Zulu Bird Centre is now almost finished after a long time of struggling to build it from small amount of tours that we get from my birdwatching trips. Office is now fully equipped
A little bit of context
Themba Mthembu is one of many community bird guides that have been trained by Nature College, Southern African Wildlife, Empower ED Academy,Birdlife South Africa and has now added his ETDP and Catthseta qualification to help improve more of his training endeavour.
Over the past 18 years of hard labour Themba is one shining example of how a man who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of his community and spreading the word of conservation can succeed. In recent year Themba did more than just bird guiding on a daily basis and he established Zulubirding Consulting,Vukukhanye Development project and TA Training and waste management.
Up to date the centre has not been open up due to some financial constraints to fund further finishing.However so much work has been done,we are almost there. Only the Chairs for the boardroom missing, still 5 air conditioners,Data projector now only 10 single beds are needed, all doors have secured.we still need white board,camera,and binocular.
The centre boasts accommodation facilities and a conference hall, which is designed for boardroom meetings and training services during the visitors short stay in the area.
Our locally qualified bird guides and facilitators will showcase their abundant knowledge of birding and other wildlife and cultural knowledge. The guides are available to do formal,informal training as well as daily guided tours or longer if required.
The centre focuses mainly on avi-tourism and biodiversity conservation, but is also well suited for tourists, schools,institutions willing to use it on short skill programmes and community excursions.
But there’s a problem for Themba:
He is now at a critical point in furnishing the rooms.
Here’s what he’s doing about it
At this point again as before, Themba is still saving every cent he can to put toward this project.
Apart from skills programs-training and development.My team and I,will now work on the ''Birding for Sustainable Living project'' with 5 local homesteads. We will convince locals to turn their back-gardens into birder friendly establishment and attract birds, which in-turn will attract birders. In this case, these locals will now be expected to generate and derive a direct income from the tourism in the area. This will see Locals appreciating tourism and conservation more than before.We need more support from interested parties to help us support and give back to the communities
There is no doubt Themba is aimed at changing and developing the livelihoods of the local communities neighboring the coastal IBAs(Important Birding Areas), through biodervisty conservation Education.
Themba understand the very sick global financial climate and therefore offer to give a free accommodation for up to 2 years or more should they be interested to fund the last portion of the project.
Notes to read:
Despite many such concerted conservation efforts for our progressive environmental legislation this country’s biodiversity still remain amongst the most threatened on the planet as loss continues to escalate at an alarming rate with at least third of biodiversity rich ecosystem pushing towards a brink of extinction
Therefore it pops up that the ongoing biodiversity loss in the rural areas is due to the lack of awareness and capacity from the grassroots. Implementing and enforcing environmental polices is still very much dependent on community members, their leaders’ understanding the value of biodiversity and having the knowledge and skills to actively address the environmental issues at ground level to the benefit of their livelihood and environment.
It is therefore crucial to educate rural communities on the significance of biodiversity, its value, wise use and sustainability. That's what I'm here for.