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Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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Field Project Assessment
Development-conservation strategies for integrated coastal management, Maputaland, South Africa and Mozambique

Date of
13-17th  November 2001.
Assessment completed: 15th February 2002.
conducted by

Gillian Cambers, UNESCO consultant, Philippe MacClenahan, UNESCO consultant, Benjamin Ntim, UNESCO Regional Advisor for Science and Technology in Southern Africa, Dirk Troost, UNESCO-CSI Paris; Mark Jury, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand (field project leader – South Africa), Antonio Hoguane, Eduardo Mondlane University (field project leader – Mozambique).

  1. Field project summary.
  2. Environmental factors in maintaining coastal biodiversity in Maputaland by Yogani Govendor, MSc thesis, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand, June 2001.
  3. Field project report and assessment by Angela Cacciarru-Sieber, July 2001.
  4. External evaluation of CSI 2001.  D. Benzaken, M. Ngoile, A. Schmidt.  Table 7: Pilot project summary of impacts, Maputaland, Maputo Bay, Mozambique.
  5. Coastal management in eastern Africa: Status and the future.  N.J. Shah, O. Linden, C.G. Lundin, R. Johnstone.  Ambio vol 26, No. 4, June 1997. pp 227-234.
  6. Project proposal: Integrated coastal management in Maputaland.  Prepared by UNESCO Pretoria for the trust Fund for Human Security, Japanese Embassy, Pretoria. 2001.
  7. Uniting Africa’s wildlife reserves.  P. Godwin.  National Geographic.  September 2001, pp 6-30.
  8. Our coast for life: From policy to local action.  B. Glavovic.  December 2000.  Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.  36 pp.
  9. Building partnerships for sustainable coastal development.  The South African coastal policy formulation experience: The process, perceptions and lessons learnt.  B. Glavovic.  December 2000.  Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
  10. Environmental factors underpinning coastal development.  Project proposal 2001, submitted to the National Research Foundation, Pretoria.
  11. Evolution of political territories in relation to the Mabibi area (1950-2001): Implications of development and new challenges.  S. Guyot, Institute for Research and Development (IRD), University of Zululand, April 2001.
  12. Evolution of political territories and post-apartheid challenges of management of the Port Shepstone Area (South coast, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa). S. Guyot.  Lusaka Symposium, 21-22 November 2001.
  13. Kwazulu-Natal Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative.  Framework planning for tourism development. (Richards Bay to Mozambique/Swaziland border). G. Muller, M. Haynes, February 1998. prepared for the Kwazulu-Natal Tourism Authority.
  14. A contribution to ICM in Maputaland.  M. Jury, 2001.
  15. Progress report on monitoring the coastal zone of tropical southeast Africa for ecotourism attributes and environmental influences on biodiversity.  M.R. Jury, Y. Govendor, G. Mulder, A. Mthembu.  February 2001.
  16. ‘SA to create greatest coastal park’ Bobby Jordan, (South African) Sunday Times, 18-11-01.
  17. Report on Sodwana Bay Workshop, 2001.

A visit was made to the Richards Bay area by the assessment team from 13-17th November 2001.  The activities included visits to several sites in the Richards Bay area including the Lookout Site, Dolphin Lookout Point and discussion with Mr. Brett Hardwick of the lifeguard station, Kleikle Beach, dune-mining operation by Richards Bay Minerals north of Mnzingasi village, Richards Bay Marina. Presentations and discussions were held at the University of Zululand, with Mr. M. Jury, Mr. A. Mthembu, Mr. J. Mitchell of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, and with Ms. N. Kunene, Mr. I. Hunsraj, Mr. R. Engelke, Ms. Ayodele of the Department of Agriculture.  A visit was made to the Hluhluwe Game Reserve and to Sodwana Bay.  This assessment has also been discussed with Ms. Yogani Govendor, University of Puerto Rico; Mr. Mario Baldini and Mr. Gian Paolo Vannozzi, University of Udine, Italy.

  1. Meetings with state and municipal authorities, as well as other stakeholder groups would have been extremely useful.
  2. There was insufficient time to visit the actual project site at Mabibi.
  3. The programme for the assessment visit had not been made available to the team for comment prior to the visit.
  4. Researchers, such as Mr. S. Guyot (who is doing research on local governance in the Mabibi area) and Ms. E. Bulofina (who is doing research on the environmental impacts of subsistence agriculture in Mabibi) were away from the university during the assessment visit.

