A ‘Letter to Nature’ in Durban

Nature breathes life into our cities. As part of a new campaign to highlight the importance of urban nature to our everyday lives, C40 has invited mayors, artists, cultural influencers and other thought leaders from cities around the world to write a ‘Letter to Nature’.

Read what Mayor of Durban Mxolisi Kaunda has to say about nature in his city:

“Beautiful, bountiful, balmy Durban; you inspire us with your biodiversity, climate, heritage and possibilities!

Four million people from diverse backgrounds lovingly call you home.

Where is your MAGIC?!

Tourists have flocked to you for decades as destination of choice, the various vistas, activities and habitats from beach to bush never fail to impress.

In the ninety-five kilometres of coastline, a haven for surfers, paddlers, sunbathers, cyclists, runners and walkers, there is life.

In the ninety-five thousand hectares of green space network, host to many endemic species of wild plants and animals, a legacy.

We grew up learning from you as you provided a cure to common ailments and a salve for our hearts and minds.

We are in awe of your seven and a half thousand kilometres of rivers that flow into the ocean and replenish the vast beaches with sand, the twelve municipal parks and twenty-one Nature Reserves scattered throughout the City; a promise of sustainable liveability.

Because of you, we do not despair even though poverty and unemployment levels are high, and vulnerabilities to impacts of climate change including flooding, drought and extreme heat are well known; for we know that there is wealth in our green spaces, a cost-effective opportunity to respond holistically to many of these socio-economic problems.

We have based our lives, interventions and climate change adaptations around your ecosystems to ensure that we build ecosystem and infrastructure resilience whilst creating employment for the citizenry and a passion for nature.

And when times are tough and when we were locked down, we still found refuge, peace and solace in your vast open spaces.

You have provided the antidote to stress and the promise of a better day — therein lies the MAGIC!”