Constantia to sea... by foot

2015-05-05 06:00
A young boy glances over the Princess Vlei River which may form part of a new walking trail from Constantia to Princess Vlei. 

astrid februarie

A young boy glances over the Princess Vlei River which may form part of a new walking trail from Constantia to Princess Vlei. PHOTO: astrid februarie

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Aproposal to develop a walking trail along the river corridor between Constantia and Princess Vlei is on the cards.

Ward 62 councillor Elizabeth Brunette recently attended a walk along this route organised by Local Governments for Sustainability Partnership (ICLEI).

The trail starts at the Constantia green belt and ends at the vlei.

Brunette says the organisation has various projects across Africa aimed at enhancing natural areas. In Cape Town ICLEI has the Source to Sea River Corridor project.

“It has been going for a few years and is to link Elephant’s Eye in Constantiaberg to the sea and to Princess Vlei,” she says.

Brunette attended a workshop on the vision for the project and updates on work done to date.

She explains there were various discussions on what can be done to promote the trail, what is needed and why it’s important for the natural environment.

According to a statement, ICLEI is currently managing a biodiversity project called Urban Natural Assets (UNA) for Africa.

It focuses on four cities, including Cape Town. The Source to Sea initiative forms part of this project.

Its aim is to develop a water corridor where water quality and quantity are managed to support biodiversity while ensuring optimal use of river corridors.

“Eventually it is envisaged to turn this river corridor into a public walkway and/or bike path that is biodiverse, accessible, safe and valued by everyone along it,” according to the statement.

In an information sheet, the organisation further explains the project seeks to restore river corridors to ensure they are ecologically, socially and economically sustainable, enhancing the quality of life for local communities while maximising recreational opportunities and protecting environmental services.

The initiative also has various origins and is supported by various organisations.

According to the information sheet, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa contributed substantially to the concept while ICLEI has secured funding for the City of Cape Town’s involvement in the UNA Africa programme.

Councillor Johan van der Merwe, mayoral committee member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, says he recently heard from Jorgen Randers, a professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian Business School, at the ICLEI World Congress in Seoul, of some of the expected consequences of climate change.

Van der Merwe says Randers suggested that one of the ways to reduce the negative impact was to employ people to work on green initiatives.

“Our vision is to work with a range of partners to do this in the Sand River catchment and in particular the Diep and Prinskasteels Rivers as part of achieving our Source to Sea Corridor ambitions,” he says

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