Bird Observatory centre & Backpackers. environmental education centre is now finished after a long time of struggling to build it from small amount of tours that we get from my birdwatching trips. Now I need help for filling up the rooms with beds,3 air-conditioners for the hall and reception as well as cultlery.
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.
This year,Our experienced guides Phindile Ntshangase,Sabelo Mhlongo and Themba Gumede are ready to introduce school children and the youth to the importance of bird conservation and sustainable use of the environment around St.Lucia and Tembe Elephant Park area.
The centre hopes to open soon from the 1st of July 2018, starting with hosting small school groups from local area then abroad. we seeks to facilitate the relationship between man and nature so that they can live in harmony with each other.
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 (company director) is still saving every dollar he can to put toward this project.
Apart from schools,the project wants to help improve the local tourism services by offering skills programs, training and skills development, and through targeting locally unemployed youth, men and women, enable them to gain skills in the work place and to instil in them a diverse respect and knowledge of their natural surroundings.
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(which includes 16 beds & sheets, 5airconditiners,30 porcelain tiles,two doors, 20 cements bags, 10x 20L paints, and boardroom furniture)
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 grassroot.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