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enable the biophysical environment to renew resources and absorb and recycle liquid and solid wastes. Thus, the system would not be overloaded and would not exceed the capacity of the soft open space to perform its life-enhancing and regenerative role; and

  • Linkage: sufficiently interconnected to enable faunal species to move and breed.

Protected Dune Hills

The natural and green areas have been determined, as previously explained, by evaluating environmental sensitivity. Areas with steep slopes, which are eroded and higher than 60m and covered by dense natural vegetation, have been earmarked for protection. In this manner, various natural areas have been identified. These areas divide the pockets of development. The natural areas are linked in an open space system connecting beach with dunes and the valley behind them. The areas are also sufficiently wide to enhance biodiversity.

The largest beach bordering section is located directly west of Praia de Chongoene as this area is extremely sensitive. Three other lateral corridors are located between Xai-Xai Beach and Praia de Chongoene.

Within the development cells a number of green belts are proposed to protect the most sensitive steep sections from development. Detail planning of the other areas may reveal more of these spaces.

The natural areas should be protected at all costs and a programme to rehabilitate the areas where the natural vegetation has been destroyed should be implemented. For this an open space plan has to be drafted. This should take into account the following elements:

  • Pedestrian routes that link the various sections, as well as link the various sections with the beach. These should be designed sensitively so as not to harm the environment;

  • Land for sustainable agriculture is allocated to the longitudinal valley and interior dunes enabling rehabilitation of dune areas where agriculture has destroyed the natural vegetation. A rehabilitation programme, which is already being implemented, should be more directed towards replenishment of the natural vegetation and intensified;

  • The edges of the built environment should be refined and a strategy for its enforcement should be developed;

  • An education programme on the sensitivity of the natural landscape for both tourists and locals, should be institutionalised; and

  • The elimination of wild camping in areas under heavy pressure during peak tourist seasons through the creation of legal camping grounds.

With regards to the beach and foredunes, importance should be accorded to the following:

  • Avoid construction of permanent structures near the undercut dune front with the set-back distance being a function of the dune height;

  • Avoid vegetation disturbance in the foredune zone;

  • Signposting to warn beach users of potential danger of slip failure;

  • Use of boardwalks wherever the sensitive dune/beach interface is crossed;

  • Provision for boom control to limit the number of visitors to the various nodes avoiding overloading of facilities and causing overspill into natural areas;

  • Special efforts should be made in restoring and maintaining the indigenous vegetation cover along the foredunes where narrow and sensitively designed pedestrian walkway should replace the existing road;

  • The lateral accesses to the beach (wooden stairs) should be elevated from the ground to allow restoration and undisturbed growth of plants; and


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