The Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) is a registered section 18A non-profit organisation (PBO 930000123) and was established in 2001, driven initially by a group of concerned members of the Nature’s Valley community. Their goal was to engage all stakeholders and to contribute proactively to conserving the ecological integrity of the Valley and the surrounding area.
NVT is a dynamic and innovative organisation working on the cutting edge of integrated conservation in South Africa. The organisation operates in four main arenas, namely conservation, conservation education (e.g. awareness and behavioural change), community engagement and research.
Over the past 21 years, the NVT has grown and evolved into a recognised, award-winning, effective and beneficial resource for the area with the following vision and mission:
Over the past 21 years, the NVT has:
- Contributed to the Plett Hope Spot programme (launched by the Sustainable Seas Trust).
- Developed and implemented several research projects in collaboration with SANParks (South African National Parks) and several national and international universities;
- Developed and maintained mutually beneficial relationships with an extended network of stakeholders and agencies on a local, provincial and national level;
- Engaged with local stakeholders and implemented community benefitting projects;
- Established an award-winning environmental education programme and catalysed the Bitou Environmental Education Forum – a platform for cooperative;
- school-based environmental education programmes in the region;
- Facilitated the registration of the Nature’s Valley Urban Conservancy;
- Actively participated in the Garden Route Initiative, a landscape initiative which led to the application to UNESCO for the recognition of the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve; and,
- Worked on the expansion of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (as initiated by BirdLife South Africa).
NVT provide integrated research capacity and technical support to local, regional and national conservation initiatives that are working to facilitate conservation and sustainable development along the Garden Route. Through this, sustainability challenges are identified jointly, and integrated needs-driven research is co-designed across six core thematic areas (fynbos, rivers and estuaries, coastal, marine, urban and forests). This research combines:
- Well-designed social and ecological research projects;
- The skills, credibility and networks built over 21 years; and,
- A network of skilled stakeholders who facilitate programmes.
In addition, the NVT has a reputation for ensuring that development occurring in the area is done ethically, legally, and responsibly. To this end, the Trust is also involved in the ongoing management and protection of municipal open spaces in Nature’s Valley and can rightfully pride itself in playing a minor but consistently effective role in ensuring that Nature’s Valley remains a tranquil haven for residents, holidaymakers, the broader community and wild inhabitants.
As an organisation, the Trust also enjoy representation on several forums including the Nature’s Valley Urban Conservancy Committee, the Nature’s Valley Baboon Management Forum, the Groot River Estuary Steering Committee, the Tsitsikamma Area Park Forum, the Tsitsikamma Conservation Forum, the Plettenberg Bay Community Environmental Forum, the Garden Route Conservancy Forum, BirdLife Plettenberg Bay, and the Bitou Environmental Education Forum.
Finally, the NVT supports and guides action on the ground with innovative and simple solutions to problems that affect all.
Recognition and Awards
The Nature’s Valley Trust has been merited with several awards in recognition of its contribution to conservation:
2018: Owl award in recognition of an outstanding contribution to BirdLife South Africa and dedication to the conservation of birds and their habitats.2004: Cape Times/Caltex Environmental Award.
2017: Eco-logic certificate for recognition of our contribution toward creating an eco-logical world.
2013: SANParks Kudu Award for business partner of the year, for our Environmental Education partnership.
2007: SANParks Kudu Award for community conservation.
2007: CAPE certificate of recognition for investigation into the rehabilitation of the Opal Wetland.
2006: CAPE certificate of recognition for work on the Salt River Macro Invertebrate Project.
2005: CAPE certificate of recognition for contribution to raising environmental awareness in the Southern Cape.