In the middle of the coronavirus crisis, many of us have turned to nature to reduce stress levels, improve mental health and stay physically active. Yet, human interaction with nature and ecosystems contributed to the existence of the current pandemic in the first place. So what can we take away from this?
Human action has altered our planet, from land to ocean, and has led to a loss of ecosystems. There is strong evidence that the emergence of zoonotic diseases – those that jump between animals – is linked to alteration of ecosystems and human encroachment into wildlife habitats, and the United Nations has recently linked environmental degradation to the emergence of pandemics ... read the full article
It is against this backdrop that a group of concerned residents in the northern Johannesburg suburb of Fourways are opposing the development of a small piece of property which is home to wild Bushbabies and other wildlife species. This piece of land also provides the local residents the opportunity to briefly immerse themselves in nature and escape the mad rush of everyday lives.
The area is already over developed and the utilities such as water, electricity and sewage removal is already over subscribed and under strain. In the context of current development and the remaining green areas in the area, it just doesn't make sense to destroy this natural ecosystem in favour of building additional residential housing units.
The general apathy of town planners, local authorities and the developer towards conserving this small area is really concerning and much support is needed to ensure the continued existence of this green belt.
Slide the slider below to see what the proposed impact will be as a result of this development. Almost all the trees and vegetation will be destroyed, which will have a devastating impact on the very existence of the Bushbabies and other wildlife species that call this place home.
"I know the bushbabies will die, but that is just how it works!"
- Johannesburg Town Planner