NATURE CONSERVATION

Roosfontein Nature Reserve to boost eThekwini Metro economically

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The status of eThekwini in the nature conservation stakes has been bolstered with the proclamation of Roosfontein Nature Reserve as a national protected area within the municipality’s boundaries.

The reserve, which was officially launched this week, is the third - of those administered by the Municipality - to receive such status after Palmiet Nature Reserve and part of the Paradise Valley. There are other six nature reserves under the eThekwini Metro that are administered by KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife.

EThekwini Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo, said the Municipality is pleased with the recent proclamation, adding that nature reserves play important role in the economic development of the City.

“Conservation of natural areas support various socio-economic activities and thus contribute towards development at local, regional and national levels. These socio-economic activities are mainly tourism-related business, biodiversity, horticultural and ecosystem services, which would cost a lot of money if replaced with hard engineering solutions,” said Nxumalo.

Nature reserves and forests are the main attraction for the growing tourist industry. Preserving these resources attracts both local and international tourists, which in turn boosts the economy.

Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture, Thembinkosi Ngcobo said: “Effective management of natural resources depends on a working partnership with the communities in preserving our history and heritage.”

Deputy Head of Environmental Planning and Protection in eThekwini, Dr Debra Robert said nature reserves are crucial part of the effort to adapt to and mitigate climate change. “The continuing loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems weaken the ability to provide essential services to our people,” she added.

The Roosfontein Reserve is said to be the one of the most delicate reserves which has more indigenous species in the City.

Professor Julia Botha of UKZN thanked the Municipality and KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife for the initiative. “I am delighted to be part of this celebration of the launch of Roosfontein Nature Reserve. I believe that working together will ensure continued survival of the natural resources for future generation”

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