Coast KZN

17 Nov 2022

Conservation symposium puts South Coast on map

Vanisha Moodley (South Coast Herald) Picture: SCTIE. Tourism staff (from left) Vanessa Gounden (SCTIE coordinator: tourism marketing), Maxwell Mhlongo (SCTIE coordinator: tourism development), Zama Nkomo (SCTIE marketing officer) and Thabi Msomi (SCTIE visitor services officer) at the welcome function.

The South Coast proudly hosted a number of delegates both in-person and some virtually from 22 countries worldwide at this year’s Conservation Symposium.

Scottburgh’s Premier Resort’s Cutty Sark Hotel and Dream Hotel’s Blue Marlin were the main venues for talks by leading experts, networking and discussions, while a number of local establishments welcomed symposium attendees, showcasing the many tourist attractions the area has to offer.

“South Coast Tourism and Investment Enterprise (SCTIE) thanks everyone involved in the organisation of this ground-breaking event,” said Phelisa Mangcu, CEO of SCTIE.

Traditional dancers at the welcoming function at Blue Marlin Hotel. Photo: SCTIE

“It was a privilege for the KZN South Coast to host such an important ecological conference, particularly considering the local biodiversity and reliance our tourism economy has on healthy ecosystems. The success of this event also places the South Coast on the map as a leading Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) and events destination, and we look forward to hosting more conferences at our many great venues in future.”

Throughout the six-day conference, delegates gained insight and discussed possible solutions on different aspects impacting conservation today.

Several tours were arranged for delegates to enjoy after formalities of the day. These tours included a visit to Ntelezi Msani Heritage Centre in Mthwalume and a tour of Crocworld Conservation Centre in Scottburgh with a talk by Howard Kelly.

There was also an exciting frogging outing at TC Robertson Nature Reserve in Scottburgh, (by Dr Jeanne Tarrant) where the endangered Pickersgill’s Reed Frog was discovered. Another highlight for the symposium was the sundowner paddle on the Mahlongwa River.

“Valuable research, ground-breaking insights, best practice and impactful solutions were shared by leaders in various fields of conservation,” said Freyni du Toit, Conservation Symposium organiser.

“This event was held at a critical time for our planet, with the effects of the climate crisis immediately evident to all stakeholders. I believe everyone is leaving this symposium empowered with what needs to be done, and clear on their role in conservation.”

“We all have to work together for a better, healthier future.”