Eastern Cape Conservancy Association
The Raptor Conservation Group is just one association that information is gleaned from and forwarded to members. We like to think that this assists a particular group with their research, sightings, etc.
Many of our emails are EIA's from all over the province. These are sent out to alert people to possible developments in their areas and to allow them to make use of their Constitutional Right to comment. It is no use at all to anyone if, 5 or 10 years down the line, you object to noise/pollution/any other environmental mishap, because then it is too late - the damage has been done, and just maybe, if you had have made your point all those years ago, you might not be sitting on an insuperable problem!
We have recently been approached by three different parties who wish to form Conservancies in their areas and this is just so exciting.
One of these is the Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve just outside the Metro on the way to Jeffreys Bay. A vital beautiful piece of ground with all manner of vegetation that needs protecting, including some 'only place in the world" plants. We are impressed that surrounding landowners that includes a school, are eager to assist the Municipal Officer and that people still believe that they can take a hand and assist to conserve their environment for the betterment of all.
We are still represented on the Regional Coastal Working Group, and are currently trying to get a document together for use with the Terms of Reference of the RCWG, that will assist Departmental Officials with their EI Assessments.
We have a loose arrangement with NIMBLE, a new environmental watchdog forum in the Nelson Mandela Metro - we feel that too many eyes are better than no eyes! It is great to notice that they are very involved with the NMMU and that 'varsity students are willing to join up and participate.
Forest destruction is still a main priority and it has been surprising just how many people are alert to this issue and have no problem in contacting the DWAF representative to ask for assistance. This issue also includes the fire problem. In the Nelson Mandela Metro, burning is totally prohibited in December/January/February due to the extreme weather at this time of the year that means that fires can so easily spread and completely devastate the surrounding area, putting animals and homes at risk - but it still happens believe it or not!
We are currently looking at yet another Golf Course Estate proposal and are pleased to note that a previous EIA has been considered and sizing requests taken into account, although not quite what we wanted - so it just proves that participating can and does make a difference.
Working with our local Police authorities and educating them on conservation Laws and regulations is so important and we have their support and understanding. We even joined in a tree planting ceremony outside the Police Station for Arbour Day, tree supplied and hole dug by DEAET officials!
Coming up in the near future, we have been invited to address the Institute of Architects from an NGO perspective. Development is important but not at the expense of the environment. We will try and encourage them to think 'climate change' and 'fitting in with the environment' when designing homes.
State of the Environment Report Eastern Cape
Links to Conservancies in the Eastern Cape Province: