Wild Coast receives R50 million for conservation

By NICOLETTE SCROOBY
www.dispatch.co.za
18 May 2008

ONE of the country’s most pristine areas – the Wild Coast – will receive a cash boost of close to R50 million over the next five years in a bid to conserve the area.
The Wild Coast project, with funding through the United Nations, seeks to establish an effective network of protected areas along one of South Africa’s most scenic routes.

Facilitated by Eastern Cape Parks (ECP) the project plans to:

Information: 

Hluleka Nature Reserve

Bookings for Hluleka, Dwesa and Silaka Nature Reserves can be made through:

Reservations : Head Office

  • Tel: 043-7019600
  • Fax: Fax: 086 6111623
  • E-mail: reservations@ecpta.co.za
  • For other enquiries please phone:
    Eastern Cape Tourism Board
    Umtata Booking Office

    Tourism: 

    Grave concerns over Xolobeni mine plan

    http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=197857 - Daily Dispatch article - 30 April 2008

    http://www.dispatch.co.za/multimedia/enviroA.pdf
    http://www.dispatch.co.za/multimedia/enviroB.pdf

    ENVIRONMENTAL Affairs officials had “grave concerns” over the proposed mining at Xolobeni in Transkei – but only objected after deadlines for submissions had closed.

    They said the mining would have a significant and permanent impact on several rivers and estuaries.

    Their objections were contained in a letter written by Pamela Yako, the former director-general of the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

    “The department has grave concerns with regard to the proposed mining developments in the area and object to it,” said Yako, in her December 20, 2007, letter addressed to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME).

    SAHRC raps ministers

    Business Day article
    By Franny Rabkin - 23 April 2008

    CONFUSION reigned at a South African Human Rights Commission hearing yesterday into a dispute over the right to exploit mineral sands at Xolobeni, on the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape.

    The ministers of minerals and energy , agriculture and land affairs, and environmental affairs and tourism were subpoenaed to appear before the commission, which is trying to investigate the problem.

    Xolobeni residents disagree over the possibility of a mining licence being granted to an Australian company, Mineral Resources , and its South African subsidiary, Transworld Energy Minerals.

    Some support it, in the hope that it will bring development. Others are against it on environmental grounds.

    Information: 

    Human Rights Commission summons ministers

    Link to Mail & Guardian article
    By Yolandi Groenewald | Johannesburg, South Africa

    The point on the Wild Coast where mining is planned to begin (Photo: Rogan Ward)The point on the Wild Coast where mining is planned to begin. (Photo: Rogan Ward)

    Information: 

    Masimanyane Mussel Rehabilitation Project

    Click here to view a scanned copy of the Daily Dispatch article.

    The Masimanyane Mussel Rehabilitation Project in Coffee Bay celebrated their first official harvest of mussels on Saturday 19th April 2008.

    A few years ago there were no mussels on these rocks where participants in the project can be seen harvesting:

    The event was attended by tribal leaders, representatives from Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT), Marine & Coastal Management (MCM) & Walter Sisulu University (WSU).

    Tags: 

    Wild Coast Tourism

    "Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate." ~Richard Spoor

    The Wild Coast is the most beautiful coastline on Earth; and is host to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism (PCE)... one of 34 internationally recognized biodiversity hotspots on our planet Earth.

    This site is essentially a tourism information portal - where local businesses can register and upload their details and photos on the internet for free. Unfortunately, despite the fact that South Africa is a signatory to the Convention on Biodiversity, our government and certain vested interests are flagrantly threatening the PCE with titanium strip mining - and doing everything in their power to pave the way for autocratic control over the mining industry regardless of environmental impact issues.

    Final Notice: Public Hearings: National Environmental Management AB (B36-2007)

    SPECIAL ALERT!

    Comments due by today !!!

    Public Hearings: National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007)

    The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs and Tourism will be conducting public hearings on the National Environmental Management Amendment Bill (36-2007).

    Deadline for written submissions: November 2nd, 2007
    Public Hearings: November 6th, 2007

    Attention:
    Ms. Albertina Kakaza
    Email: akakaza@parliament.gov.za
    Fax: 021 403 2808

    Click here to obtain a copy of the Bill.

    Contact:
    Ms. Albertina Kakaza 021 403 3765

    (Note: basically the amendment appears to remove the mining industry from the NEMA (National Environment Management Act) and places overriding authority at the discretion of the minister of minerals and energy. Further, it vitiates environmental controls in favor of the commercial consequences - and allows decisions to be made by any minister or MEC .

    Information: 

    Camagu ~*~

    Environmental Affairs and Tourism: Minister Valli Moosa's 2002 Budget Vote Speech

    It's not really news, nor yet history, but I hope the sentiments expressed in this speech (full speech link above... excerpted below) are carried through by the SA government.

    Information: 

    Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources Remove Smelter from EIA Process!!

    Letter to Xolobeni IAPs re Revised Scoping - September 2007 Final

    The most significant change in the Revised Environmental Scoping Report is therefore the exclusion of the smelter from the Xolobeni Heavy Mineral Sands Project. This implies that the smelter will no longer be considered as part of the project and will also not be assessed in the Environmental Impact Assessment.

