Technical Visits

 

 

"Treepreneur" at Buffelsdraai Landfill Reforestation Project

Treepreneur at Buffelsdraai Landfill Reforestation Project
Photo credit: Errol Douwes

ABOUT TECHNICAL VISITS

Please register early! Technical visits will be cancelled if they do not reach the minimum number of paid participants by 15 March 2018.

Important date:  15 MARCH

Minimum and maximum numbers of participants are noted. If the visit for which you have registered does not meet the minimum number by 15 March, IAIA HQ will notify you and provide refund information or offer to transfer you to another visit. After 15 March, registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until 20 April or the visits reach the maximum number. Registrations will be processed in the order that payment is received.
Please note that a place on any of the two-day overnight technical visits is subject to the availability of accommodation, and for some of these tours, hotels will start releasing rooms not confirmed after 15 March 2018.
Prices for technical visits are shown in US dollars. Participants must be pre-registered and pre-paid to participate. If you must cancel, the fee will be refunded, less an administration fee of 25% of the technical visit cost and contingent upon written notice of cancellation received by 20 April. After that time, no refunds will be issued.
Guests of registered delegates are welcome to register for technical visits at the same rate.
Tours depart from the conference venue unless otherwise noted. Plan to check in for the visit a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the noted departure time.
Liability statement:  IAIA, the organizing committee, and the venue will not be responsible for medical expenses, accidents, losses or other unexpected damage to property belonging to conference participants, either during or as a result of the conference and during all tours and events. Participants are strongly advised to arrange their own insurance for health and accident, lost luggage and trip cancellation.

Participants will be required to sign a liability release waiver upon check-in for the visits.
list of IAIA18 TECHNICAL VISITSll visit descriptions can be found below.

Visit A: Spring Grove Dam:  Biodiversity Offsets and Resettlement Tour
Visit B: Kwa-Ximba Conservancy Experience
Visit C: Durban Community-based Stream Rehabilitation Programme
Visit D: iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Visit E: Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Tour
Visit F: Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme
Visit G: Giba Gorge Environmental Precinct (GGEP)
Visit H: KZN Midlands Sustainable Sugarcane
Visit I: Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Programme Tour
Visit J: Wild Coast and community Walking Tour
Visit K: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park


visit a: Spring Grove Dam:  Biodiversity Offsets and Resettlement Tour

Spring Grove Dam forms part of the Mooi-Mgeni Water Transfer Scheme, a priority government water infrastructure project. The dam basin inundated a complex of agricultural land and river, wetlands, and grasslands of considerable conservation significance. Mitigation measures entrenched in the conditions of authorization included, among others, the resettlement of farm labor and the need to offset the biodiversity through the restoration and protection of an area as determined through the application of draft offset policy. 

This tour examines the challenges of implementing the relevant conditions associated with these two impacts with respect to the equity and justice of the outcomes.  This is achieved through a visit to the basin, the offset receiving areas, and the resettlement site. It highlights the challenges of dealing with complex social tension between technical policy and on-the-ground realties. We will stop at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site on the way home.

Monday, 14 May  
Depart 07:00 | Return 18:00
Level of physical activity:  Low
Minimum-Maximum  14-28
Price $85

Price includes transportation, packed lunch, morning snack, tea/coffee at Nelson Mandela Capture Site, admission fee. 
Special notes:  Participants should plan to provide their own comfortable shoes, sun hat, binoculars (optional), sunscreen, rain jacket, water bottle.


visit B: Kwa-Ximba Conservancy Experience

This tour is hosted by the Kwa-Ximba Conservancy—the only registered conservancy in a previously-disadvantaged community. On arrival, the Conservancy team will give an introduction to the work of the conservancy in the area, including the efforts to create a Stewardship area. They will cover the successes and some of the difficulties. 

The presentation will be followed by guided walks along the Umgeni and Mngcweni River Valley where the impact of illegal sand mining can be observed first hand.

The guided walks will be followed by a traditional ShisaNyama—African braai (barbeque) with music and performing artists who will be mostly from Kwa-Ximba, and will include Maskandi, Indlamu, and iSicathamiya genres to offer a tourism experience for participants. Some traditional brew and crafts will be available and shared with the delegates.

Monday, 14 May
Depart 08:30 | Return 16:00
Level of physical activity  Low
Minimum-Maximum  14-56
Price $120

Price includes transportation and lunch.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to wear comfortable walking shoes and take sunscreen.


visit C: Durban Community-based Stream Rehabilitation Programme

This will be a tour to the Palmiet and Sihlanzimvelo projects with the community-based stream-rehabilitation programme in Durban. The tour will provide participants with practical insight into the challenges and opportunities associated with this Durban program.

