Howard College Campus Msinsi Reserve in foreground
Edgewood, Howard College and Westville Campuses were registered as individual urban conservancies but are now registered as one known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal Conservancy. You may have seen the white guinea-fowl signs on the edge of the campuses indicating that we are a conservancy.
A conservancy is defined as "the voluntary, co-operative management of an area by its community and users, and in respect of which registration has been granted by the relevant authority".
Conservancies in this province are recognised by Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife and are affiliated to the KwaZulu-Natal Conservancies Association. They are non-statutory forums that are formed by local people to manage and improve their living environments. They occur in both rural and urban environments.
Concerns in these conservancies include both "green" and (more recently) "brown" agenda issues. Brown agenda issues tend to deal with environmental services and infrastructure, such as wastewater services, sewerage and waste management.
However, conservancies traditionally have tended to focus on or prioritise green issues. The main focus of urban conservancy projects has therefore been on the rehabilitation of river catchments, especially riverbanks, removal of alien invasive plants, awareness education and participation programmes, litter control and clean-up campaigns, monitoring and reporting of illegal and environmentally detrimental dumping and creating an aware and well informed pro-active community.
The urban conservancy project in Durban was designed to integrate diverse and complicated urban systems such as high-density residential and industrial araes, CBD areas, parks and recreation areas, the beachfront, freeways and interchange systems as a network of conservation cells.
The committee that manages the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Conservancy is the UKZN Environmental Committee (UKZNEC). A number of projects are undertaken by this committee, such as the environmental planning of new buildings and other developments, the removal of alien plants and their replacement with indigenous vegetation, the naming of trees using identification plates and the continual management and upgrading of the Msinsi Nature Reserve on Howard College Campus.