    The Xolobeni Mineral Sands project is situated approximately 250 km south west of Durban and approximately 60 km south east of Mbizana and 30 km south of Port Edward in the Eastern Cape Province. The prospecting activities undertaken by TEM have indicated the feasibility of mining heavy minerals in the area. In accordance with the requirements of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) and the regulations promulgated under Section 24 of the National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998) (NEMA), an Environmental Scoping Report was compiled and submitted to the Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) on 
25 May 2007.

    Information: 

    Buy Dwesa Arts & Crafts online

    Fort Hare and Rhodes universities' Centres of Excellence have established an e-commerce portal to sell art and crafts manufactured by the community members of Dwesa / Cwebe.

    Please support this initiative and visit their website at www.dwesa.com.

    The site is maintained by the Siyakhula project - which aims at developing and field-testing the prototype of a simple, cost-effective and robust, integrated E-business platform in the rural communities of South Africa.

    Information: 

    Wild Coast Walk

    Bookings for the "hotel-hopping" Wild Coast Walk between Kob Inn (north) and Cintsa (south) can be made through SA Adventure Trails. Phone Paul Colvin on 082-3234022 or email info@trails.co.za

    New species of Clivia (Amaryllidaceae) endemic to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism

    Clivia robusta (Amaryllidaceae)
    is a tubular, pendulous-flowered Clivia species, restricted to the Pondoland Centre of Endemism, South Africa. The unique morphology, distribution, karyotype and molecular fingerprint distinguish it from all other pendulous-flowered species in the genus.

    Distribution
    This taxon is endemic to the Pondoland Centre of endemism, with a distribution from Port St. Johns in the south to the Mzimkulu River in the north.

    Habitat
    Restricted to Msikaba Formation sandstone, the habitat is characterised by rugged plateaus (100-500 m above sea level) that are deeply dissected by narrow river gorges, within which occur isolated forest patches, containing mixed tropical and Afromontane elements. Mean annual rainfall varies from 1 000-1 200 mm and occurs mainly in the summer months. The mean annual temperature along the coast is around 20°C. The soils are usually sandy, acidic, highly leached and often shallow .

    Information: 

    Quote of the day!

    "An article John Clarke has co-written with Richard Spoor says the threatened area is of inestimable cultural and environmental value. Hosting the Pondoland Centre for Endemism, a global biodiversity hotspot, it is arguably the most beautiful coastline on Earth.

    Taking issue with the Australian company, the article adds, "Mining the Pondoland Wild Coast is the moral, cultural and aesthetic equivalent of quarrying Ayers Rock for granite, or the Great Barrier Reef for calcium carbonate."

    Read the full Sunday Tribune article on the threat to our dunes - by Leon Marshall.

    New threat to our dunes
    As an Australian mining company plans to plunder the dunes of the Wild Coast, Leon Marshall ponders whether the lure of jobs and wealth creation will overcome pressing environmental concerns

    May 13, 2007 Edition 2

    Leon Marshall

    Shades of St Lucia are hanging heavily over the Wild Coast, where dune mining is causing divisions in the community. Even the arguments are the same, as are the rising tensions that have led to allegations of threats and acts of violence.

    Information: 

    Save the Wild Coast Campaign

    Threatened nature in South Africa

    Please support the international "Save the Wild Coast Campaign" by sending a letter or fax to the South African President, Thabo Mbeki and the Minister for the Environment, Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

    Download a specimen letter (RTF file, 10kb)

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Background Information:

    Wildcoast - Pondoland Centre of Endemism

    Information: 

    The Story of the Pondoland Ghostbush (Raspalia trigyna)

    THE GHOST OF THE PONDOLAND CENTRE

    Information: 

    Xolobeni Mineral Sands Project

    This is an appeal to everyone who cares about the future of the Wild Coast to please send a mail to xolobeni@gcs-sa.biz and register as an I&AP.

    Download the EIA and IAP registration form

    Who are the Interested & Affected Parties? (I&APs)

    They are persons who will be directly and indirectly involved and/or affected by the project.

    An IAP's role is to:

      § Register with the environmental consultants, who will include you on a database of I&APs in order for you to receive future project information and/or formally record issues and concerns
    Information: 

    Gladiolus oppositiflorus (Transkei Gladiolus)

    Gladioli are colorful garden plants that have been grown in Europe for more than 250 years. Interestingly, these garden plants were originally cultivated from hybrids of wild gladioli native to South Africa.

    Gladiolus oppositiflorus is an important species in the breeding history of a number of Gladiolus hybrids, and is also an attractive garden plant in its own right.

    More info: Transkei Gladiolus

    Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC)

    MINING APPLICATION SMOTHERS SUSTAINABLE ECO-TOURISM INITIATIVES AND CONTRAVENES INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS

    PRESS RELEASE FROM: SUSTAINING THE WILD COAST (SWC)
    4 APRIL 2007

    Sustaining the Wild Coast (SWC) calls upon the government of South Africa to reject out of hand the recent application for a licence to mine dune minerals along the Pondoland Wild Coast by Australian mining company Mineral Resources Commodities and its local associates, Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources and Xolco.

    Information: 

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