”In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” - Baba Dioum
Urban Ecosystem Support
We interpret traditional conservation solutions and harmonize them with modern innovations.
"Into every corner, into all forgotten things and nooks, Nature struggles to pour life, pouring life into the dead, life into life itself."
- Henry Beston
Life is built on the foundations that sustain our home, the earth; its water, atmosphere, biotic life and its sources of energy and nutrients. Since losing our sense of place in these systems we are no longer aware of how we affect the world around us or how the loss of crucial pillars in the world affects us (not until its too late). Much of this shortfall is to blame on Industrialized Education models where little attention is given to real-world/life problems or to promoting natural-life skills. Where our Urban Environmental Education Department addresses the shortfall of environmental topics in ECD education, our Ecosystems Support team helps, hands-on, to either preserve or restore a healthy balance to ecosystems. This entails reducing man-made impacts on the environment and improving the health of greenspaces, watercourses and wild animal and plant populations.
We interpret traditional solutions and harmonize them with modern innovations.
The main advantage our Org has for the citizens of Gauteng is that our integrated model allows for holistic understanding of problems and how to challenge them. Our teams have the resources not only to deliver solutions but also accurately position them, socially. Precisely as with our education programmes or the most challenging wildlife rescue cases we are sought after for fruitful engagement with a broader spectrum of the community.
Gauteng Province is 7x more densely populated than 2nd on the list, KZN, yet is also home to the most plant species by area.
We are Urban Specialists. We understand the need for socio-economic progress but only where offsets are balanced.
South Africa is both the economic hub of Africa and a Mega Biodiverse Country. Gauteng the smallest yet most populated province with almost zero ecotourism YET Joburg is the largest urban man-made forest in the world! This is a unique province and it requires solutions objectively built from each environmental impact, up, and by a public benefit organisation. We are the first such org to bring statutory and regulatory compliance, science, biodiversity conservation and good citizenry together on a permanent basis.
We undertake long-term in-sourced projects to assist property owners, body corporates and property managers systematically enhance green spaces. The outcome of this programme is to create sanctuaries that bolster biodiversity while improving both quality of life and property values within estates and suburbs See Project PriDE Sanctuaries.
The majority of Gauteng's Egoli Granite Grassland is lost to development. This biome is found nowhere else on earth. Of the 78 species of special concern in the province many need this specific habitat to survive.
Over half of all SA's original wetland areas have been lost due to development with 33% more in extremely poor condition.
Conservation is not an exclusive practice and the natural resources that belongs to us all, equally, naturally provides for us.
Ecological Services is not a new concept. It is as old as nature and is its essence. Even in the urban environment those without access to commercial substitutes will revert to natural commodities. This must however be done in a sustainable way, again with compromises in consideration of the current ecological imbalances.
Our PrOpEL (Problem & Opportunity Engagement for Leadership) Project introduces urban scholars and Child Care Centre beneficiaries to sustainable urban agricultural projects underpinned with sound conservation principles.
The Circular Economy Conservation Model
As with many insect species declining in number, the 947 recorded species in South Africa are struggling. From farming practices and pesticides to the destruction of hives in urban areas we are losing bees at an alarming rate. Considering that bees pollinate about 90% of all flowering plants we are at risk of losing yield in production of 50 different crops and also the propagation or resilience of indigenous flora required for our wildlife habitats.
In our Bees in Trees project we work with beekeepers and greenbelt conservation interest groups to reduce harm to wild bee hives by installing bee hives up in trees. We use the timber from invasive gumtrees to make the hives, owl houses and bat houses for the greenbelts BUT we replace the important source of food for bees with high pollen and nectar yield trees. Removed trees are replaced at a ration of 1:10 and then are milled and reporposed for conservation. We also insure there is plenty of winter-flowering plants to stretch food availability where before there was none.
The bees are preserved while we increase swarms, the beekeepers get higher yields and free catch boxes and swarms, the greenbelt conservationists get 10 times more (indigenous) trees WITH the bees to pollinate them. Wild Serve gets the timber for animal houses, restored habits for wildlife releases and we all share in some of the honey! As a bonus we have Scouts troops participate and learn and we have had one Scout adopt the project for her successful Springbok qualification!