After spending the first decade laying a solid foundation, efforts during the past few years have led to the College being registered with the replica rolex daytona uk Department of Education as a Private Further Education and Training (FET) Facility and as a Private Provider of Higher Education and Training (HET) by the Council on Higher Education (CHE), which is responsible for the accreditation of Higher Education learning programmes. This is a milestone in the College’s history as it means that its certificate courses are now credit bearing enabling students to further their studies at other recognised tertiary institutions.
Since implementing its business plan in 2010 and restructuring it again in 2014, the College has expanded its relevance and reach and created opportunities to ensure its financial sustainability.
In striving to develop the potential of its students, the College hopes to deliver on its mandate to equip students to deal with the key challenges facing protected area management. It continues to increase the range and scope of our offerings and in so doing meet the changing needs of the conservation and tourism industry.
As part of this increased scope in training, it is imperative that managers of the broader Trans-frontier conservation areas are adequately trained into the custodianship of Africa’s dwindling, yet ever-important wildlife populations and other natural resources. A high priority needs to be placed on doing so in cooperation with local communities. In recognition of the important role that communities living in the buffer zones surrounding Parks play in the sustainable management of our natural resources, the College is actively involved in capacity building at the community level. For the first time in 2011 it introduced courses aimed at new venture creation and enterprise development. In doing so, it will have a substantial impact in contributing to poverty reduction and local economic development through the development of human capital.
During 2011, the College also embarked on the expansion of its resource centre to prepare for the other HET programmes that may be included in the future and to improve access to educational resources for our current students. The College’s affiliation to the Southern African Inter-lending Scheme (SAIS) was revived. This affiliation gives students and trainers access to additional study materials which the College does not have on site, from both local and international libraries. The resource centre also subscribed to the South African Bibliographic and Information Network (SABINET), which allows students and trainers to access on-line journals. These two initiatives and many others have improved the quality of work that the students produce.
All programmes are aligned to qualifications that are registered on the National Qualifications Framework and cover the full spectrum of skills needed by field staff and managers of protected areas.
The College offers a diverse range of training which includes Certificate Courses both at HET and FET levels, Skills Development Courses, Learnerships, Short Courses and other Programmes.
The Higher and Advanced HET Certificates in Nature Conservation are presented in block format which in 2011 was changed from four training blocks to three; with iwc replica watches one work block in the middle of the year. This enabled students to return to their places of work to complete their practical assignments and workplace assessments. Together with changes to the curriculum and learning materials, there changes have also been made to the assessment strategy. All of these are as a direct result of the training needs analysis conducted across SADC. Some of the new modules include GIS, land use planning and trans-frontier conservation management.
The FET certificates and skills development programmes are designed to be occupationally relevant and are composed of various credits which can be used towards a nationally recognized qualification.
The specialist short courses offered by the College include a wide spectrum of wildlife management, nature-based tourism, community-based natural resource management, tourism and environmentally-related topics. The courses are aimed at improving all round performance and building capacity.
Other projects and programmes offered include the six-month bridging programme sponsored by the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust (Managed by BoE Private Clients). This is the only course offered by the College that is aimed at specially selected school leavers who are interested in a career in conservation or environmental education.
In addition the College runs a number of field ranger training courses as part of its Wildlife Guardian Programme sponsored by the Liberty Wildlife Fund and other donors. This programme is aimed at addressing the increase in poaching incidences and building the capacity of field rangers. Having placed a lot of emphasis on outcomes-based training, the students leave the College with a broad range of high level practical skills including conservation ethics, bush craft, monitoring, tracking, gathering of evidence, arrest procedures and firearm skills.
Complimenting this is the Bathawk Project, which conducts aerial patrols to monitor wildlife populations and assist in rhino anti-poaching efforts in the Greater Kruger area. Field rangers, which can be better deployed, are then also trained in ground to air patrol techniques.
More recently the College also embarked on its community ranger’s programme which is aimed at equipping young people from communities bordering the western boundary of Kruger National Park and surrounding nature reserves with the skills and knowledge of conservation guardianship. This will help pave the way for young people by providing them with opportunities/chances of future employment by local communities as game scouts or in conservation organizations.
The SAWC have a current business plan (2010 – 2014) which has guided the college management in both achieving accreditation at the Higher Education level, as well as developing and diversifying training products in order to address training needs identified in the training needs analysis of SADC conservation organisations (on which the current business plan was based). The SAWC, guided by the business plan, has also upgraded accommodation and other facilities to meet the needs of a higher level of academic student.
