DEA launches R256m worth of enviro protection, infrastructure projects
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), in collaboration with the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, plans to implement some R256-million worth of environmental protection and infrastructure projects in Mpumalanga, bringing the department’s total funding commitment in the province to R345-million.
The People & Parks and the Wildlife Economy projects would be implemented through the DEA’s Environmental Protection and Infrastructure programme, which funded the implementation of various projects aimed at protecting the integrity of the environment.
The programme had grown from a budget of R28-million in the 1999/2000 financial year to a current budget of just under R900-million.
The People & Parks programme was a DEA initiative that aimed to tackle issues at the interface between conservation and communities, particularly with regard to the realisation of tangible economic and social benefits by communities that were previously displaced to pave way for the establishment of protected areas.
The programme encouraged communities to take leadership roles in the management and benefits of South Africa’s biodiversity conservation, particularly in the protected areas.