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Welcome to the website of the Language of the Wilderness Foundation Trust (LOWFT), a Dutch/South-African Non-Governmental Organisation whose passion is focussed on the Baviaanskloof 'World Heritage Site' in the South Western Corner of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Please see Baviaanskloof
This humble region holds the key to a sustainable development opportunity that would serve as a benchmark success story on a Local, Regional, National and International level. This is desperately needed in a world where we are feeling the side effects of prolonged environmental degradation and are seeking alternative options. Shifting paradigms or engineering change is and has always been a very tricky process entrenched in the essence of human fallibility. Our fledgling democracy in South Africa owns a 'Constitution' that is an Internationally recognised benchmark and serves as inspiration and guide in our patriotic endeavours. Policy directives emanating from this supreme document in the fields of Environment, Biodiversity, and Tourism demand the changes we promote. In our under-developed rural areas of South Africa, with our beloved Baviaanskloof being a noteworthy example - primary assets are the Environment (largely unspoiled) and our people and their cultures. The key to an sustainable industry that will serve as a vehicle of empowerment and upliftment is Tourism in all its diversity. Our Government and many International allies recognise and support this strategy completely, yet fundamental change or 'business unusual' (to coin a phrase from outgoing President Thabo Mbeki) needs to be realised.
The primaries involved Natasja Wortel (Founder/Director) and Rodger Smith (Chairman) have strong environmental backgrounds and substantial experience and knowledge in the Baviaanskloof - regarding people, culture, environment and socio/political history. The latter primary having served 8 years as Chief Conservator in Baviaanskloof within the mandate of the Protected Management Authority, then Directorate: Nature Conservation Eastern Cape.
We see LOWFT as a catalyst creating 'small successes' that lend weight and momentum towards the realisation of our noble objectives.
We embrace the task on many levels:
1) If we are serious about inclusive change we need to plant seeds of knowledge and experience in the hearts and minds of the youth from our communities with focus on our previously Disadvantaged Schools/StreetChildren/Pensioners. See Standard Programme
2) The old San story 'How the elephant became a rain-animal', theme for the Day Trips was engineered into a theatrical production. See Special Programme/ER
A magical landmark deep in the Kouga Mountains inspired the semi-factual story 'Towerwater' which makes up the theme for 6 day Camps. See Special Programme/TWR
Both of these initiatives serve as a platform to market our region and inspire change!
3) We are actively involved in Research/Knowledge surrounding the great biodiversity of the region and link with a network of reputable and passionate Scientists in their various fields. See Research/Knowledge
4) Developing vehicles towards the realisation of a Natural Resource Based Tourism economy that alters the land-use mindset and generates tangible economic benefits on a sustainable basis. See Strategy
5) As owners of extensive property Xkagodi-San on the borders of the Baviaanskloof, we synergise all our efforts around this farm, with much potential to serve as an example or 'wilderness bridge'. See Xkagodi-San
Camps and Day Trips
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