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The Mighty uMzimkhulu – A Green Net Adventure.

Aerial view of the uMzimkhulu River

The Mighty uMzimkhulu – A Green Net Adventure.

The Mighty uMzimkhulu – A Green Net Adventure :

Chapter 4: Our position regarding future developments on the uMzimkhulu River.

We believe the uMzimkhulu river was aptly called “the Mighty uMzimkhulu”.

It is one of the last free-flowing rivers in South Africa, with similar ecological value to the Okavango. It is home to many species of fish and other marine animals, as well as birds. It directly supports the sardine run and the Marine Protected Areas of Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal. It has great historical and cultural value. This adds to its community value and tourism appeal (the boat that recently emerged from the depths of the riverbed is a case in point).

The Green Net has undertaken various activities to help look after our natural water resources. Ranging from beach clean-ups and the removal of plastic waste and AIPs (alien invasive plants) from a section of the Mbango River. The creation of “Stella the Starfish”, a giant bin to enable easy and effective waste collection on beaches. Eco-Brick projects, including the construction of an Eco-Brick bench. (located at the Sea Park Catholic Church, Our Lady of Fatima). And public awareness raising meetings and a petition opposing proposed offshore drilling

As residents, we are aware of many shortcomings in Ugu’s recent management of our water resources. We are often without water for any of a variety of reasons. This includes leaking pipes, broken valves, saline intrusion and politically motivated sabotage. As a result, raw sewage often ends up in lagoons and rivers, endangering human and marine health. These infrastructural flaws have a significant and negative impact on health levels, the natural environment and tourism, and thus hamper our local economy on many levels.

The river also provides the majority of much-needed water for drinking, sanitation and irrigation for many residents from Hibberdene to Ramsgate. The system is already under strain and the demand for water will inevitably keep growing as our population does.

The Green Net is aware that a number of ill-advised activities have taken place on the uMzimkhulu over the years. Various parties have been responsible for the damage done. We as ratepayers and residents, would like to do whatever we can to ensure that future spending is better informed by engaging with all interested parties. Including the municipality, residents’ associations, conservationists and technical experts, to explore our options going forward.

We would like to see:

  • More open, honest, representative and collaborative discussions of this nature.
  • Rehabilitative measures by parties who have damaged the river’s banks, bed or flow.
  • The most constructive possible use of available finances – investment in socially and environmentally sustainable technology and job programmes; more local institutional and business support for projects to clean rivers and restore natural flows (e.g., Mbango and Ifafa rivers); and avoiding divisive and wasteful lawsuits.
  • World-class technological solutions that can provide the most sustainable possible relationship with water to ensure a healthy and prosperous South Coast for future generations.

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Pictures sourced from Google**

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On The Block : Arbour Week

Port Shepstone Lighthouse at the Block

On the Block: Arbour week

On the Block, Arbour week: In celebration of National Arbour week, The Green Net has decided to clean up and beautify the landmark area at the entrance to Port Shepstone, known as The Block, a popular fishing and family recreational area in commemoration of Heritage month and our Mighty Green Groves.

NOUN
arbour (noun)
a shady garden alcove with sides and a roof formed by trees or climbing plants trained over a wooden framework.

Synonyms:
bower, alcove, grotto, recess, pergola, gazebo, summer house, shady place, shelter, hideaway

This much-loved spot is well known in fishing circles, and most visitors are aware of the fantastic location just under the little black and white checker-board lighthouse that immediately catches the eye as one crosses over the mighty Umzimkulu RiverThe Green Net is looking forward to supplementing the powerful and positive strides made by Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, who with support from local business and other interested parties, including the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), have redeveloped the basic infrastructure at The Block

Arbour week is an annual occurrence, usually starting at the beginning of September. This initiative was started by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), as a campaign to highlight the country’s Champion trees, which feature some of the oldest, largest and most culturally significant. Among these are the Sophia Town Oak Tree and the Sagole Baobab Tree in Limpopo, which are part of our heritage.  As September is Heritage month in our majestic country, what better way to bring communities together to honour our heritage and enjoy the magnificence of our natural beauty than by planting indigenous trees and plants as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.

Greening refers to an integrated approach to the planting, care and management of all vegetation in urban and rural areas, to secure multiple benefits for communities

The Green Net have thought of creating an avenue of corals and other trees along the top sea-side pavement as well as bringing in lots of Spekboom, aloes and even rose-scented geranium.  

Spekboom is an amazing plant. It can take root and regrow, just from simple cuttings from already existing trees. It can quickly reform the soil because it continuously sheds a lot of leaves, which help to build up soil organic carbon,” explains ecologist Anthony Mills,

Anthony Mills, has published extensively on the sub-tropical thicket ecosystem of South Africa, one of the country’s lesser-known plant biomes

“We are running out of time for climate and biodiversity action, and large-scale opportunities like thicket restoration in South Africa must be urgently explored,” says Tim Christophersen, head of UN Environment’s Freshwater, Land and Climate Branch, and Chair of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration.

“We would like to support the Government of South Africa and other partners, like Living Lands and Commonland, to realize the potential of the Eastern Cape thicket restoration, as we move into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021–2030.”

And a considered optional extra, could be an EcoBrick bench.
The Green Net, having created a “serenity garden” at their local Catholic church, which features the first EcoBrick bench in KZN (made up from 500l of single-use plastic waste captured and turned into something useful).
Click here for more info.

The Green Net encourages the private sector, governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as the public to be involved in the “Greening” of our local communities and areas.  Our environmental organisation intends to dedicate 2 days to clean-up and green-up a section of The Block, depending on budget and sponsorship.  Thereafter, there will be follow-ups for ensuring the tidying, watering, and weeding of the Block for 4 months (until the end of 2021).

