Mopani worms harvested in KNP

2012-12-17 20:50

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Phalaborwa -  Residents living next to the Kruger National Park have begun harvesting mopani worms inside the world-famous game reserve.

The Kruger is allowing people living outside the Phalaborwa and Punda Maria gates to hand-pick worms from trees between 17 and 28 December.

“We...feel honoured to be contributing to the local communities around the park through mopani worm harvesting. An objective of this project is to provide some benefit to the poorest of the poor,” said Kruger spokesperson William Mabasa.

“[Most] people in rural areas prefer mopani worms as part of their daily meal. They provide a high-protein food source that is predominant in Southern Africa,” he added. Mabasa said the harvesters will work under the supervision of park rangers who will protect them from wild animals.

He said a memorandum of understanding has been signed with relevant community forums to ensure the project is legally binding.

He said only those with permits will be allowed to harvest the worms.
“Those forums will identify people who should benefit from this project,” he said.

The mopani worms harvesting project is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Protected Areas Act and South African National Parks policy to allow for the sustainable use of certain natural resources.
The Protected Areas Act allows for renewable resources in a national park to be used, as long as park management approves and it is done sustainably.

Read more on:    sanparks  |  polokwane  |  conservation  |  environment
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