Wildshots Outreach Workshop

Written by;  Mpho Lavhengwa 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words; Mike Kendrick who runs the Wildshots Outreach programme helped the K2C EMs bring those words to life through a two days’ workshop that took place at K2C in November. The workshop entailed basic rules of photography, camera features and their uses, freezing and blurring a picture and using the rule of thirds to capture images. Each lesson included a practical session where the EMs tried out the skills they had just learned. 
Mike taught the EMs how to take great pictures that would draw and direct the eye of the viewer on the photograph. He encouraged the EMs to break free from traditional ways of capturing photos and break the rules of photographs in order to take captivating wildlife pictures that tell a story. 
The workshop was wrapped by an opportunity for the EMs to put their hard learned skills to good use through a game drive at Leadwood Big Game Estate. It was an amazing and fun experience for some of the…

EM Day 2019 at Blyde Adventure Camp

Written by: EM Management Team

The environmental monitors (EM) programme is an expanded public works programme (EPWP) that is funded by the Department of Environment Forest and Fisheries (DEFF) on a three-year cycle. This is a national programme with an estimate number of 1500 EMs across South Africa. The K2C has been implementing the EM programme for the past 6 years and currently sitting with 306 EMs placed with 31 host institution and working in 74 communities both in Limpopo and Mpumalanga province. The EMs are applied into 3 categories: security/reserved based, community based and research.
Around this time every year K2C hosts one of its biggest events called the K2C EM Day. Since the EMs are spread out in the landscape and almost never cross paths unless working on similar projects or neighbours. The EM day is the one day where all the EMs come together and celebrates their efforts applied throughout the year. It is also an opportunity to learn about the other projects that the E…

The 11th UNESCO Youth Forum

Written by: Vusi Tshabalala

Every two years, youth meet at UNESCO’s Headquarters to discuss the challenges we face today falling within UNESCO’s fields of competence. This year, the Forum had the opportunity to showcase and discuss good practices in youth engagement with UNESCO in the context of the Youth Space Initiative or other projects youth have developed with the support of the Organization. Youth Spaces in Action took place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 18 and 19 November 2019, during the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference. The Forum encouraged dialogue, experience- and knowledge-sharing, peer learning and cooperation among young change-makers and youth representatives, with UNESCO and its Members States, and with other stakeholders. Earlier this year in September the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MaB) hosted its 2nd International MaB youth forum in China which was attended by 200 young people from biospheres across the world where South Africa was represented …

Aids Day

Written by:  Thembi Marshall

Every year the Kruger to Canyons Natural Resource Management team together with their stakeholders join in honour of people who died from HIV/AIDS related diseases. On the 4th of December 2019 more than 400 NRM team participants, CPA’s from Maseke, Conservation South Africa staff members, Werverdiend and BBR, Dept. of Health Officials, Shoshane NGO and Mother to Mother Organisation gathered at Acorn to Oaks Hall to celebrate the day. 
World AIDS Day celebration is recognised as one of the vital day in the society. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness, join together in fighting against HIV/AIDS, show support for people living with HIV and honour those who have died from an HIV/AIDS-related illness. 
The Soshane NGO spoke about the new drug called Bluetooth. It is one the latest drug trends where drug users share the drug by withdrawing blood from high user to the other person. The drug has shown to increase the risks of HIV and Aids cases amongst dr…

Getting Gender Sensitive!

Written by: Cindy Koen

Whilst sitting in a gender equality workshop, convened by the Government of Flanders for Projects of which the Dinkwayane Watersmart project was one, it was clear that the definition of gender, sex and even equity and equality, changes from person to person. This makes the subject even more sensitive, as where do you draw the line between educating someone and discrediting their belief, religion or culture.
This was a struggle for many of the participants. All the participants work for some organisation facilitating sustainable development projects. We were all under the impression that we are doing this more open minded and that we do make a difference in the gender equality field. The scary thing was that, the level of impact that we have is miniscule. Many factors play a role, and we should actively do analysis on the gender impact that we have. 
Many times, it is to do with what happens behind the scenes. Women are more vulnerable to climate change and the effe…