Share with your family, friends and community groups.  Everyone is welcome to participate by cleaning and greening, and of course donations of plants, compost and cash will help us do more.
Visit our “Back-a-Buddy” page to share donations.

Watch this Space for more!

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Driving Force for Change Youth Challenge 2021

Driving Force for Change Youth Challenge

Driving Force for Change Youth Challenge 2021

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment and the PAGE Programme (Partnership for Action on Green Economy) , in collaboration with a number of partners, has launched the 2021 Driving Force for Change Youth Challenge II call for proposals. This creates an opportunity for young entrepreneurs and green innovators to further develop their early-stage entrepreneurship skills and competencies. Winners will be provided access to high-quality technical assistance and business management operations training.

In 2020, The Minister for the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, launched the 2020 DRIVING FORCE FOR CHANGE (DFC) CHALLANGE. This was as a means of addressing the youth unemployment and to provide support to any and all Green entrepreneurs.

About the Challenge:

“The 2021 Driving Force for Change II Youth Challenge creates an opportunity for young entrepreneurs and green innovators to further develop their early-stage entrepreneurship skills and competencies so that South Africa can further develop its green economy and create decent jobs for youth.”

Criteria:

  • Green entrepreneurs between 18 and 34 years
  • Company registered and operational between 1 and 42 months.
  • South African citizen or residing in SA with a permanent residence permit.
  • Successful participants from the 2020 DFC pilot initiative and other public-sector coordinated initiatives in the past 3 years who were awarded prizes and/or technical support are not eligible.
  • Applications from women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs living with disabilities are strongly encouraged

Deadline:

15 September 2021

For More information on this initiative , go to the : Driving Force for Change II Page

The Green Net is a proud promoter of this initiative and encourages all Green Entrepreneurs, Great or Small to participate to make their ultimate future Vision come true!


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A Journey across the South African coastline

Damien Honneysett and Damien Laird walking the South African coastline

Creating Awareness through Walking the South African coastline

Walking the South African coastline : The Green Net welcomed with very warm hearts two inspiring individuals as they visited our South Coast area on Wednesday 18 August.

Damian Honneysett and Damien Laird embarked on an epic journey walking the South African coastline. Covering approximately 3200km with the set intention of promoting, encouraging, and creating an awareness of the Environmental interconnectedness of ‘us’ and our spaces. They are showing just how much we are influencing and impacting conservation along our shores via all media platforms.

Walking to make a difference, sharing smiles, positivity and happiness to Reignite Hope in our wonderful country and with all who follow them on their journey, these two profound gentleman have dedicated themselves to serving their purpose in making a difference in this world.

Educating society on the importance of taking care of our Mother Earth and all the magnificence and abundance which surrounds us, has become extremely vital, and the opportunities that are present for each and everyone to make a real sustainable difference right now; from picking up a piece of litter, to sharing seeds of plants and joy in any way that you can, is going to promote the true prosperity of our wonderful nation and Her people.

We are so honoured to have had the opportunity of catching up with these young men and hearing the stories of their travels thus far, and Applaud them for their commitment and dedication.

The Green Net, an organisation dedicated to the preservation of our Environment and Heritage, including the History and Lifestyle found in the lower south coast of KwaZulu-Natal, a true Paradise and best kept secret!
Based in Port Shepstone, the Green Net focuses on community driven projects and upliftment of the local communities and teaches environmentally sustainable practices that include waste management, food propagation and much more, to ensure that sustainability can be achieved by all who live here.

To support the Green Net’s local gardening projects, see the link below to our ‘Back-a-buddy fundraising campaign that was started in honour of Mandela Day, 2021. The Green Net has been gifted the use of gardens at the local Catholic church – Our Lady Fatima.

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/tgn-gardens.

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Introduction to The Green Net

The Green Net came into being in May 2019, when a group of interested South Coast residents participated in AfrikaVuka. This is an Africa-wide campaign to support sustainable energy production.  Three of these individuals now form the organisation’s core team. We call on other members known as Friends of The Green Net for specialised input as required for projects.  Our projects – thus far undertaken by members on a volunteer basis and at their own expense – have enjoyed good community involvement and local media coverage.

We hold a Vision of a world in complete balance and harmony, in which humanity nurtures and enhances our natural environment, treating all life with respect.

To this end, we have the following Mission:

  • To grow awareness of current environmental problems; grow networks between participants and projects across the region; and catalyse the creation of practical, environmentally- and economically sustainable materials and systems for the future;
  • To support and promote individuals and communities across the Ugu region who contribute to the healing and flourishing of life on Earth, regardless of age, religion, economic status, gender, race, political affiliation or any other social category; and
  • As far as possible, to teach and demonstrate the power of interconnection, integrity, cooperation and constructive action.

Networking is central to our goal of raising people’s awareness and understanding of environmental issues across the region. Our projects and teaching materials are designed to be replicable to encourage knowledge and skills transfer through an “each one teach one” approach.  We continually strive to increase our own learning and opportunities for constructive collaboration. We engage with local community members, conservancies, social and environmental organisations/groups, tourism establishments and businesses.

In light of global and domestic realities, we believe our region is eminently placed to take the lead in creating genuinely sustainable ways of living. New technologies, materials and marketing methods will be required in the not-too-distant future, and now is the time to draw in and nurture our resources: bright minds, big hearts and the climate, landscape, animals and plants that bring us personal well-being as well as a tourism industry.