12 Jun 2024

New nature reserve opens in South Africa

Nature reserve.jpg

A newly established 6,500-hectare nature reserve in South Africa's iconic Drakensberg mountain range is set to protect cultural and natural heritage. The Northern Drakensberg Nature Reserve, a collaborative effort between landowners and conservationists, will preserve ancient rock art sites dating back 3,000 years, as well as vital grasslands and water sources.

Crucially, the reserve will open a critical wildlife migration corridor, allowing previously isolated animal populations to recover and thrive. This transnational protected area, spanning from South Africa into neighbouring Lesotho, encompasses nearly 20% of the water supply for the Vaal River system, providing water for around 4 million people.

The reserve marks a shift towards community-integrated conservation, aiming to boost local economic activities like agriculture and tourism alongside environmental protection. It demonstrates South Africa's commitment to safeguarding 30% of its lands and oceans by 2030, as pledged at the 2022 COP15 biodiversity conference.

With only 9.2% of South African land currently under protection, strategic initiatives like the Northern Drakensberg Nature Reserve are vital for combating biodiversity loss and ensuring the preservation of the nation's rich natural and cultural heritage.

Read more

Source: News24