Monday, July 30, 2012

The Controversial Mr Vali Moosa and Beach Ban Act

So we have to wait until next year to confirm what a study in 2002 already proven ...

"There was overwhelming opposition to the ban on 4x4 beach driving from local residents of the areas where historical recreational use areas for beach driving was permitted. The reason for this lies largely with the impact on income and job security."

This is not in dispute. That many communities up and down the coast relied on this form of tourism is a given. Various Court Applications and Court Interdicts has proven to this effect, but Mr Vali Moosa still went ahead with the act and it was even further cast in stone by Mr Martinus ...

The Question is why must over 500 000 previously disadvantage community members suffer winter after winter while Mr Vali Moosa uses this accomplishment on his CV to secure himself high profile jobs, while the very people that voted for democracy are left hungry and cold ... ???

Tourism Document

Blog By:
Petrus Viviers
081 342 7371

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Who is Mr Vali Moosa

Former President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Valli Moosa, has been elected as the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the World Wide Fund for Nature, South Africa (WWF-SA).

Moosa, who has served on the board since late 2008, has a long-standing relationship with WWF-SA and replaces Mark Read as outgoing chair of the board. WWF South Africa CEO, Dr Morné du Plessis, said that “Valli Moosa has been a great champion of the environment in South Africa and has already greatly benefited WWF through his enthusiasm, strategic insight and intimate understanding of environmental issues. We look forward to drawing even deeper on his extensive experience in the years ahead.”

Valli Moosa is perhaps nationally best known for his spell as Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism between 1999 and 2004 and was also a member of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment as well as a member of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Ministers Forum. 

While at the helm of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Moosa implemented a series of key environmental initiatives, including:

  • The implementation of much needed fisheries policies to prevent the collapse of abalone stocks and curb poaching;
  • Launching of Africa’s first environmental court;
  • Establishment of five new Marine Protected Areas
  • Playing a key role in the establishment of the first transfrontier park in Southern Africa;
  • Banning of 4 X 4 driving on our beaches and;
  • Placing a tariff on plastic bags.

Globally, Moosa represented South Africa at various sessions of the UN Convention on Climate Change and was appointed as the global facilitator for the final negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol in Morocco in 2001. Between 2004 and 2008 he also served as president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Immediately before he joined the board, WWF-SA awarded Moosa its Lonmin Conservation Award, in recognition of the invaluable contributions he made to conservation in South Africa. Since then, he has played a pivotal role within the organisation and was elected deputy-chair in 2009. 

Moosa succeeds Mark Read, who has been with WWF-SA since 1995 when he was first appointed a Trustee. In 1999 he was elected on to the board and became chairperson of WWF-SA in August 2004. A year later he also took on the role of board director of WWF International. 

“It is with great thanks and a degree of sadness that we bid farewell to Mark Read who has served WWF with great passion and dedication for several years. We deeply value Mark Read’s contribution and everyone knows that his heart beats warmly for WWF and our vision to inspire people to live in harmony with nature,” said Du Plessis. Mark Read also served on the International Board of WWF for a number of years.

Throughout his life, Read has been involved in several conservation-related activities in southern Africa and is the founding Trustee of the Rhino and Elephant Foundation, a co-founder of the Paleontological Science Trust (PAST) and a founding partner of the Great Plains Conservation Tourism Company. He is also the owner of the Everard Read Gallery and the associated Circa-on-Jellicoe.

The A, B, C about beach Driving

I am regularly confronted with the damage that 4x4's cause on beaches.

To the miss informed I would like to enlighten there short sightedness. There is various stages/zones on a the beach.

1) The Glassy Zone - Wet area in the wash zone of the wave action. All your little creatures resides in this area. The spray generated from driving in this area is also very corrosive on the vehicle. - No Go

2) The Intertidal Zone - It is the hard surface above the glassy zone below the Spring High Water mark. Nothing resides in this area. It is a hard compacted area from the water suction pulling away for low tide.

3) The pre-dune Area - It is the area before the dune starts above the Spring high tide mark. This is a very sensitive area and should be avoided by all motorist and pedestrians.

4) The Dune Area - This is the most sensitive area along the coast and should be avoided at all cost. No vehicles ... No Pedestrians and No Hard Surface Development.

Traditionally all beach front developments are done in this area and it destroys the natural habitat completely. It is also the are that is mined and the angle off the dunes can never be repaired by machinery. This area was formed over the past 25 000 - 60 000 years through much rain and wind erosion.  

In St Lucia Estuary (iSimangaliso Wetlands Park) the usage rights of many people developed with the deployment of Game Conservation Principals. St Lucia Town, proclaimed 1822, developed behind or rather above the Sand Dune Range. This is different from most coastal towns where the hard surface development (houses/roads/parking areas) happened on the dunes towards the high water mark. 

It is a unique symbiotic relation between man and beast where man treads lightly on the fragile ecosystem and did not destroy it like Durban or various other places along coast lines around the world.

A 1 800kg 4x4 does not imprint much more than 30mm. Most critters along the pre-dune area has a habitat deeper than 250 mm. Even nesting sea turtles place there eggs between 250 and 400 mm below the service. Not even a 30 Ton Vibrating Compactor used for road paving will disturb them. They are more prone to predators than any thing else. Sea Turtles are also guided by the silhouette of moon light against the dune range. They also uses the under side of their bodies to pick up the taste of the seeping ground water.   There fore one must be very careful never to develop or mine a dune area. It totally compromises the integrity of their natural breeding grounds.

