Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife strives to mitigate the impact of Climate Change on the Earth through conservation, partnerships and ecotourism.

Ezemvelo is entrusted with the long-term conservation of the province’s rich biodiversity for the people of South Africa and other interested parties worldwide.

In the 100 years of formal conservation in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the various departments and statutory organisations that evolved into today`s Ezemvelo have received many formal awards and words of praise for the quality of their service to conservation and for the high standard of management of the province's biodiversity.

Ezemvelo is internationally recognised for white rhino and sea turtle conservation and for its community conservation outreach programmes.

Ezemvelo has been building stronger bonds with communities sustainably deriving benefits from protected areas. Many initiatives now focus on low income communities in close proximity to the protected areas and attempt to provide basic skills training and finances to bread winners in rural households.

Subsistence use from Protected Areas benefits more than 50 000 impoverished people through basic livelihood needs.
Household benefit beyond individuals as small-scale commercial use of natural resources from both in and outside protected areas, benefits thousands more people through money & meat provision.
Recreational non-consumptive use benefits all citizens by providing activities and usable areas.
The SA and KZN economies benefit through job and revenue generation.
Recreational consumptive use provides both South African citizens and foreign tourists with leisure activities, creates employment, and supports local economies.
Traditional medicine benefits most citizens of KZN in a cost-effective but informal manner as “western” medicines remains largely inaccessible and unaffordable to the poor.
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World Heritage Sites
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park have been declared World Heritage Sites and their careful ecosystems are entrusted to the care of the organisation.

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park along with uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park and Ndumo, are wetlands of international importance listed as RAMSAR sites.

Locally, the Southern African Crane Foundation, Timeless Africa and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry have recognised the organisation's contribution to crane conservation, tourism and the Working for Water Project.
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ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE

What is climate change?

Since the industrial revolution, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and degradation of natural forestshave caused huge and abnormal amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to be emitted into the atmosphere.

The greenhouse gases trap heat and light from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere which increases the temperature and has a negative effect on biodiversity and human lives. This is known as global warming or climate change.

What are greenhouse gases?
Greenhouse gases are gases in the earths’ atmosphere that collect heat and light from the sun – namely, carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrous oxide and methane. Due to human activities the production of these gases has increased immensely in the 20th Century and if not mitigated will continue to increase exponentially.

What is the effect of Climate Change on the environment?
Climate Change has a negative effect on the environment in which we live. For instance, the increase in temperature is causing the polar ice caps to melt, this in turn leads to a rise in sea levels which leads to the degradation of habitat and possible resultant extinction of polar bears and other species. It could also cause flooding of low level islands and coastal towns on main lands.

Due to climate change, extreme weather conditions are taking place more often. Changes in rainfall patterns are causing both flooding and drought. Drought increases the risk of wildfires, water and food shortages while floods damage properties and crops and cause diseases such as cholera and malaria, among others.

What is the Ozone Layer Depletion?
The ozone layer is the layer in the earth’s atmosphere which absorbs 97-99% of the sun’s high frequency ultraviolet light which is damaging to any life on earth.

Ozone depletion describes two phenomena observed since the late 1970’s: a steady decline of about 4% per decade in the total volume of the ozone layer and the occurrence of the ozone hole during springtime over the earth’s Polar Regions. Man-made gasses such as CFC’s are responsible for this depletion. Reducing the production of these gases is critical.

WHAT CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING?

POLLUTION
The increase in the earth’s temperature is a direct consequence of increased pollution. To ensure the future of our planet we all need to reduce pollution.

Water:
Water is critical to the survival of the earth.
At present, about 40% of the world’s population experience water shortages. Water is a limited resource and we need to use it wisely and not waste it. Water pollution, from leaking sewerage, to industrial effluent, human contamination, insecticides and herbicides, are some of the biggest threats to our fresh water supply.
Air:
Air pollution is made up of the fine particles in the air that can cause harm to the environment.
Some of these are natural pollutants from volcanoes and wildfires. Many are as a result of human interventions such as industrial waste, destroying of forests, emissions from modes of transport and burning of toxic substances amongst others.
Soil:
Healthy fertile soil and proper environmental management give us clean water, good crops and forests, diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes. Soil is also the habitat of many creatures critical to maintaining the balance in biodiversity. Soil pollution is caused by littering, chemicals, sewage leakage, industrial waste, excessive livestock manures, toxic waste such as batteries etc. These pollutants kill many essential organisms affecting the soil structure therefore reducing the creation of humus in the soil.

Ecosystems:
The plants, animals and microorganisms that are found in a particular location are referred to as an ecosystem. These plants and animals depend on each other and their interaction with the weather, soil, sun and atmosphere to survive. Ecosystems include wetlands, forests, savannahs, and grasslands, marine and other habitats on earth. In fact, the earth’s whole surface can be seen as a series of interconnected ecosystems forming a delicate balance.

Upsetting this balance could lead to the collapse of an ecosystem and domino effect on other areas. As an example, consider what happens when a new plant or animal is introduced into an ecosystem where it did not before exist.

The new organisms, or alien species, compete with the natural organisms, or indigenous species, from that location for available resources. The aliens can push the indigenous species out, causing them to become extinct. This can then affect other organisms that depended on the extinct organisms as a source of food.

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