About KwaZulu Natal Midlands Green Map South Africa


Verdant Life | KZN Midlands Sustainability Forum has received funding from the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) to begin an exciting plan to boost sustainability practices in the area, rehabilitate and preserve biodiversity and ecosystems services while also creating jobs in the green economy. N3TC are delighted to support this initiative which is changing the ‘business as usual’ approach towards a more sustainable one. One aspect of sustainability is the carbon footprint of the toll road itself, its users and the community in the corridor on the side of the toll road. This project aims to reduce the overall carbon footprint making it the N3 Green Corridor. The carbon footprint of the N3TC as an organisation is linked to the consumption of diesel, in their own vehicles and grass cutting equipment, as well as electricity. In addition they can estimate the carbon footprint associated with the use of the N3 highway by the different vehicle classes moving through the toll gates. Apart from awareness initiatives and energy efficiency programmes this project provides the N3TC with an opportunity to invest in sustainability initiatives within a number of sectors, piloting in the KZN Midlands, with the potential for expansion of the entire corridor from Durban to Johannesburg (also linking the existing Joburg and Durban Green Maps), and thus providing offset opportunities that may be ascribed to the N3TC. In consideration of coming legislation and carbon tax, this may prove to be of even greater value than simple marketing, i.e. have financial benefits not only to N3TC but to all those who participate in the project. Individual offset projects will be identified and established and carbon footprint reductions will be applied in an accumulative way for the N3TC to purchase credits in lieu of their sponsorship. Individual initiatives to reduce carbon footprints may be inadequate in themselves, but collectively the N3 Green Corridor is about moving towards a low carbon economy. The N3TC together with the KZN Midlands Green Map Team will identify and develop various initiatives and offset programs under this project. The Carbon Protocol of SA’s and Promethium Carbon is supporting this project. The Carbon Protocol is the custodian of the Carbon Neutral Declaration and their mission is to raise awareness and facilitate the transition to a climate resilient society. Promethium Carbon will provide guidance and carbon advisors to this project to ensure compliance with the principles of ISO14064. With the principles in place and the oversight of the Green Map, the underlying initiatives will conduct self-assessments and draft self-declaration. The challenge is how to reach organisations who are not yet on the sustainability journey and to make the CO2 reduction project attractive enough to convince them to start the journey of implementing change at home, school, work and play. The N3 Green Corridor is the type of project that will inspire and challenge people to make the shift towards planet-friendly lifestyle choices, by demonstrating that sustainable living is achievable and cost effective. The Green Map movement was born out of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 which sought to provide ways of localising environmental action. Since 1995, the Green Map System (GMS) has engaged over 850 communities in 65 countries with 31,000 locally sourced and moderated sites in mapping green living, nature and culture. Funky, adaptable and easy to use green-themed icons enable communities to create Green Maps of their everyday spaces. The introduction of a Green Map into the KZN Midlands will boost the concept behind Verdant Life | KZN Midlands Sustainability Forum further by providing a dynamic platform for the establishment of eco-communities where events, routes, demonstrations, guest speakers, academic debates, films, local and healthy food, music and fun can be promoted. In so doing it is hoped that the platform would inspire and challenge people to make the shift towards planet friendly lifestyle choices. Most of the work on the Green Map is voluntary at present. This presents an exciting opportunity for organisations to join N3TC to fund the establishment of the Midlands component, collaborating with committed partners towards developing a SA Green Map Brand which would be the first port of call for anyone seeking green information and advice across the country. Monitoring and evaluation of Green Economy impacts and N3TC benefits is an attractive post-graduate thesis opportunity which the University of KZN is keen to facilitate jointly with Verdant Life.

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KZN Midlands Green Map South Africa
Siyabonga Ndlovu
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