Kogelberg’s Marine & Coastal Community Monitors

Our WWF Marine Team in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve have trained and upskilled local Marine & Coastal Community Monitors, as you may have read in our last newsletter. Since the MCCM’s are spreading their wings beyond WWF, we thought we would check how they’re doing!  Previous article: Marine and Coastal Community Monitors (MCCM’s)

Juggling between studies, daily monitoring and assisting in other office projects, with a 99% pass rate, the MCCM’s managed to complete their Higher Certificate (Criminal Justice) with Nelson Mandela University by November 2022. They were all trained in First Aid Level 1 with ENACT training solutions, Firefighting with Overberg Wildfire Volunteers and Seabird Handling and Transportation provided by SANCCOB. In partnership with CapeNature, they have been part of a quarterly volunteer programme called Coordinated Waterbird Counts (CWAC) whereby they conduct early morning bird count along the coastline, this is coordinated by highly experienced birders recognised by Birdlife South Africa.

The MCCM’s have been instrumental in implementation of alternative and supplementary sustainable livelihood for the broader community. This includes assisting in coordination and ensuring smooth running of projects until completion. In partnership with Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve Company and Overstrand Municipality, the MCCM’s have been assisting in terms of planning events and giving input in field work on the Source to Sea project, which is centered around the Eco Rangers, monitoring water flow from the Middle river to Kleinmond lagoon into the ocean.

The MCCMs learnership project came to an end in March 2023, which meant they had to look for opportunities in sectors they have been trained for. At the start of 2023, three of the MCCMs had an opportunity to be employed by Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) Compliance office in Kleinmond as Honorary Marine Conservation officers! There was an opportunity to retain five ocean warriors to continue the project, including more office responsibilities. They will continue with the daily monitoring and assisting in the running of other projects. With these newly acquired skills, the MCCM’s are still looking out for work opportunities in the Marine sector to continue contributing to the conservation of Marine resources.

WWF Kleinmond Marine Team: Lilitha Sokoyi, Marcelin Barry, Morne Yon, Nomfusi Msitho, Vathiswa Bafo