The reason for the College embarking on a new business plan (2015 – 2020) is a direct result of the success of the current business plan and timing of a new MoU between SAWC and one of its founder donors, the Peace Parks Foundation. This new MoU outlines an approach to utilizing yearly funding from PPF for a specific training need and considers a business focused approach to their strategy moving forward.
The move towards sustainability of the College, while still focusing on training needs of the conservation industry, without negatively impacting on the quality of any course or the infrastructure standard of the facility, has therefore been the driving force behind the development of the new business plan.
The College has now expanded its scope of business which in the past traditionally focused on Protected Area (PA) management, field ranger training, short courses in a variety of conservation and environmental subject areas, as well as Community Development. The expansion of the scope of business, which the College refers to as its business themes, now also includes TFCA capacity development, Ethical and Sustainable Utilization, Universities and Research, and a broad theme that focuses on the socio-economic dimensions in conservation, including Alternative Livelihoods; Poverty Reduction; the Wildlife Economy and Rural Development. The expansion of the College's business themes reflect the expanding needs of the SADC region and South Africa.
Briefly, these seven themes are based on:
Protected Area Management/Wildlife Management
PA management has always been at the core of the college business since it was established 15 years ago. The aim is to develop future generations of protected area managers with the requisite understanding and practical skills to manage their areas effectively and in cooperation with local communities.
Protected Area Integrity/Wildlife Guardianship
The development of wildlife guardians’ is a vital role the College can play to support Africa’s efforts to stem the tide of rhino and elephant poaching. The programme trains and qualifies people as Field Rangers who are the front line (and eyes and ears) against criminal elements who attempt to steal wildlife resources in our parks and reserves.
Consumptive and Non-consumptive Ethical and Sustainable Utilization and Field Guiding
This unit concentrates on helping to bring about much needed transformation and improvement in the quality of training of professional hunters. The current 10 day system is woefully inadequate. People of colour also need to be helped to access the industry.
The SAWC training unit focuses on providing quality training for historically disadvantaged individuals from locations and communities recognized as requiring upliftment and that are ideally placed to integrate into the guiding industry locally.
Community, Youth Development and Access
The College will continue to have a positive impact on the development of the youth in South Africa, opening doors for them through providing marketable skill sets in the context of conservation and the environment.
Within this framework the training implemented by the College also addresses the following:
The SADC region has a growing number of TFCAs, which have their own unique management and development challenges. The SAWC as the training partner to the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) sees itself playing a significant role in capacitating the TFCA managers, other stakeholders and community members contributing to developing well managed TFCAs that are vibrant tourism destinations, and which provide substantial economic and employment opportunity for the people staying in and around the TFCAs.
Alternative Livelihoods / Poverty Reduction / Rural Development and the Wildlife Economy
Regionally and particularly in South Africa, governments are struggling with issues like food security, growing unemployment and deteriorating socio-economic conditions. South Africa has developed several strategies that it is currently implementing to try and combat poverty and see increasing numbers of youth and females gainfully employed, providing much needed income that will start to address unemployment and contribute to improving socio-economic conditions in rural communities. This is being tackled through a Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). The potential of the wildlife economy to play a crucial role in the development of alternative livelihoods’ for rural people as well as reduce poverty should not be underestimated. The SAWC recognizes this is and seeks to actively play its role in this arena, as it believes that securing the people within and around our protected areas will reduce the pressure on the protected areas and secure their survival for future generations.
Innovation, Development and Best Practice
The College is logistically well placed to be one of the world leaders in African applied wildlife conservation research. The College falls within the K2C Biosphere Reserve and is surrounded by many different land uses, for example state park, private game parks, community conservation, livestock production and agriculture. In addition, within a radius of 60km of the College dramatic contrasts in climate and topography occur, allowing factors as climate change to be incorporated into the studies.
The College is well equipped with facilities to undertake a comprehensive wildlife conservation research programme. Such a programme will not only provide a much needed source of income to the College, through accommodation and associated use of the facilities, but will also form an educational feedback loop where the research that is generated can be incorporated into the teaching programmes at the College. This will greatly benefit the students, keeping them up to date with conservation practices.
As such, the main aim of this department is to investigate, improve and pass on to the training departments the most appropriate conservation practices and skills. The collaborative action between the development and training departments of the College is geared towards serving southern and central African conservation institutions and parks through training their staff with current and relevant problem solving solutions.