Bakwena N1N4 toll concession is excited to announce two partnerships with the EWT, the Conservation Education project and the monitoring of roadkill of wildlife in the area as a means to safeguard the natural heritage in the areas around the N1 and N4 routes.
During 2014, Bakwena partnered with the EWT to conduct research to determine the extent of human-wildlife conflict along its routes. Amongst other things identified in the survey litter, snaring and hunting with dogs, were concerns. Other concerns include loss of livestock from problem animals and the ransacking of properties by baboons. Based on the research results, Bakwena saw it fit to develop a pilot Conservation Education project to help address concerns raised by the community.
Bakwena will roll out the pilot project in June 2015 in the Bapong and Swartruggens areas. Training and workshops will be conducted to provide community members with environmental education aimed at reducing the incidences of snaring and hunting with dogs, as well as to raise awareness of the negative impacts that problem animals have on the local communities. The program will help address community concerns identified in the 2014 survey and will introduce mitigation measures such as livestock management, litter prevention strategies and the development of environmental education material for local schools and libraries.
Bakwena will also continue to work with the EWT on the WESSA Eco-Schools Programme in order to educate the youth on an extensive and practical environmental education programme which focuses on improving environmental management within schools for both learners and teachers. Through this programme, Bakwena and the EWT provide a platform that enables teachers, learners, community members and partner organisations to undertake environmental management projects such as electricity and water conservation, plus education on developing food gardens.
“We will also upscale efforts to monitor roadkill and wildlife fatalities on our routes” says Bakwena spokesperson, Charmaine van Wyk. She continued, “The safety of leopard is deemed as high priority in the North West province.”
Over the past few years, the EWT’s Wildlife and Roads Project (EWT-WRP) has successfully assisted the public to understand the impact of road infrastructure on wildlife. The EWT has developed a five-year action plan that will address the low levels of awareness that drivers have regarding the impact that roads have on biodiversity.
“This will include education, message development and the implementation of mitigation measures that will help reduce wildlife-road-mortality. Bakwena is committed to the improvement of human safety and that of wildlife and are determined to assist the people using our roads to fully comprehend the impact that roads have on biodiversity.” remarked Charmaine.
“From the instigation of clean-up campaigns, environmental education, leopard collaring, bullfrog fencing and conservation education, Bakwena is constantly striving to preserve the environment and its heritage for the future. It is crucial to understand that the need to conserve the leopard and other threatened and endangered animals has now reached a critical stage, which is why we have decided to take action.” van Wyk reiterated.
For more details, please contact:
- Charmaine van Wyk, Bakwena N1N4, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Emily Taylor, Project Coordinator: Urban