The Mountain Club is heavily involved in various conservation issues pertaining to our wilderness and mountain areas in Southern Africa.
A couple of excepts from the Secretary's Report presented at the 2012 AGM:
1. New Rescue Register forms
As a result of the ecologist at EZEMVELO requesting we report any vulture sightings, it was felt the only way to contact all hikers was for them to fill the information on the Mountain Rescue forms. These have now been totally modified, with space to enter sightings of all animals seen, the condition of the paths, the presence of alien plants etc. A tremendous amount of information will be gleaned from these forms which will contribute to the better conservation of the berg. Sadly, there was a bit of a hitch in the printing of these forms which delayed their distribution. However, by now, all the resorts should have them. Hikers are requested co-operate as much as possible as it is one way of saving the ecology of our ‘Berg, and will help to cement the very good working relationship we have with Ezemvelo.
2. The uKhahlamba Drakensburg Park buffer zone
Many years ago a steering committee was formed to investigate a buffer zone around the UDP World Heritage site, in other words, our berg as we know it. Much research and other work have been done to investigate the best ways of securing the buffer zone and ensure that any activities there do not impinge on the UDP. Some of the difficulties addressed were protecting the water flow, soil erosion prevention, accommodating settlements to the best advantage of all role players, conserving the biodiversity etc. This has all been done in close co-operation of the MDTP. The final report identifying the incentives to secure this buffer zone has been produced, which is a lengthy document but very encouraging. It now remains for the strategies to be implemented. However, there are still a few stakeholders not yet fully involved, mainly some of the Municipalities within the buffer zone. The steering committee’s tasks are still on-going in this regard.
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