Abraham Ramonwana, head guide at Tuli Safari Lodge says: “if a mine develops in South Africa, it’s also going to affect Botswana and Zimbabwe”. Abraham, like many others, believes that the Mapungubwe region should be preserved and protected from the impacts of infrastructural development, and allowed to remain pristine for generations to come – “mining and industry is a short term plan, tourism is a long-term plan.”
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The authorisation given to an Australian company called Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) to construct an open-cast coal mine, called the Vele Colliery, just outside of the boundaries of the Mapungubwe National Park will affect this fragile natural harmony. To Abraham, “mining and industry is a short term plan, tourism is a long-term plan.”
Abraham, like many others, believes that the Mapungubwe region should be preserved and protected from the impacts of infrastructural development, and allowed to remain pristine for generations to come.
Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is managed by South African National Parks (SANParks) and its partners. The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area is being developed based on the stipulations of a Memorandum of Understanding between Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe that was signed on 22 June 2006. These are officially mandated programmes in which the South African government, the province and private sector have invested. With the official opening of the Mapungubwe National Park on 24 September 2004, the first of three national objectives for the region was reached. The other two objectives were the area’s listing as a World Heritage Site, which happened in 2003, and the establishment of a Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA).
TFCAs promote conservation and the sustainable use of biological and cultural resources, while also furthering goals of regional peace, co-operation and socio-economic development. Both Transfrontier Parks and Transfrontier Conservation Areas aim to provide jobs and opportunities for revenue generation to local people. By so improving the lives of rural communities it is hoped that they will in turn contribute to biodiversity conservation and demonstrate the economic and social advantages that can be achieved through conservation. This vision of cross-border collaboration …