence of commercially attractive mineral deposits in coastal dunes; and the spread of invasive alien plants along the coast line and in the valleys of the Lubombo Mountains.

Government of South Africa has requested Bank assistance in developing a GEF co-financed project to improve the conservation of the globally important biodiversity within GWP, and support the actions of conservation agencies and local government authorities aimed at poverty alleviation for vulnerable rural households living with degraded natural resources around the Wetlands Park. Therefore, the proposed project responds to government request and is fully consistent with the Bank’s Environment Strategy and regional development priorities in Southern Africa, as well as the priorities of the Bank’s South Africa Country Program which seek to promote higher growth and employment, as well as foster social and environmental sustainability.

  1. Proposed objective(s)

The overall objective of the project is to assist the Wetlands Park Authority – the dedicated management authority created when the Park was proclaimed in 2000– and local government implement a long-term initiative to protect the exceptional biodiversity of the greater St Lucia wetland area through conservation, sustainable resource use, rational land-use planning, and local economic development. The challenge faced by the Wetlands Park and local authorities is to respond to the twin imperative of conservation and development in a manner that aligns with the shift in national (and global) priorities from a strong focus on conservation-in-isolation to a new approach that integrates biodiversity conservation with regional development. Unless its poor rural neighbors see GWP as a source of employment and other tangible benefits, the political support required for its continued existence will be severely eroded. The need to optimize the flow of tangible benefits from GWP to its neighboring communities (estimated about half a million people within 20 km around the Park area) is therefore both an economic but and a conservation imperative.

Performance Indicators. Achievement of project objectives will be measured by indicators in three main areas: (i) ecologically, through the restoration of critical habitats and rehabilitation of important processes, as well as the establishment of coherent data acquisition and monitoring systems; (ii) institutionally, through enhanced capacity of the Wetlands Authority, interagency coordination, and integration of the Park’s Management Plan with the local government’s IDPs; and (iii) socio-economically, through “ownership” of local area plans, and improved benefit flows to local communities.

  1. Preliminary description

Component 1: Enhancing biodiversity and ecosystems functioning (estimated cost $40.5 million; GEF contribution: $6 million): This component would finance: (a) Support for habitat restoration and rehabilitation of important ecological processes, focusing on: indigenous wildlife; coastal dunes; management alien invasive species; bush encroachment, and rare swamp forests; (b) Support for catchment management and hydrological processes critical for maintaining the Wetland Park’s integrity, focusing on: ecological flow requirements (EFR), the functioning of the St Lucia estuary; small-scale buffer zone forestry; and catchment management (erosion, siltation, pollution, and water management); and (c) Support for a wildlife protection program, in collaboration with local communities, focused on: illegal developments and poaching; visitor activities; and sustainable fish harvesting for livelihood support to neighboring communities.

Component 2: Promoting local economic and cultural development (estimated cost $9m; GEF contribution: $2.5m). This component would finance:(a) Economic empowerment of local communities, through formal ownership or equity interests by disadvantaged communities in the Park’s productive assets; involvement of communities in core Park activities (management, employment, enterprise linkages between the economic activities of the Park and suppliers of goods and services); a land claims support program, designed to build the skills and capacity of restitution beneficiaries to participate in the development and management of the Park; and implementation of a sustainable resource use programs, both within and around the Park; (b) Capacity building of local communities, including: a tourism-skills program; a comprehensive Cultural Heritage management program; and a natural resource use planning and monitoring program; and (c) Strengthening the service delivery capacity of local government, through implementation of a training and awareness program with district council and local municipalities to achieve alignment and integration between the Park’s Integrated Management Plan, and the local government’s IDPs


Component 3: Strengthening institutions for sustainable development (estimated cost $4m; GEF contribution: $1m). The Wetlands Park Authority operates within a highly complex legal and institutional environment, involving a large number of government agencies and other stakeholders. The Park falls within the Umkhanyakude District Municipality, which is subdivided into five smaller local municipalities. The Wetlands Park is a separate District Management Area. The proposed project will build consensus regarding approaches, provide support for the co-ordination of policies across all sectors, and assist with the definition of institutional responsibilities for co-ordination, project approval, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. More specifically, this component would finance: (a) Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Wetlands Park Authority, through staff training and management capacity. It is envisaged that the project will be managed in-house, reporting directly to the Authority’s CEO, under the supervision of a Stakeholders Steering Committee; (b) Strengthening the institutional capacity and coordination with other key agencies, including ZKN Wildlife, Agriculture, Land Affairs, Water Affaires and Forestry, local and district municipalities, as well as with local communities and NGOs; (c) Development and implementation of regional and site-specific community-driven local area plans, consistent with the Park’s Integrated Management Plan and local IDPs; and (d) Development of an integrated M & E system, including: information database and analytical and GIS-based mapping tools; socio-ecological data acquisition (through annual surveys); and establishment of a project performance monitoring and evaluation system; and (e) Incremental support for project management.

  1. Safeguard policies that might apply

From an environmental point of view, the project is expected to have mostly significant benefits, in terms of conservation and rehabilitation of key ecological process within the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park. However, because of the need for a sound baseline assessment that would allow tracking changes over time, as well activities related to estuary and catchment management, a basic environmental assessment would be warranted.

From a social point of view, the Wetlands Authority’s SEED program will be considerably strengthened through the project in order to deliver significant social and economic benefits. However, because many of the envisaged conservation and ecological rehabilitation activities, both with the Park and in its buffer zone, might involve change or access restrictions to the Park’s resources by local communities, or even potential resettlement, a detailed social assessment, and extensive consultations will be required, during both project preparation and implementation.

Therefore, the project environmental assessment is “B.” Under the Bank’s program to pilot the use of borrower safeguards systems, the Bank is considering the potential use of South African systems to address environmental and social safeguard issues in this project in any or all of the following areas: (a) environmental assessment, (b) natural habitats, (c) resettlement, and (d) cultural property. Before a final determination is made of the areas for piloting, diagnostic work will be undertaken to assess (i) the equivalence of South African systems and World Bank requirements and (ii) the acceptability of implementation practices, track record and capacity of the agencies involved. For the areas selected for piloting, OP/BP 4.00 Piloting the Use of Borrower Systems to Address Environmental and Social Safeguards Issues in Bank-Supported Project will apply. In the event that the Bank decides not to use borrower systems in one or more of these areas, the relevant operational policies will apply to the areas not selected for piloting: (a) OP/BP 4.01 Environmental Assessment, OP 4.04 Natural Habitat, OP/BP 4.12 Involuntary Resettlement, and OPN 11.03 Cultural Property."

  1. Tentative financing

Source:

($m.)

BORROWER/RECIPIENT

44

GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY

9.5

Total

53.5


  1. Contact point

Contact: Aziz Bouzaher

Title: Lead Environmental Specialist, ESSD Cluster Leader

Tel: 27-12-431-3119 (World Bank Pretoria)

Fax: 27-12-431-3134

Email: Abouzaher@worldbank.org