Monday, 14 May
Depart 12:00 | Return 16:00
Level of physical activity  Moderate
Minimum-Maximum  14-19
Price $50

Price includes transportation and packed lunch. 

Special notes:  Participants should plan to wear comfortable walking shoes and take sunscreen, a rain coat, and bug spray.


visit D: iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, listed in 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique global values. Lake St. Lucia is Africa’s largest estuarine system and a declared Ramsar site, habitat for numerous water birds and large numbers of hippo and crocodile. The lake’s eastern and western shores with their many natural features and scenic lookout points are excellent for bird watching and game viewing, and home to elephant, rhino, buffalo, hyena, leopard, and many species of smaller game. Saved from mining in the 1990s, largely as a result of one of South Africa’s first environmental impact assessments and public outcry, the Park is under constant pressure to demonstrate that eco-tourism is a more sustainable land use.

We will be visiting various projects in the southern part of the Park (Lake St. Lucia, eastern and western shores) that are aimed at restoring ecosystems and services that were degraded from past land use practices as well as various local economic development initiatives that make a significant difference to local people living in and around the Park where poverty levels are extremely high.

Monday-Tuesday, 14-15 May
Depart 07:00 14 May | Return 18:00 15 May
Level of physical activity  Low to moderate
Minimum-Maximum  14-37
Price $440

Price includes transportation, packed lunch 14-15, morning and afternoon snacks 14-15, braai (barbeque) dinner 14, breakfast 15, admission fees, boat trip, night game drive, accommodation.

Special notes:   Participants should plan to provide their own sunscreen, hat, rain gear, swimming costume, towel, walking shoes, water bottle, small overnight bag with clothes and toiletries, mosquito repellent, and binoculars (optional). The return time may be subject to change depending on traffic conditions. iSimangaliso is classified as a low-risk malaria area, but visitors should seek medical advice before visiting.


visit E: Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Tour

Your time will be spent in the majestic mountains of the Maloti-Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Book early to be one of a small fortunate group to be driven up Mike’s Pass for a panoramic view of the catchments below, an explanation of SAEON’s climate change monitoring program, and mountain spring water to fill up your water bottle. Hike one of the short trails from Didima Resort and visit the resort’s San Rock Art Centre. Weather and time permitting, we will stop in at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site on the way back to Durban.       

Monday-Tuesday, 14-15 May
Depart 07:00 14 May | Return 18:00 15 May
Level of physical activity   Moderate
Minimum-Maximum  11-22
Price $340

Price includes transportation, lunch 14-15, morning and afternoon snack 14-15, dinner 14, breakfast 15, admission fees, accommodation.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to provide their own sunscreen, hat, rain gear, swimming costume, walking shoes, water bottle, warm jacket and long trousers in case of cold weather, bug spray, small overnight bag with clothes and toiletries, and binoculars (optional). The return time may be subject to change depending on weather and traffic conditions.

On the field trip up to the research sites, you will be required to fill in an indemnity form. The trip requires we make use of a very bumpy 4x4 jeep track up a mountain pass. It is not open to the public. It is only used for research and management purposes. If you suffer from any back or neck injuries or issues with internal conditions that would be aggravated by an extended bumpy ride, this is not for you. Weather may influence what we can do and where we can go.


visit F: Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme

Ingula is Africa’s largest pumped storage scheme, with an output of 1,332 MW, and constructed 350m underground, the equivalent of a 116-story building. A significant mitigation measure arising out of the environmental impact assessment was the establishment of an 8,000 ha conservation area comprising wetlands, grasslands, and escarpment forest to compensate for the scheme’s environmental impacts. Partnerships with conservation non-governmental organizations have been formed for the management of this important biome, ensuring the protection of the critically endangered white-winged flufftail, wattled crane, southern bald ibis, and other endangered species.

On this tour, you will learn of the EIA process undertaken for this scheme, and observe first hand how the mitigation measures have been implemented, hopefully also seeing many of the 310 bird species recorded on site. You will also be taken on a tour of the underground scheme, and weather and time permitting, stop at the Nelson Mandela Capture site on the way home.            

Tuesday, 15 May
Depart 07:00 | Return 18:00
Level of physical activity  Low
Minimum-Maximum  14-54
Price $95

Price includes transportation, packed lunch, morning snack, possible afternoon snack at Nelson Mandela Capture Site, admission fee.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to provide their own sunscreen and hat, warm jacket in case weather changes, water bottle, and binoculars (optional). Closed or safety shoes and long trousers are required. No heels or sandals are allowed. Taking of photographs is allowed only at specified viewing points. Protective vests and hard hats will be provided and must be worn where necessary. The return time may be subject to change depending on traffic conditions.


visit G: Giba Gorge Environmental Precinct (GGEP)

A visit to a public/private partnership conservation area. The visit will include a short briefing on how the site was secured through a number of different reactive and proactive planning mechanisms and the subsequent setup of a special rating area (SRA) funding mechanism, followed by a 3.5km walk through managed Vulnerable Eastern Scarp Forest and Endangered KZN Sandstone Sourveld Grassland. During the walk, some of the protection and management actions and challenges will be discussed.

