KwaDukuza ecosystems including its estuaries are under pressure and have been seriously damaged due to:
• agricultural activities,
• land use activities both legal and illegal,
• mismanagement of natural resources and
• an increase in population
All of the above contribute to the pressures of ecosystems. Furthermore, human activities have resulted in an increase of waste generation, spread of invasive alien species, and an increase in greenhouse gases.
As a result, the natural environment is prone to flooding which cause further deterioration to ecosystems. The recent drought affected the region which gave rise invasive pioneer plant species which better survive drought spells and thus would affect the natural system once ecosystems get back to normal.
The municipality envisages using voluntarism for this project which in turn will transform the participants to be climate change mitigation champions.
In response to these challenges, the council of KwaDukuza during the 2011-2016 term of office adopted strategic documents, which put KwaDukuza on the path of low carbon emission and sustainability. These plans commit to climate resilient and sustainable development for the 2016 - 2022 term of office. Hence, the focus will be on implementation of the adopted plans.
In relation to the background, one of the projects in the pipeline for implementation is the Outreach Greening Project, which will target communities of KwaDukuza as well as schools within the KwaDukuza jurisdiction. Greening is a widespread concept that may include everything from planting trees, LED lighting and conservation of resources (water, energy, waste) to recyclable stands and digital take-home information rather than paper catalogues, all aiming for a carbon-neutral footprint. Greening is the process of becoming more active about protecting the environment.
However, the objectives of this Outreach Greening Project will be:
• To provide learners, educators and community members with the environmental knowledge and practical skills to establish and maintain indigenous gardens.
• To promote greening coupled with nutrition (fruit trees) within the schools and community of KwaDukuza Municipality and
• To encourage ecological awareness including environmental responsibility.
Ultimately, the Outreach Greening project is aimed at increasing awareness in relation to climate change mitigation. Furthermore, this project speaks to the KwaDukuza’s 2030 vision which aims to be a vibrant city competing in the global village economically, socially, politically and in a sustainable manner.