n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Conceptualisation and use of green spaces in peri-urban communities : experiences from Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The impacts of global warming and climate change are becoming increasingly evident across the developing and developed world. In this regard, Africa is amongst the most vulnerable due to high levels of abject poverty and limited capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change. As a result, there has been increased investment in conservation and mitigation programmes, particularly across KwaZulu-Natal which houses high levels of biodiversity and poverty. Biologically diverse areas are not only important from an environmental perspective to protect the planet's natural resources but are also significant in relation to promoting ecotourism activities that have major socio-economic impacts. Furthermore, these ecological spaces have livelihood, leisure and recreational values for local communities. Additionally, there is a growing body of knowledge indicating that the use of green spaces is associated with positive impacts on health and well-being. This study draws on experiences and empirical evidence on the use of green and biologically diverse spaces in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal. Results indicate that local community members use green spaces for a range of recreational and livelihood purposes such as relaxation, hiking, biking, playing sport and the collection of resources. Also, even though limited levels of scientific knowledge were noted, respondents displayed significant levels of environmental awareness. It is also important to examine the impacts of these specific uses especially in relation to environmental well-being. This study highlights the multiple benefits derived from green spaces and affirms that the main recipients of these benefits are the poor.

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