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Limpopo Tourism lashes out at Nylsvlei mining plans.

Limpopo Tourism and Parks (LTP) has spoken out against the planned coal mining development near Nyslvlei Nature Reserve, stating that should the project go ahead, it will have "a huge detrimental impact on the whole wetland".

LTP has one of its resorts in the reserve, Nylsvlei Birding Lodge, a popular spot with avitourists visiting the country. In a statement, the agency says: "Not only is the piece of protected area important as far as protecting a specific biome is concerned but it also has the international recognition of being a ramsar site and, should any mining occur upstream of the reserve, there is no doubt the impact will be detrimental to the whole wetland." It says this will compromise the position the Nylsvlei Nature Reserve holds internationally as the only inland wetland park in Southern Africa that attracts between 400 and 800 bird species.

LTP says while it supports any effort to establish sustainable jobs in the province, the estimated life of the mine is only 15 years, which, it says, is inconsistent with sustainable development. Furthermore, in the long term, these pieces of protected area will be beneficial in many ways, as tourism creates more sustainable jobs. These may increase exponentially as areas such as this wetland become more and more of an attraction to discerning tourists both nationally and internationally, concludes LTP.

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