Since South Africa has a coast line of over 4000km and is naturally only accessible to vehicles for 4 - 7% of the coastline it is hardly a factor if one consider the habitat compromised in building a International Airport or a Hard Surface dual carriage way.

To Follow: The Reasons For Beach Driving

by Petrus Viviers
081 342 7371

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why we need to take part in Public Participation

Was in St Lucia on Thursday. Working the floor of the supermarket got to
deal hands on with some customers from the out lying rural areas. Since
I know how these people suffer since the 4x4 ban I have sympathy with
their struggle to make ends meet.

Yet the fact they they have to rely on natural resources and government
grants makes me nervous in how to deal with the matter at hand. With the
current flow of the combined iMfolozi and St Lucia Estuary the water is
land locked for a longer period of time.

Water levels and flow channels are now pushing far inland carrying
trapped marine species all the way in to the rural areas. This would not
have happened if tidal movement was regular these species would not have
had the time nor the reason to move in land.

The demand for equipment to poach these species has risen. Since I am
the primary buyer of fishing tackle with a clear understanding how legal
equipment can be extensively used to poach on a massive scale I am in
personal conflict.

We are in dire need to make sales to turn a profit to pay the very
expensive rates and taxes ass well as the inflated Eskom bill, but as a
conservationist I am reluctant to distribute equipment that I am aware
that will contribute to the total destruction of a fragile specie.

Since various of these activities has been reported to relevant
authorities with now feed back to the public we understand it is about
feeding a nation, but understanding sustainable utilisation one
understand that these resources can be managed better for the benefit of
struggling communities.


Open the Estuary ...
Open the Beaches for 4x4 access ...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Request to register as an Interested and Affected Party

St Lucia Wetlands Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Request to register as an Interested and Affected Party in or next to The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park. (iSimangaliso Wetlands Park). Please note this is not an official request but in the absence of an official registration proses we have come to the conclusion that a database is needed to get every one on board of a Public Participation Proses.

Please Complete this form.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Responsibilities of a World Heritage Site Resident

To live in or adjacent to a World Heritage Site has certain responsibilities. Claiming you are living in a World Heritage Site does not vocalise your voice. Accepting your responsibilities does. 

A World Heritage Site is manage according UNESCO Law signed by the South African Government. It is a residents obligation to see that the Authority abide by this Law and to see that all facets of this Law is implemented correctly and to the best interest of the residents, neighbours and visitors.

To do this a resident must know the World Heritage Act ... and the following ...

What is sustainable development.
What is sustainable utilization.
What is an Integrated Management Plan 
What is a Coastal Management Plan
What is Public participation 
What is user Rights
What is fair usage 
What is Rehabilitated usage
What is "GVE"
How to understand migratory routes and influences of animals

Failing to to under stand this a resident will not be able to have a active part in public participation meetings. Failing to take part in public participation meetings fails the World Heritage Community and your responsibility to live in one. 

You are now merely a squatter in this community and have NO right to voice your opinion or enforce your right to free will. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

UN-provoked Hippo Attack

When some St Lucia residents earlier this week claimed that a trouble some Hippo is roaming the streets of the small town tendering for a bullet I personally thought them out of line. We have roaming Hippo since as long as I could remember and the towns people always dealt with it. 

Earlier tonight a local resident was savagely mauled by one of these seemingly docile creatures. He is in Hospital fighting for his life with extensive internal injuries and one leg amputated below his knee. Since it is such a small town where people live so close to nature a brutal attack like this come as a shock.

Apparently he heard his dogs barking and when he went to investigate he was cornered by the animal brutally attacking him. Although this is well known behavior for Hippo when one crosses its escape path to the safety of water or when one lands between Cow and Calf one never expects to be attack in your own garden/porch. 

We pray with the family and friends for the persons well being and hope that his recovery is speedy. We have no official version of the story and hope that most of the facts is accurate and not offending any one. I am purely reporting on this since I know some of the family personally and know how passionate they are about St Lucia. 

Whether this will lead to the animals destruction remains to be seen. It has always been believed that once an animal has lost its natural fear for humans it is safer for man and beast that the animal should be put down. Since Hippo do not capture easily it could be the only option to protect the holiday makers and community against this menacing animal.

Hippo Human interaction.

We have to look at the factors surrounding Hippo's in St Lucia Estuary from a very holistic prospective. 

Hippo has been roaming the streets of St Lucia since as far back as the town has been proclaimed. Various attacks over the years has been recorded and the last known fatal attack in the streets of St Lucia was in Kingfisher street in and around 1978/79/80. A gentleman was attacked and almost bitten in half.

Since the prolonged drought of 2000 Hippo sightings in the small town has increased a lot. With out the tidal movement of the Estuary more and more pods of Hippo has moved down towards the town and it is amazing that fatal incidents are so few and far in-between. 

Human interference as far inland as Vryheid has changed the habitat of these gracious animals for ever, but the more recent rapid expansion of human population explosion on the Western Shores has forced many grazing animals to seek refuse in areas where they find least resistance. 

Hippo have large grazing territories and dominant Bulls can be very territorial. To relocate a dominant bull is not only physically difficult, but also troublesome since one can interfere with a well balanced pod else where. Only people with great experience will be able to make rational decisions and we can only hope that the public will respect the valuable input of the relevant authorities.

Public Hysteria and Emotional outcry will not help the management of a tragic situation. We can only sit and wait and respect the methods used to control problem animals by the relevant Authorities.