Conservation International empowers the K2C Network with Train the Trainers (ToT) Training

By: Shoki Mafogo

During March 2020, Colleen Sorto and Jane Edmund dedicated 3x Days of Training K2C ToT participants on the CI Toolbox for Empowerment. Participants were from Conservation South Africa and the K2C BR. In the 3 days the participants were equipped with tools such as gender sensitivity, conflict resolution and approaches, mindfulness and my personal favourite: the human rights-based approach. It is important to remember when working with communities, that their rights must not be infringed in our conservation processes.  This was another reminder that we cannot separate social issues from Environmental issues.  These tools will help us facilitate conversations better with our communities in our different projects and the activities used such as Stakeholder mapping, will enable our networks on the round to break down issues making them simple, relatable and understandable."

K2C fRfR partnering with Phiring!

By: Itumeleng Morale

From the Region for the Region (fRfR) has taken a challenge to grow climate resilient communities and strive to teach and mentor communities to be self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable. This we are doing through teaching the various sectors how to grow a green economy. In return for their action and behavior changes, we will be incentivizing them with an access market system in the K2C Biosphere. Phiring village has been chosen as the community that from the Region from the Region will pilot their project, the pilot project will officially start in June 2020. 

On the 3rd of March 2020 and on the 13th of March, the fRfR Team went to Phiring to meet and talk to SMME’s about their businesses.  Questions such as, when did they start their business, what motivated them to start their business, if their business is registered or not, if they are keeping any financial records, what are the greatest challenges they are facing, and who are their customers. The ch…

Missing a step in Gender Mainstreaming

By: Cindy Koen

Gender mainstreaming has been seen frequently on headlines internationally. The concept of gender mainstreaming is to promote, integrate, monitor and evaluate policies that regulate gender equality and overcoming discrimination. It would then be understood that gender equality will be achieved when both women and men have the same rights and opportunities. They would have equal right to participate in decision-making processes and receive similar benefits. Both women and men’s goals and aspirations would be equally valued and favoured. This all sounds wonderful and sorely needed. However, if a woman does not have the confidence to stand up for her rights and equality, what then? How sure are we that we are not only putting policies in place just to make us look good? Or that we stand up for women’s rights yet have done nothing on encouraging Women to do the same. For generations women where taught that they are inferior to men. It was ingrained that they need to bow dow…

PRIDE: K2C’s Innovative Leadership Programme – From the Youth, For the Youth

By: Vusi Tshabalala

The K2C PRIDE is a leadership group comprising of young Environmental Monitors (EMs), enabled by the Department of Environmental Affairs, which shows leadership potential amongst their peers and colleagues. It is a platform where the young leaders come to sharpen one another and prepare for leadership positions in the future. The name K2C PRIDE is an acronym for “Kruger to Canyons Progressive Resilient Initiative Driven Empowered”which was created by the EMs themselves with the support of the K2C managers. 
The K2C Biosphere Region is 2 474 700 million hectares stretching between Limpopo and Mpumalanga Province. This beautiful green landscape is made up of water streams flowing from the escarpments running down through to agricultural farms, communities and reserves. All the natural resources are shared by both man and animal for survival. One of the major roles of the biosphere is to connect people with their natural resources and promote sustainable use. It also h…

The Secret Lives of Trees

By: Romy Antrobus-Wurth

"All our wisdom is stored in the trees."― Santosh Kalwar In mid-March, the K2C BR was lucky to receive a visit from the renowned plant ecologist, Professor Eugene Moll. Prof. Moll, now retired to Cape Town, has to date published almost 200 articles in the scientific, semi-scientific and popular press, as well as 13 books, 18 chapters in books, and numerous reports, although as an author he is perhaps best-known for his popular field guide The Trees of Natal, published in 1981. While in the region, Prof. Moll hosted two Tree Identification Courses for local enthusiasts. The first day was held at Otters Den, a private property along the Blyde River, supporting an amazing diversity of beautiful riparian and bushveld trees. The second day was held at Raptors View Wildlife Estate in Hoedspruit, allowing homeowners a chance to become better informed about the bushveld trees in the estate they call home. On walks around the properties, participants learnt about…


