ONE of United Nations (UN), Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development is devoted to protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and to halt biodiversity loss.
Over 20 local and international researchers, academics, professionals and tourism practitioners provided insights on how the development goals can be achieved, during the 2018 Leisure and Recreation Association of South Africa’s (Larasa), international congress held at Elangeni Maharani conference centre.
Councillor Nompumelelo Sithole who represented the city said the congress would highlight the important role of nature and recreation spaces in our communities to promote health and social cohesion and also to emphasise the value of sustainable nature and recreation services on the individual and community to achieve these goals.
“One of the fastest growing sectors of tourism is that of sustainable tourism and nature based tourism.”
“We have to inspire tourism stakeholders to accelerate the shift towards a more sustainable tourism by aligning policies and business operations. Eco-sytem health remains ungovernable as prescribed in the latest iteration of the UN global development agendas,” she said.
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Delegates were taken to the Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park, situated at the headwaters of Gobhogobho River on open land at Inanda Seminary School.
The natural fenced area provides children and youth with the opportunity to explore and learn about their natural environment while stimulating and developing their needs.
“This park will improve the children’s gross and fine motor skills, emotional, social and intellectual wellbeing and physical development in order to thrive within classroom and a natural setting.
“The community also stands to benefit because this will be an active,educational space which will provide opportunities for skills development and physical health development opportunities for adults and pensioners,” said the parks Nompilo Buthelezi.
They also visited the GO!Durban Cycle Academy Pump track at the Durban Green Corridor site bike park at KwaDabeka along the uMngeni River.
The GO!Durban Cycle Academy provides an environment for local cycling training which also aims to bring young people together to meet, play and engage with each other using the sport of cycling as the common focus, whether it be for recreational, commuting or sporting purposes.
Each park provides a range of tracks as well as about 30 bikes‚ including mountain-‚ road and BMX bikes‚ a range of trails‚ ‘pump’ tracks and ‘jump’ tracks. Each site has the capacity to involve 100 youngsters. To date‚ over 500 children have been involved in the programmes.
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