Update from the RRM Department – June ’24

Training interventions

SAWC Herding Academy 

Since the transition of the Herding Academy to the College, now placed under the Responsible Resource Management (RRM) Department, the academy offers three (3) training programmes for regenerative herding practices in the region:  

  1. Professional Herder (5-day course). 
  2. Professional Herder Team Leader (30-day course). 
  3. The newly developed train-the-trainer, Professional Herder Trainer (60-day course).  

These courses serve as part of the strategy to create career pathing for herders in local communities in the region. 

Basic Fire Management (BFM) Course

The RRM Department conducted two (2) Basic Fire Management (BFM) courses during this year’s second quarter: one with the SAWC maintenance and operations staff and the other with the Phalaborwa Mining Company (PMC) team of environmental specialists. These courses have enhanced fire management skills and preparedness, ensuring both teams are well-equipped to handle fire-related emergencies effectively.

Responsible Resource Use Course

The RRM Department ran a three-day Responsible Resource Use Course for Bushwise students studying to become field guides. The course gives students a better understanding of natural resources, decision-making, and management. During the course, students visit different organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that conduct best practices in resource use, which we call immersion sites. In this course, students visited a regenerative livestock management farm in Gravellotte and the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre.

Projects

New and in Development

Since its inception, the SAWC’s role in Herding for Health (H4H) has been capacity building. The College intends to add another role as an H4H implementer in addition to training interventions. In partnership with Herding for Hope, five (5) Mozambican local communities surrounding Sabie Game Park, and Sabie Game Park management, the College is leading the development of a potential H4H programme in collaboration with the mentioned stakeholders.

The four (4) partners initiated the process with an alignment camp at the College from 21 to 24 May. During the discussions, the community leaders showed great interest in the H4H model and committed to moving forward with the programme in their landscapes. The next step will include a site visit to Mozambique to conduct the first technical and ecological feasibility study and meetings with community members.

Realife Learning Africa – WWF Khetha Programme: Transformative learning course for a community of practice

The SAWC’s RRM Department and Rural Initiatives for a Sustainable Environment (RISE) continue to participate in the co-development of the learning course as learning partners. The second learning cycle of the course took place in Skukuza at the Skukuza Science Leadership Initiative (SSLI) campus, hosted by the Organization for Tropical Studies. This learning cycle focused on a deep dive into the concepts of systems thinking and ecology. The cohort of Community Liaison Officers (CLOs) and learning partners spent a week attending lecture presentations and participating in field excursions in Kruger National Park (KNP). The final learning cycle of the course will be hosted at the SAWC during the first week of July, where the cohort will be trained in Community Practice in Responsible Resource Use and Social-Ecological Systems (SES).

University Groups

In early June, a field operation on rhino dehorning took place. This collaboration was between the SAWC, KNP, and the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund (KACF). The primary goal of this initiative was to safeguard rhinos from poaching by removing their horns, which diminishes their appeal to poachers. This strategic conservation measure is crucial in protecting these endangered animals and ensuring their continued existence in their natural environment.

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