Media Release: KNP opens its gate for the locals to harvest mopani worms
Kruger National Park (KNP) will, as a pilot project, introduce the mopani worm harvesting in the Nxanatseni (northern) Region of the park between Punda Maria and Phalaborwa areas from 15 to 28 December 2010.
Beneficiaries of the project will be sourced from the local communities (park forums) that are found outside the targeted areas provided participants apply and obtain the relevant permit before they can take part in the project.
Benefits associated with the South African National Parks normally include amongst others tourism and recreation, spiritual experiences, employment and business opportunities. The mopani worm harvesting project is meant to extend the benefits to include sustainable utilisation of natural resources which is a policy of SANParks and an acceptable principle of the IUCN.
“Mopani worms are a great source of protein and most of the people in the Limpopo Province as well as other parts of the country eat them”. “With unemployment high particularly in the rural communities outside the park around the harvesting area, this is another way for us as KNP to contribute positively towards the wellbeing and livelihoods of some of those families more especially during Christmas time;” said William Mabasa, the head of Public Relations and Communications in the KNP.
The KNP Rangers will escort and guide harvesters to the harvesting zones while guarding them throughout that period. Scientists will closely monitor the ecological, social and economic impact of the harvesting process before, during and after the project has taken place to ensure that it does not negatively affect the ecosystem.
Laura Mukwevho, Internal Communication Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4262, cell 082 807 1441 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or e-mail: email@example.com
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