ECOLOGICAL DESIGN CONSULTING

At Afristar, we understand the complexities of the African environment and specialise in restoration and resiliency solutions for each unique situation. We have developed cutting-edge and environmentally-focused strategies to help mitigate the effects of poor land use practice.

Our ecological approach helps mitigate risks and promotes sustainability of long-term natural habitats far more effectively than traditional methods. Additionally, we apply our experience with environmental assessments and adaptive management to assist landowners, government and municipalities in identifying risks before they become apparent.

Afristar offers professional consulting services in ecological design, community mapping, holistic resource management and business plan development that includes:

  • Stakeholder engagement needs assessment and community asset mapping
  • Site analysis, component listing and analysis of functional connects
  • Site mapping, zone allocation, land use strategy and maps, plant and species lists, designated building footprints
  • Detailed design manual report for your land

Each element of our ecological design is carefully analysed in terms of its needs, outputs, and properties. Design elements are then assembled in relation to one another so that the products of one element feed the needs of adjacent elements. Such relationships are organized in spatial patterns common in natural systems.

Ecological land use design seeks to minimize waste, human labour, and energy input by building systems with maximal benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy.  Designs evolve over time by taking into account these relationships and elements and can become extremely complex systems that produce a high density of food and materials with minimal input

  • Coordinating strategies for urban renewal and rural economic development
  • Regenerative community development programmes that enable new skills-based approaches to sustainable livelihoods.

  • Design and analysis – Economic assessment of natural and social capital – Recognizing human interrelationship with the land and unlocking wealth
  • Development of innovative empowerment solutions, green entrepreneurship models & identification of new business and job opportunities
  • Regenerative land use design for healthy, inclusive, accessible living
  • Community, watershed & bioregional mapping encouraging regional self-sufficiency and trade
  • Community nutrition and primary health care programmes incorporating   food gardening and local medicinal plants
  • Facilitation of educator development programmes
  • Food security, natural resource management, and community greening programmes
  • Conservation of biodiversity and & seed banking genetic heritage
  • Environmental Art & Open Space Transformation
PAST DESIGN PROJECTS

MAHARISHI INVINCIBILITY INSTITUTE

Afristar was asked to facilitate a design process for the Mahirisihi Invincibility Institute’s new rural campus at Ezemvelo nature reserve near Bronkhorstspruit. Slated for development as an Eco-Campus and Conservation Education Centre, it aims to offer an alternative education site to the urban campus – a place to study conservation in action, as well as to demonstrate rural sustainability.

Afristar developed an ecological design and land use plan for the reserve, ensuring that the design and infrastructure of the Eco-Campus aligns with the principles and ethics of it is trying to promote. As a rural complement to the urban campus in the Johannesburg CBD, Ezemvelo offers the opportunity to showcase broad-scale sustainable land use models as well as rural enterprise.

LESHIBA INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE PERMACULTURE CENTRE

As part of a National Lottery Commission funded project we developed a comprehensive design for the Leshiba Indigenous Knowledge Permaculture Centre.

The central challenge for governments and civil society the world over is how to provide protection for indigenous knowledge systems. The South African government has placed a great degree of emphasis on the development of IKS Policy and Legislation, which will significantly protect, develop and promote IKS and will help improve the livelihood and economic well-being of the Indigenous and local communities, by ensuring equitable and fair benefit sharing. The knowledge of individuals and the collective knowledge of communities is the only real competitive advantage that any country can rely upon to develop. The challenge is to bring about synergy in our actions in terms of indigenous and western knowledge, and other knowledge systems, so that knowledge generation and utilization benefits all segments of our society, without causing disparities or lopsided development.

The Leshiba Indigenous Knowledge Permaculture Centre (IKPC) will help to create an environment that welcomes the participation of indigenous peoples in development work, to ensure that projects actually benefit indigenous and local people on many fronts — involving local people in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects promoting their human rights, reducing poverty in their communities, and strengthening their ability to get organized and advocate for change.

The underlying project mission is to insure the cultural heritage of the area integrated with sustainable lifestyle technologies and systems that can easily be applied to improve the standard of living in the area. The programme focuses on Sustainable Development by understanding and utilising Indigenous Knowledge Systems combined with Permaculture as a the developmental approach.

For more detailed information on the Leshiba Indigenous Knowledge Permaculture Centre study, download the pdf.

MARGINALISED COMMUNITY ACTION PLAN

The Marginalized Community Action Plan (MCAP), is a method for assessment, development and mobilization of available natural and social capital for sustainable community economic empowerment.

In 2009, Afristar Foundation received EU funding to create an MCAP for the Mogolakwena Municipality, Ward 5 in the Waterberg region of Limpopo, to develop a design to illustrate this model for wealth creation through environmental protection and enhancement that responded to the need for increased local food security, improved local health, increased rural economic opportunity, and greater opportunities for advancement.

The MCAP is a community-based green economic strategy, based in efficient utilization and replenishment of natural capital, as well as harnessing of indigenous knowledge and human capacity. It demonstrates that by understanding and making use of the available natural resources, natural heritage and social capital already present within our communities, we have the ability to meet our needs, unlock natural wealth, and create a sustainable future for ourselves and our children.

We utilised the permaculture ethos and methodology to identify and tap into the inherent wealth of the communities, and to generate mechanisms for poverty alleviation within the rural sector, generating wealth locally and taking strain off of already overstretched urban centers through refurbishment of rural economies. The focus is on skills development and education around sustainable technologies and sustainable livelihoods, with the aim of maintaining a non-depleting, regenerative resource base in the community environment as a basis for local prosperity.

For more detailed information on the Waterberg Marginalised Community Action Plan study, download the pdf

Let's build a resilient society together

At Afristar, we understand the complexities of the African environment and specialise in  restoration and resiliency solutions for each unique situation. We have developed cutting-edge and environmentally-focused strategies to help mitigate the effects of poor land use practice.

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