Our beginnings, the Umgeni Valley; our future, linking all Southern African communities to nature
Our wonderful green story began in 2009, in the biodiverse corridor of the Umgeni River Valley. Partnering with eThekweni Municipality, our work with the local communities drove our early eco-programme approach.
Over time, our Green Corridor hubs emerged across river, ocean and land ecosystems within Durban. They have become our incubators for ground-breaking social and environmental initiatives. Our collective focus has been on youth and sport development, open space management and restoration, and eco-tourism and learning. We’ve generated a growing portfolio of what we call Purpose-Projects, all concentrated on driving local sustainability, creating balanced habitats, and building community resilience.
Our story transcends the constraints of wards, borders and regions. We’ve achieved that by embracing eco-system thinking, and highlighting the interdependence of communities with nature. The renaming of Durban Green Corridors to Green Corridors speaks to this, and is a significant step in our organisation’s evolution. We work tirelessly to make connections between what we’ve learned from our local partnerships, to the neighbouring regions and beyond.
At Green Corridors, our purpose and ethos makes us strong partners and agents for the realisation of vibrant, sustainable and economically integrated communities.
Ignited by an innovative partnership with eThekweni Municipality, our collective focus on communities pioneered our early eco-programme approach. Evolving with the needs of our city and communities - and looking to ensure a resilient future for all - we adopted a multi-layered partnership approach, one that drives connections between the public and private sector.
Working with our partners, we’ve driven youth and sport development, open space management and restoration, and eco-tourism and learning. Together, we’ve built a growing portfolio of what we call, Purpose-Projects (link to purpose projects). These are focused on local sustainability, balanced habitats and community resilience.
The eThekweni Municipality Partnership
Our continued partnership with the eThekweni Municipality has allowed the mandates of both entities to positively influence the planning and implementation of the City’s environmental, economic and community-centric goals.
“The eThekweni Municipality is driving an agenda of better river management and surrounding catchment areas. The reduction of pollution from rivers to sea and restored river health including riverine vegetation, water quality and related flood management is one element, with people and communities of equal importance. By creating healthy open spaces in these areas, we increase their quality and value, encouraging usage, safety and environmental protection.” Gary Cullen eThekweni Municipality Economic Development Unit.
To achieve these objectives Green Corridors form part of the Municipality’s C40 Transformative River Catchment Management Partnership that sees local communities, the private sector and volunteers working across a range of eco-restoration and management interventions organised within river catchments.
The work being done as a result of this partnership is taking place in the uMngeni catchment and sub-catchment of the uMhlangane River and uMngeni Estuary; the Ohlanga river catchment, with South Durban River catchments to follow. Specifics of the interventions include:
- Developing catchment scale management plans and partnerships
- A GIS based management tool to enable all stakeholders to understand local level land use allocation and management responsibilities
- River and coastal clean-up including litter boom projects
- Alien eradication
- Local space rejuvenation project (food gardens, stream corridor parks, active mobility pathways)
- Open Space management
The GO! Durban Collaboration
A leading example of collective partnerships, the GO! Durban Cycle Academy is part of our Sports and Active Mobility programme and is funded by the GO! Durban public transport programme - eThekweni Transport Authority (ETA).
“Through the Go! Durban Cycle Academy, the eThekweni Transport Authority is committed to those who share our vision and passion to change lives through cycling, and alignment with Green Corridors sees this vision brought to life.” eThekweni Transport Authority CEO Thami Manyathi.
Promoting a culture of running and cycling in local communities where youth are inspired by their growing sporting and academic abilities is a strategic Green Corridors goal. ETA's plans to incorporate non-motorised transport within the city’s public transport network aims to improve the physical wellbeing and health of community members near their corridors across the City, while encouraging an alternative means of transport.
In 2016, these parallel goals were realised with the launch of the 1st GO! Durban Cycle Academy site in eNanda Adventure Park, and three years later the project continues going from strength to strength
The Private-Sector Collective
Green Corridors has partnered with a number of private sector businesses along our journey and we are indebted to them all for helping us offer experiences that create treasured memories and empowered communities. Help us continue this work by partnering with us!
Green Corridors is a registered Non-Profit Organisation established in 2009. We work in partnership with eThekweni Municipality and private stakeholders. Green Corridors is a social-purpose and impact-focused organisation that aims to see communities thrive in balance with the habitats around them.
- Registered address: Po Box 273, Hyper By The Sea. Durban 4053
- PBO Number: 930052235
- NPO Number: 156-088
- VAT Number: 4420273783
Our Green Corridor principles are celebration, protection, connection, investment, and partnerships. In short, we balance the needs of the environment with community prosperity and resilience.
Our tools for delivery are teaching, restoring, growing, sustaining, programming and recycling. Co-creation is at the heart of what we do.
Celebrate and thrive
Durban and Kwazulu-Natal are naturally unique. The city and province share an extraordinary natural system, not replicated elsewhere in South Africa. Our valleys, rivers and beaches are signature features of our glorious coastal province, vital assets that so many depend upon for sustained livelihoods and business.
This extraordinary natural system acts as a place-maker, its distinct characteristics defining our identity on the world stage. We are determined to celebrate, protect and promote these spaces, recognising their significant role as the socio-economic base of the province.
Protect and thrive
Many of our communities live between the built environment and often-stressed natural open spaces. What could be valuable community assets become thorns in the communities’ sides. These green lungs become havens for antisocial behaviour, poor environmental management, and illegal activities, swiftly erasing any potential socio-economic, civic and ecological value.
Connect and thrive
Our public open spaces are where we connect with ourselves and one another. They are invaluable to community health and well-being.
KwaZulu-Natal’s rich natural landscape and cultural heritage are the perfect platforms for growing young explorers. These platforms centre enquiring minds, inspire the adventurer, and reignite the wild in us. Through our sport, cultural and exploration programmes (link to purpose projects), the value of these spaces becomes tangible and real.
Invest and thrive
A handshake between innovation and investment is crucial to the Green Corridors mission. To sustain our population growth and increased recreational use, it’s vital we manage the mounting pressure on open spaces and eco-systems. It’s equally crucial we respond to climate change and ecological health. It’s key that we offer economic value. Through collaboration across public and private sectors, Green Corridors is identifying, packaging, and selling the enormous potential of open spaces to align with investors’ triple-bottom-line.
Partner with us
We see partnerships differently. By employing a layered partnership structure, we look to ensure the sustained involvement of multiple stakeholders. This ensures we can survive the cyclical nature of commercial sponsorships and campaigns.
From our management staff and tour guides, to our booking consultants and volunteers, each of our members plays an active and passionate part of the Green Corridor offering:
Green Corridors collaborates with local communities, creating multiple opportunities for members to participate in the health and welfare of their natural surroundings. Healthy environments offer untold benefits for food security, clean water and sanitation, well-being, and – importantly – self- employment and skills.
Green Corridors partners with a variety of stakeholders, to create open spaces in key local destinations. The goal is to establish a balance between important environmental ‘musts’, and the challenges faced by communities who live in those areas. By restoring those environments to good health, the benefits to the community are legion…not least of all, safe and clean spaces in which children can play, non-toxic rivers, and meaningful employment in numerous sectors, including tourism.
On-going, long-term partnerships with Green Corridors and its projects, has proven to be immensely rewarding for our stakeholders - we are constantly seeking like-minded involvement from others. Hand in hand with stakeholders and communities, Green Corridors plays a vital role in improving the quality of the environment within which our communities live, work, play and thrive.