Protecting our fauna and flora

2016-02-02 06:00
One of the gardens on display at the Kloof Open Gardens 2016. Photo: supplied

One of the gardens on display at the Kloof Open Gardens 2016. Photo: supplied

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THE Upper Highway is situated within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot and is well known for the wealth of flora and fauna in the area. The protection of this flora and fauna through indigenous gardens has been the theme of all the Kloof Conservancy’s Indigenous Garden events.

Rapid urbanisation and housing developments in the eThekwini Metro area have drastically reduced the areas where this valuable biodiversity can thrive. The challenge therefore for authorities and property developers is to find ways that can accommodate the development requirements but also takes into account the need to preserve what is left of our biodiversity.

Kloof Conservancy chairperson Paolo Candotti said the eThekwini Municipality introduced the Durban Metro Open Space System (D’Moss) concept in the early 2000’s as a planning tool to promote the protection of the valuable biodiversity of the area. Prior to the introduction of D’Moss the city relied on green spaces, parks and nature reserves to protect the biodiversity.

“Studies showed that these ‘green islands’, because they were relatively isolated, could sustain the biodiversity in the long-term. The concept of D’Moss provides for the interlinking of the green islands through natural green corridors along rivers, streams and drainage lines. The municipality identified the most important biodiversity areas of the metro area and superimposed the D’Moss layer, which is a planning tool to alert the planners to proposed developments in areas of high biodiversity value,” he said.

“Where this concept has been embraced, as in the gardens on display, the rewards for property owners have been enormous. Not only have they created environments which are conducive to the protection of the biodiversity of the area, they have also significantly enhanced their own quality of life through the blending of their lifestyles with the nature around them.”

Candotti said these gardens are rich in biodiversity not only in the diversity of the flora, but also with fauna as the environments which have created have brought back many species such as Blue Duiker, Bushbuck, porcupine, slender and water mongoose, caracal and others. In addition properties are much sought after and their economic value increased.

For more information contact Candotti on 083 626 8684 or email info@kloofconservancy.org.za.

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