De Beers consolidated mines (DBCM) has won the Wildlife Ranching SA award for ‘Biodiversity and Social Responsibility’, in recognition of its approach to ecological management.
The company picked up the accolade for its approach to ecological management at four private game reserves it runs in the Northern Cape and Limpopo Provinces.
Judges singled out DBCM’s “disciplined approach” as being “best-in-class in the industry” and referenced the success of its sustainable wildlife management practices and promotion of wildlife tourism.
De Beers Wildlife, a part of DBCM, manages around 67,000 hectares of land in the Kimberley area of the Northern Cape.
It began to introduce a variety of species, including elephants, hippopotamus and crocodiles, at its ranches in the early 1970s and was one of the first breeders of disease-free buffalo in South Africa.
It also safeguards more than 35 species on its sites that are classed as either endangered, threatened or protected, and hosts viable populations of sable, roan and tsessebe antelope.
Piet Oosthuizen, senior manager, ecology and DBCM properties, comments: “As a company, we have had a strong focus on biodiversity management for many years. For every hectare of land affected by our mining activities, De Beers Group manages five times that amount for conservation.
“Managing game animals is a privilege and we make sure we do so in a manner that contributes value to the ecosystem without losing sight of the responsibility this brings with it.”
De Beers Wildlife is also involved in various conservation-related youth programmes, including providing post-school training, in partnership with the Northern Cape Nature Academy, to support students who want a future in the game industry.
Tertiary education is further supported through two dedicated research facilities for the use of students.