10 September 2013
As part of Arbor week celebrations, Dube TradePort has planted a variety of 130 indigenous plants at the Mount Moreland Conservancy viewing area. The viewing area at Froggy Pond is part of a wetland that is dominated by indigenous wetland plants, despite the encroachment of alien invasive vegetation and sugarcane, it still provides an important roosting site for large numbers of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica).
Dube TradePort has also planted 100 trees at the nearby LIV-Village (Lungisisa Indlela Village). The Village is located in the Verulam area and provides holistic residential care for vulnerable children, with the core vision to “rescue a child, restore a life, raise a leader, and release a star”.
Dube TradePort has always been a responsible developer; as a testament to this principle Dube TradePort has invested R21 million in the environmental rehabilitation of a 600-hectare site, where it is planting some 603 350 indigenous trees and plants along with 8 339 kg of indigenous grass mix. This will help in reversing the effects of over 100 years of monoculture and help rescue sensitive habitats that have experienced a continuous encroachment of alien plants. The project is also helping to rehabilitate and rescue numerous precious wetland habitats, which in total cover an area of 31.7 hectors. So far, there have been a variety of over 300 different types of indigenous species of flora that have been reintroduced to the environment.
The project is currently underway and will take place over a 3-year period; this initiative has already created some 80 full time jobs over the period mentioned, for members of the local communities. Through “on the job” training, Dube TradePort strives to ensure that the community members involved are empowered through learning and experience. Through this project, Dube TradePort is also contributing to the green economy of KwaZulu-Natal, the strategy for which specifically identifies nature conservation – alien clearing, as a key opportunity to improve the water quality and biodiversity security within KwaZulu-Natal.
“We see this as our moral obligation towards the environment and our community to restore and manage the local ecosystem for the benefit of all, now and for future generations. Without initiation and action our conservation area will be lost to alien infestation and degradation; already we are seeing the signs of a total onslaught of alien encroachment into the nearby wetlands and river systems. We are constantly keeping a close eye on developments on our borders, with drainage feeding into our wetlands, and constantly attending and participating in EIA’s to ensure continued protection,” says Saxen van Coller, CEO, Dube TradePort Corporation.
Dube TradePort Corporation is committed to preventing adverse impacts on the environmental through measurable and actionable strategies. These comprehensive strategies have been designed to support the maintenance of our natural resource management program, carbon and water neutrality, environmental management system, land management as well as stakeholder communication and interaction.
We view our environment as a key ‘natural living infrastructure’ in our business strategy; Dube TradePort continuously measures and reports on its environmental footprint through the State of the Environment Reporting. Ms van Coller added, “We are committed to reducing our environmental impact in the future, and some of the initiatives that are already in place include rehabilitation and restoration of biodiversity, water demand management and conservation, solar photo voltaic energy, rainwater harvesting as well as carbon and energy audits from our Head Office (290 South) and the TradeHouse.” The Rehabilitation and Restoration Project comprises the following components: short term rehabilitation (alien clearing and fauna and flora species rescue) and restoration (alien clearing and planting).
Rehabilitation and Restoration Project
The Rehabilitation and Restoration Project involves the alien species clearing and species rescue of some 600 hectares in the next three years. The rehabilitated areas will be transformed into usable spaces promoting further job creation.
The aims of the project are:
The project is aimed at offsetting the environmental impact of the Dube TradePort developments, including Dube TradeZone, Support Zones, access roads, etc.;
Creating an aesthetically pleasing environment;
Creating healthy ecosystems that host a rich biosphere;
Reintroducing indigenous plants in the area;
Creating an environment that will be suitable for nature and industry to coexist harmoniously.