Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife


Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is the provincial agency mandated to carry out biodiversity conservation and associated activities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the Republic of South Africa. The primary focus of the organization is biodiversity conservation - the management of 99 protected areas and two World Heritage Sites which are the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site.

The organisation as a whole is the off-spring of a merger between two conservation bodies: the former Natal Parks Board which was formed in 1947 and whose antecedents go back into colonial times; and the former KwaZulu Directorate of Nature Conservation which was formed in 1972 to manage the nature conservation requirements of the "homeland" of KwaZulu. Following the democratic elections in 1994 both organizations negotiated a mutual amalgamation which resulted in the formation of the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Board with its operational body being Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Although the core function is biodiversity conservation, the organization has two other "legs" - these being Commercial Operations and Partnerships. The model on which Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife operates is designed to make the organization as independent as possible. Although it is a parastatal body receiving a subsidy from the provincial government, it is able to supplement this through its own business operations, generating some 40% of its operating budget. In terms of local economy it has been established that in many instances Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is the only employer in certain areas and one salary paid to an employee from a local community can affect between ten and 15 others in a ripple-effect. In this way the organization affects more than 30,000 people in rural areas in a positive economic way.
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