Big step for biodiversity in Clansthal

2013-12-02 00:00

THE Clansthal Conservancy, which works to preserve biodiversity and ecology in the Clansthal area, has finally opened its own office in the Crocworld Conservation Centre near Scottburgh, after 10 years of operating without a permanent secretary and premises.

“Having our own office helps us communicate with our members, run our administration more efficiently and manage the many community projects we are involved in, including our conservancy security patrols,” said Rob Crankshaw, the conservancy’s chairperson.

“For the past 10 years the conservancy has had to meet in committee members’ houses and try to run its administration and communications activities on a computer. Having no visitor facilities and no fixed telephone or e-mail numbers has hindered efficiency and prevented the conservancy from carrying out its strategy effectively.”

The office was made available to the conservancy by Crookes Brothers, the public company that founded Crocworld Conservation Centre as part of the company’s environmental responsibility programme.

Crankshaw said the funding to set up the office came from their own very limited resources, and they only have money to run the office for two months.

“We are approaching local businesses for help and are confident that we will find sponsors for this very worthwhile project.”

Clansthal Conservancy, founded in 2002, were winners of the 2012 eThekwini Biodiversity Award and are involved in both marine and land-based conservation.

Crankshaw said: “This is a wonderful boost for us in our conservation management programme.”

Jessica Escobar-Porras, one of the scientific advisers for the conservancy, said: “I am very excited for the collaboration established by Clans­thal Conservancy (CC) and Crocworld Conservation Centre (CCC). This not only gives me the opportunity to work at a beautiful location, surrounded by indigenous vegetation, hear a great variety of bird songs, but also get to see on a daily basis the amazing crocs.

“Moreover the CC office is now located on the grounds of an organisation — CCC— that shares the same vision and love for the area.”

Projects lined up by the conservancy in the years to follow are a nature reserve in the Mahlongwana River Valley, an environmental research and training centre, a big increase in security management at Clansthal village, a more effective waste management programme and a beautification project for their residential area.

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