The Environmental Monitor (EM) Programme
The conceptualization of the National Environmental Monitor (EM) Programme occurred within the context of two concurrent national challenges: the unemployment in areas adjacent to protected areas and the Rhino Poaching crisis.
The Environmental Monitor (EM) Programme was started by the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in response to challenges of high levels of unemployment adjacent to conservation areas, coupled with increases in illegal wildlife trade. The Programme aims to increase conservation capacity within South African National Parks (SANParks), protected areas including provincial and private reserves.
Kruger to Canyons (K2C) is funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), implemented by SANParks Biodiversity Social Programmes (SANParks BSP) and managed by the K2C.
People living in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region (K2C BR) are fortunate to be custodians of one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth.
The Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve falls within one of the 16 Protected Area sites within the K2C EM Programme and thus projects then include aspects such as Conservation support, Patrols and research.
Four Environmental Monitors are deployed on the GMPGR through an integrated plan, who assist with Conservation support which include various projects and activities to maintain the sustainability within the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve.
Makalali Private Game Lodge formed a formal partnership with the local community in order to create a sustainable development. The key milestone was the establishment of a committee representing both Makalali and the community which meets quarterly to discuss issues of employment, business opportunities and philanthropy. The following are some of the value that this partnership has added to the community:
- There has been an increase in the number of jobs created for members of the community at Makalali.
- Makalali identified an education centre for young children and based on their needs the, centre was painted and donated tables and chairs for the children.
- During December 2018 when the Royal House celebrated 100 years of traditional leadership, Makalali contributed material and building skills to erect a boma and donated overnight lodging facilities for the visiting king.
- Makalali has arranged guests’ visits to the Royal House to learn more about traditions of the local people and school where they had interest to raise donations towards assisting community in education.
- A recent property renewal project has provided opportunity for Makalali to donate decking material taken out of river camps to assist in the community where it is most needed and created more temporal jobs.