World Ocean Day 8 June 2019
Caption: WhaleTime Tour Guide
In celebration of World Ocean Day, we took stock of Grindrod’s initiatives to conserve our coast lines.
Grindrod Bank’s main beneficiary of social investment over the past five years has been the BLUE FUND, developed through a partnership between Grindrod Bank and the WILDLANDS TRUST, which aims to provide funding and support for vital conservation work along the South African coastline.
Wildlands is a non-profit, public welfare NGO dedicated to creating a sustainable future by developing programmes that target environmental sustainability and human well-being, to improve the livelihoods of underprivileged communities and restore the ecosystems that support them.
As CUSTODIANS OF THE COASTLINE, Grindrod, through The Blue Fund has been involved in several successful projects over the years:
• Providing financial and administrative support to WESSA in achieving BLUE FLAG STATUS for Pennington, Blythedale and Mtunzini beaches. Blue Flag is the prestigious, voluntary eco-label for beaches, marinas and boats which is recognised as a trusted symbol of quality and regarded by the World Tourism Organisation as the most well-known eco-label globally;
• Aiding the Dyer Island Conservation Trust to help build THE AFRICAN PENGUIN AND SEABIRD SANCTUARY (APSS), a dedicated rehabilitation centre for distressed seabirds in the Overstrand region;
• A R300 000 donation to SANCCOB, allowing the centre to purchase an X-Ray machine and improve its operational efficiency;
• Supporting WESSA, through their project the ‘NTSUBANE LIVING FOREST PROJECT’. The project is focused on a broad range of activities that all link to the common goals of forest conservation and livelihood support. The elements include forest rehabilitation and protection, as well as detailed work with the local crafters to ensure sustainable harvesting and efficient use of resources;
• Supporting Ezemvelo and the group of Honorary Officers by sponsoring a new boardwalk ensuring that THE BEACHWOOD NATURE RESERVE remains an effective and safe place for the public to enjoy the beautiful mangroves. The ‘timber’ used in the construction was actually made from recycled plastic, ensuring the link between sustainable utilisation and development;
• Another project currently supported by the BLUE FUND is WILDOCEANS’ WHALETIME project. The project aims to promote sustainable and ethical whale tourism along the east coast of South Africa, bringing science, conservation, tourism and community together around iconic humpback whale species;
• The OCEAN STEWARDS program aims to provide catalytic marine science, management and industry exposure to a new generation of science students. In so doing, it aims to promote the emergence of new Ocean Stewards that are equipped and inspired to ensure effective future governance and protection of the oceans.
Working together, we can and will protect our shared ocean.