The Healthy Catchment Alliance (HCA) project is a partnership between WESSA and fellow conservation NGOs the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Conservation South Africa (CSA).
This Natural Resource Management and Conservation project was formed in 2014 and ultimately aims to deliver improvement in the condition of landscapes in a way that builds an understanding of what is replicable into a new model for water management in South Africa.
The project is currently being implemented in three priority catchments of the Upper Mzimvubu and Amathole in the Eastern Cape and the Mzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal and is designed to implement integrated solutions for the restoration and protection of key river catchments while at the same time stimulating change in conservation perceptions and driving local green economies. The partnership extends to multiple local partners in each catchment through the local catchment forums, and the project’s highly integrated and holistic strategy enables us to address multiple issues that intersect with each other (environmental, health, social, economic) to the maximum benefit of both people and their environment.
Each partner brings a range of skills, resources and expertise to the table and strong and regular community engagement ensures we have local support and that we all benefit from a two-way learning exchange platform. To date project beneficiary groups have included school learners and educators, community members working as Eco-rangers, Natural Resource Management supervisors or field officers, community-based organisations, key municipal officials and traditional leaders in the targeted catchment areas. The project partners are also building internal capacity through the interactions and learning exchanges.
WESSA’s primary role is to facilitate capacity development initiatives that support the broader objectives of the project, and in doing so empower custodians with the skills and knowledge to better value - and play an active role in - the conservation of the ecosystems that provide life supporting goods and services.
The Healthy Catchment Alliance is funded by the EU and supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs, RMB and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.