Indigenous trees project builds hope

2008-02-08 00:00

RURAL school pupils in the Table Mountain area are learning multiple life skills while contributing to the conservation of KwaZulu-Natal biodiversity.

The Wildlands Conservation Trust has introduced Eco-Schools project, an empowerment project where pupils from impoverished communities near Nagle dam get an opportunity to learn agricultural and business skills and are able to take early control of their lives.

Pupils at Masijabule and Nhlanhlayebhuzi high schools obtain seedlings from the Trust and plant the indigenous trees to sell back to the Trust.

Wildlands Conservation Trust spokeswoman Charmaine Veldman said the Trust has developed innovative programmes to conserve biodiversity.

“Some of the programmes comprise conservation-based community development projects — so that previously disadvantaged communities can take ownership of biodiversity preservation and use it as an empowerment tool.” She said the Eco-Schools project is integrated into the Indigenous Trees for Life programme with emphasis on the propagation of indigenous trees.

The Indigenous Trees for Life programme has numerous projects in the St Lucia, Umhlanga, Richards Bay and Durban South regions.

The project has also received support from The Witness. Human resources director Thakane Motebang said the company has adopted the project as one of its corporate social responsibility projects.

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