By:  Hope Morema

The Mariepskop Community-based Environmental Monitors (EMs), enabled by the National Department of Environmental Affairs, reported massive illegal dumping of nappies and other household waste in the tributaries of the Moloro and Klaserie Rivers. The EM’s took the initiative and responsibility to collect the nappies in the veld to try and mitigate the pollution in the river as it is a big threat to the environment and the people. Sixty-four (64) plastic refuse bags full of nappies were collected which shows how big this environmental problem is.  The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere believes in partnership and involving relevant stakeholders because through partnership more can be done and achieved.  The EMs therefore invited other stakeholders to be part of the initiative and this was achieved with community members, Community Work Programme (CWP) and the Acornhoek Municipality coming on board in mitigating pollution. Once the waste had been collected the Municipality arrang…

Local Government looking forward: The Bushbuckridge Local Municipality Water Indaba

By: Mbali Mashele

On the 17th of February 2020, I delivered a presentation on Kruger National Park’s Ecological Reserve Water Management, at the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality (BLM) Water Indaba, in Hazyview.  This also included the socio-ecological collaborative projects with various stakeholders as interventions aimed at building resiliency for catchment security in the Sabie Catchment. The water indaba was themed Futuristic thinking of current water challenges.  Municipalities, as mandated to play a vital role in the provisioning of basic services such as water, has faced various challenges. In order to understand, plan and provide solutions to these challenges the following organisations; Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA), Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), SANParks, Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region, and innovative water and sanitation technology companies participated in the 2-day Indaba. The Indaba predominately discussed various water challenges and so…

The USAID Funded Resilient Waters Project is a Go in K2C -

By: Nicholas Theron

The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region (K2C BR) is privileged to be the first recipient of a sub-grant made available through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Resilient Waters Program. This is a five-year Program that aims to build more resilient and water-secure southern African communities and ecosystems through improved management of transboundary natural resources and increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation services. This call was the perfect opportunity to build on key K2C programmes that align neatly with the four core goals of the Resilient Waters project.  The K2C project will be implemented over a 2-year period with key partners that includes The Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), Conservation South Africa (CSA) and the Blyde Four Communal Property Associations. The project has an integrated approach and aims to: conserve and restore critical catchments as well as support institutional arrangeme…

Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis Workshop (CRIDA):

By: Mbali Mashele

A Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) Workshop was held at the Hippo Hollow Country Estate, in Hazyview from the 11th -12th of March 2020.  A total number of 16 participants attended the workshop from the following organisations:  IUCMA, SANParks, K2C BR, DARDLEA, DEFF NRM, Irrigation boards, Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, WWF-SA, RCL Foods, AWARD and UNESCO.
CRIDA is a collaborative bottom-up approach aimed to assess risk and plan for Climate Change Adaptation specifically for sustainable water and ecosystem management.  The CRIDA approach has been used globally for planning water resources infrastructure. 
The objectives of the workshop was to transfer knowledge and technologies to address climate change impacts on water resources. To engage with stakeholders and evaluate the interests, and lastly to the identify pilot areas for the implementation of CRIDA in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region.  
Dr Koen Verbist, from UNESCO said that ‘Stakeholders i…

African Youth for Biodiversity!

By: Mpho Lavhengwa 

On 5-7 February 2020, 43 youth representatives from 19 African countries met in Vhembe Biosphere for the African Youth Biodiversity Forum. Vhembe Biosphere is one of the three biosphere reserves in Limpopo province, South Africa: also a biosphere reserve in the capable hands of youth leadership. The event was opened and welcomed by the national Department of Environment, Forest and Fisheries together with the Limpopo Premier’s office expressing their support and exciting to be hosting such an important gathering of many countries of young leaders in South Africa and the beautiful unique landscape at Tshipise Forever Resort well known for its natural hot springs.  At the meeting, Global Biodiversity Youth Network representatives from various African countries presented the outcomes of their youth consultation meetings. This was an excellent learning exchange opportunity for the youth and countries which were yet to start their consultation meetings. All the inputs m…