Nominations are open for the 2013 eThekwini Municipality Mayoral Awards in the Biodiversity Category

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Thursday, April 11, 2013

<p>Rob Crankshaw and Keith Cunningham from the Clansthal Conservancy. The Clansthal Conservancy were the winners of the 2012 eThekwini Municipality Mayor Awards for Excellence in the Biodiversity Category (Image Source: Jessie Singh, EThekwini Municipality).</p>

Rob Crankshaw and Keith Cunningham from the Clansthal Conservancy. The Clansthal Conservancy were the winners of the 2012 eThekwini Municipality Mayor Awards for Excellence in the Biodiversity Category (Image Source: Jessie Singh, EThekwini Municipality).

Nominations are now open for the 2013 eThekwini Municipality Mayor’s Awards for Excellence, in the Biodiversity category. The aim of the award in the Biodiversity category is to recognise the efforts of eThekwini citizens, organisations and communities that are working to conserve and enhance biodiversity in the eThekwini Municipal Area.

The awards are open to individuals, businesses, community organisations, non-governmental organisations and schools in the eThekwini Municipal Area (EMA) that have implemented projects or programmes that improve or conserve biodiversity in the EMA and must have been running for a minimum of one year. The project or programme should also have a long term vision. “In addition to these criteria the committee looks for individuals or groups of people who have shown initiative, who have gone over and above what their job requires or are carrying out this work in addition to their current jobs and who are also passionate about what they do”, says Cassandra Schnoor, Biodiversity Category Manager for the awards representing the eThekwini Municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department.

The 2012 winner of the biodiversity category was the Clansthal Conservancy situated on the South Coast of eThekwini Municipality. The Clansthal Conservancy is made up of residents, property owners and visitors that aim to conserve the natural environment in the village of Clansthal. Some of their achievements include clearing 50 hectares of invasive alien plants, planting over 300 indigenous trees, providing business training to workers removing invasive alien plants, and working with the eThekwini Municipality to reduce dumping and littering in Clansthal. They have also actively participated in monitoring both existing and proposed developments within their area and adjacent areas through the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

Schnoor says that the Clansthal Conservancy stood out as the winners in 2012 as “they were seen to be very strategic and actively worked with the local, provincial and national government to attempt to address issues in and around their area.”

Any member of the public can nominate an organisation or individual for the Biodiversity category. Nominations will be accepted until August 2013.  Site visits will be conducted by the Biodiversity Category Manager and a report compiled on each nominee. A steering committee headed by the Mayor will shortlist the nominations down to four finalists and choose a winner for the category. An awards evening will be held where all the winners of each category will be announced.

For more information and to request a nomination form visit the eThekwini Municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department’s website.

Other categories in the eThekwini Municipality Mayor’s Awards for Excellence include Crime Prevention, Promotion of Tourism, Wealth and Job Creation, Community Development, and, Clean Environment. The Mayor’s awards have been running since 1997 and aim to recognise the efforts of citizens that are helping to improve the quality of life for people in eThekwini Municipality. The Biodiversity category was added in 2009.  

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Amanda Botes