Will the Kruger National Park’s jewellery from beads make a return and uplift impoverished nearby communities?
Jewellery made from beads areas heavily protected by Kruger Park
This is as the Kruger National Park – KNP began collecting Lala palm seeds in and around Shingwedzi Rest Camp for planting at Ndindani, a village near Phalaborwa Gate outside Giyani; by beneficiaries who are crafters and weavers in the area.
The seed collectors will be visible to tourists, and the harvesting areas will be demarcated.
What is Lala Palm?
The park’s spokesperson Ike Phaahka said part of the mandate by South African National Parks (SANParks) is to encourage local communities bordering the national parks to take part in greening activities that speak to conservation endeavors addressing vulnerable natural resources such as over-harvesting of plant species, wetland management, and land degradation.
Harvesting Lala Palm
The Lala palm seed collection kicked off as a greening initiative meant to support the development of community projects addressing negative environmental impacts in and around the Park. Ther KNP sees great opportunity in jewellery made from beads.
The collection took place in and around Shingwedzi Rest Camp at Ndindani, a village near Phalaborwa Gate outside Giyani where seed collectors were visible to tourists and harvesting areas were demarcated for planting by beneficiaries who are crafters and weavers in the area on Thursday and Friday this week.
Villagers to Produce Ornaments and Jewelry from Beads
“In 2013, KNP identified crafters at Ndindani, who could produce ornaments from these plants in a sustainable way. The village’s traditional leadership offered crafters a portion of land to grow the Lala palm and other species. The land earmarked for this is a total of 25 hectares. This initiative is in line with the sustainable utilisation of resources procedure as crafted by the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment; explained Phaahla.
KNP Capicitates Locals and Forums
KNP engages with community structures such as People and Parks and community forums to build capacity and assist local communities to come up with ideas and develop and implement sustainable greening projects in their communities.
Some of the local crafters have been selling their wide range of products to tourists at entrance gates such as Paul Kruger, Numbi, Crocodile Bridge, Phalaborwa, and Orpen; serving as permanent symbols of the marketplace provided by the Park.