The Prince Edward Islands in the southern Indian Ocean form the first sub-Antarctic Ramsar Site in the sub-Antarctic, designated as RAMSAR Site Wetland of International Importance by South Africa on 22 May 2007 as No. 1688. The RAMSAR Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”. Wetlands are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems that provide essential ecosystem services.

Mbulelo Dopolo is the Director responsible for the Sub-Antarctic and Antarctica management in the Branch Oceans and Coasts, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE). His role includes the;

In his capacity as management oversight through the PEIAC, he was part of the takeover team for Marion Island during April and May in 2021 – “As I am responsible for the oversight of the Implementation of the Prince Edward Islands Management Plan , I took this as part of the exercise to familiarize myself and ground truth some of the issues flagged during the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT-SA) assessment of the PEI SNR / Ramsar site held in February 2021 of the 58th meeting of the Standing Committee.” Mbulelo shared some of his experiences while on Marion Island.

Left: Daisy Kotsedi – Marine Protected Area (MPA) Management with Mbulelo Dopolo  en route to Watertunnel from the base, which is approximately 30 km walk over steep climbs of Black headed and Rocky terrain.

Right: (l-r- Sanele Mkhonza- Environmental Control Officer(ECO), Sydney Tshilingalinga – Assistant ECO, Daisy Kotsedi and Mbulelo Dopolo at the base prior to their departure for Watertunnel.

(Left)  At the base before departure for very first trip out of the base to Ships Cove.  ( Right) Assisting with fuel transfer from the ship to the base storage. Pulling the pipe from a rubber duck to the shore. S.A. Agulhas II in the background. Unfortunately, they had to abort their mission to Rooks due to strong winds.

Bit of Background on Mbulelo is that he did a Master of Science degree in Zoology, specialising in Marine Ecology at University of Cape Town and received training in Ocean Governance through International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa and Rhodes University in 2013. Mbulelo is fluent in five of our 11 indigenous languages. See below links where Mbulelo was co-author to articles and conference papers:

© South African National Antarctic Programme • Managed and administered by Antarctic Legacy of South Africa • Photo Credits
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