Mapping Wetlands in the Blyde Expansion Area

Written: Naki Mposi

Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else. On the 23rd – 24th of October, the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region (K2C) BR together with Hannes Marais from Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) took a trip up the Mariepskop Mountain to identify, map and assess wetlands and peatlands. 
The aim of the site visit was to assess and map the wetlands and peatlands as well as drainage lines that were identified during previous site visits related to wetlands and peatlands assessments. This visit was part of the monitoring that the K2C BR with partners including AWARD and SAEON is working on related to the restoration processes taking place in Mariepskop. The other type of monitoring that the K2C BR is working on is monitoring of soi…

Partners’ Community Liaison Officers formed a “Coalition of Change”

Written by: Dimakatso Nonyane

On the 5th of December 2019 the K2C team and the WWF Khetha hosted an adventurous fun filled day for the Community Liaison Officers and the Environmental Monitors Managers in the Kruger landscape.
The purpose of the workshop was to build a common vision for Natural Resource Management in communities adjacent to the Protected Area System and to develop a coalition for change around the key messages of inspiring a better future by connecting to our natural resources, building a sense of belonging and to empower.
18 participants who are based in different locations around the landscape attended the workshop and discovered collaboratively how they could better engage with their communities in order to build sustainable and successful projects using a method called “The Wayfinder”.
Wayfinder is a process guide for resilience assessment, collaborative planning and action in social-ecological systems. It represents the frontier in resilience and sustainability s…

Exploring patch mosaic burning in Forestry Landscapes

Written by:  Nick Theron

One thing that is synonymous with grasslands in South Africa is fire. In the escarpment areas around Kaapsehoop and Blyde, high levels of rainfall occur and so grass grows quickly which leads to an accumulation of dead moribund material that would ideally need to be burnt every 2 years. Often not burning can be just as bad as burning too frequently (or under the wrong conditions) because grasslands eventually suffocate. These grasslands are also highly productive from a forestry perspective with high rainfall and deep soils and it is no surprise then that fire is a huge risk if you are managing a plantation in the escarpment. 
Over the past year the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) with the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region has been supporting the declaration of four Forest Nature Reserves that are leased and managed by SAFCOL/Komatiland Forestry. A crucial part of our support has focussed on consolidating information and developing management plans …

Data in our landscape championed by Environmental Monitors

Written by: – Keneilwe Mmushi

The 2019 Environmental Monitors (EM) programme has brought adaptive changes and our data system has also improved! 
In addition to the single-levelled data submission of their system, where the EMs submit geo-referenced data of their observations, a column of EM interventions which captures the measures EMs take to ensure that environmental challenges are addressed, has been added. Since a more action-based approach is used, it was seen that a more fitting, user-friendly database be developed to compliment the work done on the ground. 
Initially Environmental Monitors used to send real-time data via WhatsApp to the Data Collator, which was then captured into a spreadsheet and analyzed at the end of each month to formulate monthly reports to funder Department of Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) and other key stakeholders in the landscape. This was revised with inputs from students from the Central European University (CEU). 

A second layer of analysis (more pr…

Youth K2C Green Entrepreneurs spark

Written by: Pheona Phalane

A partnership between Maruleng Municipality, Hoedspruit Chamber of Commerce and the Kruger2Canyons Biosphere facilitated the services of Indalo Inclusive to guide young entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas.
The training started on 23 September 2019 at The Oaks Community Hall. 
During the first month the nine participants got primary lessons of how to create a great business idea that benefit the society. During the second month the participants were taught how to write business plans, how to conduct themselves as businessmen/women and how to approach other well-established business owners for assistance.
During the third month the participants got an opportunity to practice what they learned and prepare for a pitch that took place on the 6th of November. Out of the nine only the top three received prizes to assist in their businesses. Miss Phalane Pheona won the 1st prize worth R2000, Miss Morongwa Shai won the 2nd prize worth R1500 and Mr. Stimela …