Biomass stoves and an eco cat receive ABI support
Five new projects have been selected to receive grants through the ABI Small Grants Facility. They range from projects supporting environmental education in the Overberg, to a biomass stove project.
The ABI Small Grants Facility, coordinated by the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, aims to support community-based projects in the Overberg for between R15,000 and R20,000. The projects must promote conservation-related activities, and should encourage greater involvement with the local municipalities. Projects that receive support from ABI will be listed on the municipalities’ Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).
The ABI Small Grants Facility is supported by the Table Mountain Fund, an associated trust of WWF-South Africa. Three projects have already benefited in the first phase of the facility.
Now in its second phase, two of the projects link to the ABI Alien Clearing Project. By introducing ACE Biomass Cooking Stoves, the Skills Exchange Cooperative aims to use biomass from the chopped aliens in the project. The cooking stoves burn the wood, twigs and pellets well. The stoves will be made available to families. This project will also create an additional micro-industry for wood contractors.
A second project that has been approved facilitates a Masters student at the University of Cape Town to document the practices and discourses of landowners involved in the ABI Alien Clearing Project. The aim is to better understand the conservation and sustainability efforts of the landowners, and community communication and perspectives of these landowners on conservation practices.
Two projects provide environmental education support. The Dibanisa Environmental Education Programme, run by the Grootbos Foundation, encourages after-school edutainment that combines sport and natural education excursions, to promote environmental appreciation. Children learn about the environment through fun and practical ways, while cultivating a love for nature.
The Whale Coast Conservation’s project, Stripes the Eco-Cat, also introduces children from an early age to environmental conservation concepts. The stories are told by a naïve and uninformed cat that offers conservation messages to children. The stories are aimed at children who use English as a second or third language.
Finally, the Nuwejaars River Nature Reserve will promote the unique biodiversity of the Agulhas Plain, in an effort to boost the number of tourists to the region. The project also seeks to create additional job opportunities linked to responsible tourism and conservation.
The third phase of the ABI Small Grants Facility will be launched in next year, when new projects will be encouraged to apply for funding.
Photograph courtesy of the Nuwejaars SMA