Field Project Assessment

The following assessment discusses the project activities to date in terms of several long-term parameters or characteristics of ‘wise practices’.  Projects such as this one in Maputaland, which are in an early phase of development, cannot be expected to fulfil all these characteristics completely.  Furthermore the project includes three specific components: (1) environmental management in the Mabibi area, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, (2) agricultural management in the same area, and (3) estuarine studies in Maputo Bay, Mozambique.  This assessment covers only the first two components.

A qualitative scale is used as follows: 

None: The field project activities to date do not comply with this characteristic and/or the characteristic is not relevant to the field project.
Slightly: The field project activities to date have begun in some preliminary way to satisfy  this characteristic.
Partially: The field project activities to date have gone some significant way towards fulfilling this characteristic.
Fully: The field project activities to date fully satisfy this characteristic. 

This assessment is based only on the activities undertaken to date, and does not include those planned for the future.  

Have the project activities ensured long term benefit?  


The project has contributed to long-term benefit through postgraduate training, the establishment of a postgraduate course in industrial crop production, and environmental baseline surveys.  Five postgraduate students working in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the Department of Agriculture at the University of Zululand have completed/are undertaking postgraduate theses on ecological resources, socio-economic analyses, coastal dynamics, subsistence agriculture, and local governance in the Mabibi area.  These studies have provided important baseline data, and the oceanographic component, in particular, is of direct use to the Natal Conservation Services.   A one-year MSc course for students from South Africa and Italy in industrial crop production (production, marketing and utilisation of crops for industrial use) has been established with the Universities of Zululand and Udine (Italy), scheduled to start in January 2002.  One objective of this course is to train people to link farmers to the market. Funds are still being sought to continue this course beyond the first year. Notwithstanding the above, the Mabibi area is very remote and the people there are very poor, and they have yet to see any significant improvement in their standard of living. 

Do the project activities provide for capacity building and institutional strengthening?


This has been achieved to a limited extent.  To date, efforts have mainly concentrated on one stakeholder group – undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Zululand. The MSc course in industrial crop production will further strengthen this group.  Contact with the local communities has been established through the project activities. The workshop on ‘Agriculture and rural economic development’ held at Sodwana Bay in September 2000, provided some capacity building for other stakeholder groups, specifically farmers, national and provincial authorities.  Institutions at the University of Zululand have been strengthened, the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies now has the capacity to supervise ecological functioning, and the laboratory facilities for soil and water quality analyses have also been improved.  The individual university departments now have a history of working together in a cooperative framework.
Are the project activities sustainable? Partially
The training and capacity building for certain targeted stakeholder groups contributes to the sustainability of the project activities.  The history of this project, dating back to the Pan-African Conference on Sustainable Integrated Coastal Management’ (PACSICOM), Maputo 1998, points to the continuity of the project planning process and the long-term commitment to integrated coastal management in the region. South Africa’s decision to create a coastal park extending from Kosi Bay to Lake St. Lucia (including the Mabibi area) will also provide for sustainability of the project activities. However, in order to achieve true sustainability, there is a need for a long-term commitment (10 year+) by persons on the ground and outside agencies.
Have the project activities been transferred?


It is too early in this project to see any specific transference of project activities or wise practices.
Are the project activities interdisciplinary and intersectoral?


Project activities have involved several different disciplines, e.g. agriculture, human geography, botany, zoology. The Departments of Agriculture, and Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Zululand have co-supervised undergraduate theses. However, there is considerable scope for increased interaction between these disciplines, and it is anticipated that the recent re-organisation of the university course structure into course modules will enhance such interaction. The two components of this project being considered in this assessment, agriculture and environment in Mabibi, have to some extent operated in parallel, and it is necessary to try and integrate the activities.  The Sodwana Bay workshop provided an opportunity for intersectorality by involving different stakeholder groups.  Interaction with communities, tribal leaders and politicians has been achieved to some extent through the research work of Mr. S. Guyot.
Do the project activities incorporate participatory processes?


The goal of the Sodwana Bay workshop was to gather grassroots opinion about future project activities, especially agricultural production in the Mabibi area, and while the workshop included all the main stakeholder groups, they were not involved in the final proposal prepared after the workshop.  In addition, there is a need to involve people from other coastal communities in similar workshops.  The environmental activities of the project have not included participatory processes, this is mainly because of time limitations and the early phase of the project.
Do the project activities provide for consensus building?