Tuesday, 15 May
Depart 08:00 | Return 13:00
Level of physical activity  Moderate
Minimum-Maximum  14-20
Price $50

Price includes transportation and light lunch. 

Special notes:  Participants should plan to wear comfortable walking shoes and take sunscreen, a hat, and water.


visit H: KZN Midlands Sustainable Sugarcane

The technical visit will be held in the Eston area of the KwaZulu Natal midlands area and will focus on sugarcane production and sustainability aspects. The visit will commence with PowerPoint presentations on some of the work being done in the area. The focus of the visit will be centered on SUSFARMS®, which is the South African sugarcane industry’s farm management and sustainability tool for sugarcane growers. It addresses the three pillars of sustainability through three distinct chapters, namely Prosperity, People, and Planet. We will then visit a large-scale sugarcane farm as well as a small-scale farm to demonstrate in-field aspects of SUSFARMS®.

Tuesday, 15 May 
Depart 08:00 | Return 18:00
Level of physical activity  Low
Maximum  15-35
Price $85

Price includes transportation, morning tea, and lunch.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to wear closed toe shoes/comfortable walking shoes and take sunscreen, a jacket, and a hat.


visit I: Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Programme tour

The tour will be to the Community Reforestation Programme at the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site northwest of Durban. This community-based restoration program is based within the buffer zone surrounding the landfill footprint. The tour will provide participants with practical insight into the challenges and mitigations towards establishing a functioning and diverse woodland that will sequester atmospheric carbon and improve local air quality, as well as enhance ecosystem goods and services, all in conjunction with the upliftment of surrounding communities.

Tuesday, 15 May
Depart 08:30 | Return 14:00
Level of physical activity:  Low to moderate
Minimum-Maximum  14-37
Price $50

Price includes transportation and packed lunch.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to wear comfortable walking shoes and take sunscreen, a rain coat, and bug spray.


VISIT J: Wild Coast and community Walking Tour    

Gain first hand experience of traditional livelihoods and what the land and its natural resources mean to local people—the hardships and challenges, but also the sheer beauty and richness of the natural landscape and its resources. Understand the dilemmas that local people face when various development options are proposed for the region and the impacts that these will have on them.

This hiking tour is not for those who can’t do without electricity and running water:  stay at a homestead, sleep on the floor on a mattress, eat traditional meals, and bathe from a basin. Understand first hand what local people need and desire in terms of local and regional development. This walking tour could change your thinking forever.    

Sunday-Monday, 20-21 May
Depart 08:00 20 May | Return 16:00 21 May
Level of physical activity  Moderate
Minimum-Maximum  11-55
Price $220

Price includes transportation, all meals (traditional fare), and accommodation.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to provide their own sunscreen, hat, rain gear, swimming costume, towel, walking shoes, water bottle, torch, small overnight backpack with clothes and toiletries. All bedding will be provided. Participants may take their own sleeping bags and/or pillows and additional snacks but should be aware that they have to carry these items themselves. The return time may be subject to change depending on weather and traffic conditions.


VISIT K: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park    

Visit the oldest proclaimed protected area on the African continent (over 120 years old):  the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, home to the big five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo) and birth place of the Wilderness movement in Africa. Visit local development projects being driven by the conservation authority in partnership with local people and consider the optimal development options for the area, given the high level of poverty in surrounding communities. Consider the existing and proposed mining options on the borders of the Park and their impacts on conservation and local communities, and learn about civil society’s attempts to stop these activities.       

Sunday-Monday, 20-21 May
Depart 07:00 20 May | Return 18:00 21 May
Level of physical activity  Low
Minimum-Maximum  18-36
Price $430

Price includes transportation, packed lunch 20-21, morning and afternoon snack 20-21, dinner 20, breakfast 21, game drive, guided walk, conservation fees, accommodation.

Special notes:  Participants should plan to provide their own sunscreen, hat, rain gear, swimming costume, towel, walking shoes, water bottle, small overnight bag with clothes and toiletries, bug spray, binoculars (optional). The return time may be subject to change depending on weather and traffic conditions. The Park is classified as a low-risk malaria area, but visitors should seek medical advice before visiting.