Consensus building was undertaken during the Sodwana Bay workshop, and the majority of the stakeholders agreed on future directions for the agricultural activities.  The environmental activities of the project have not included consensus building as yet. There is still some uncertainty in the project concerning the location and nature of future agricultural efforts, coastal communities such as Mabibi have very poor soil conditions, which impose serious constraints for agriculture.  The better soils are located a considerable distance inland.
Do the project activities include an effective and efficient communication process?


Communication activities have included the environmental education activities in the Mabibi primary school, the preparation of leaflets and scientific papers, and contributions to the ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ forum (user name = csi; password = wise).  The socio-economic research work included the use of questionnaires and interviews, as did the work on local governance.  The Sodwana Bay workshop also resulted in the development of links with non-governmental organisations.  The size of the area and the poverty of some of the communities is a constraint to effective communication.
Are the project activities culturally respectful?


The project activities have taken into account cultural factors, e.g. the tribal chiefs were consulted regarding the invitees to the Sodwana Bay workshop, and were also involved in the socio-economic surveys.  Some of the research work is being undertaken by students from the region. Notwithstanding the above, the MSc course in agriculture may benefit from expanding its focus on sunflower production to include local traditional farming practices.
Do the project activities take into account gender and/or sensitivity issues?


In view of the patriarchal nature of society in the area, a special effort has been made to include women, e.g. gender balance was achieved during the Sodwana Bay workshop.  However, there are many sensitive issues in this area, e.g. between political parties; and between tribal chiefs and the leaders of the newly established municipalities.
Do the project activities strengthen local identities?


It is probably too early in this project to determine this characteristic. Since no arrangements were made for the assessment team to meet with local stakeholders, this is difficult to determine.
Do the project activities shape national legal policy?


The project activities to date are in keeping with the Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative, which involves the three countries of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique, and aims to reduce poverty and promote eco-tourism in the region.  The participation of the project coordinator (South Africa) in public meetings on planning and environmental issues contributes to policy development at the local level.
Do the project activities encompass the regional dimension?


This has been achieved through the linkages with Lubombo Spatial Development Initiative, and the follow-up to the PACSICOM conference in 1998.  Furthermore, the project’s environmental activities have included the ecology of areas where corridors may be established to link national parks and reserves in a trans-boundary initiative.
Do the project activities provide for human rights?


Within the overall long-term scope of this project, Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights[1] will need to be fully considered.  However, the project activities are still at too early a stage to assess this characteristic.
Have the project activities been documented?


There has been good documentation of the project activities to date, see the listing of the project documentation at the beginning of this assessment.
Have the project activities been evaluated?


 A general evaluation of this project was undertaken in July 2001 as part of the overall external evaluation of the Coasts and Small Islands (CSI) platform of UNESCO.  This present assessment is the first full evaluation undertaken using the sixteen wise practice characteristics and using the standard format adopted with other field projects.
[1] Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
  1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Revised Future Project Activities 

  1. Compile, summarise and integrate the key findings of the five postgraduate theses prepared/being prepared by: Y. Govendor (ecological resources), A. Mthembu (socio-economic analyses), J. Mitchell (coastal dynamics), S. Guyot (local governance), E. Bulfoni (environmental impact of subsistence agriculture) into a publication of 60-80 pages for publication as a CSI document.  (2002). 

  2. All future project activities, including those in Maputo Bay, Mozambique, (not covered by this assessment), should seek to develop linkages and integrate activities in the environmental and agricultural domains, so as to achieve the combined goals of conservation and improvement in the welfare of local and regional communities. (2002 onwards). 

  3. Through a participatory process, including workshops, consultations, dialogues and other means as appropriate, and involving all key stakeholders (e.g. communities, farmers, the public, academia, municipalities, government agencies), determine future project activities. This should include other coastal communities in the area, besides Mabibi.  This process could be facilitated through a community liaison officer, who can continually interact between the communities and other stakeholder groups.   Future project activities should provide capacity building for community leaders, local and regional managers, and entrepreneurs, and should fully account for the conservation and development needs in the Mabibi area. (2002-2003). 

  4. Fully evaluate the cost-benefit of future agriculture projects in the coastal area. 

  5. Evaluate the results of the first year of the MSc programme on industrial crop production, and seek funds for its continuation (2002-2003). 

  6. Implement the activities detailed in the proposal submitted to the Trust Fund for Human Security, specifically the group training workshops, the environmental education activities, and the pilot farms and aquaculture programme (2002-2003).

Introduction Activities Publications Search
Wise Practices Regions Themes