Durban, South Africa

28 November – 9 December 2011

On a perfect Durban evening in the midst of a ‘buzzing’ COP17 and South Africa Climate Change Response Expo (CCREXPO), guests gathered at the Durban Botanic Gardens to witness the unveiling of The Living Beehive COP17 Legacy Project by Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi.

This past week has been quite a challenge for all involved in the project with relentless rain flooding the construction site on numerous occasions; resulting in very muddy shoes for all involved! After a huge final push though, the deadlines were met and The Living Beehive looks amazing.

Designed by internationally acclaimed designer, David Davidson, and Living Wall specialist, Leon Kluge, and drawing on the traditional architecture of Zulu Beehive huts, iQukwane, The Living Beehive was built using high technology steel frames with a covering of living roof and walls. The living walls represent the importance of healthy ecosystems in the world and are populated with grasses, forbs and bulbs indigenous to the rolling hills and grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal. These grasslands provide grazing for cattle, habitats for medicinal plants and they prevent soil erosion and ensure clean water provisions for South Africa’s major urban centres and the millions of people who inhabit them. Ecosystems such as wetlands, grassy mountain catchment areas as well as forests and mangroves also store carbon; providing the most cost effective means of reducing atmospheric carbon.

In their addresses to the media, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo and Minister in The Presidency : National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel, emphasised the core messages of the structure – that The Living Beehive brings people, engineering and biodiversity together and that when these elements operate in unison, solutions to climate change can be found. This is Beehive Thinking.

Trevor Manuel also utilised the platform to announce SANBI’s accreditation as the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for the recently established Adaptation Fund of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is a significant milestone as it allows South Africa direct access to funding specifically for Climate Change Adaptation.

Through iKind Media’s involvement with non-profit organisation, STEPS, we were responsible for documenting the 2 month Living Beehive construction projects. Last week we showed you the Part 1 montage of The Living Beehive construction phase and this week we bring you Part 2 which focuses on the final ‘Greening’ Phase. Click above to watch.

THE LIVING BEEHIVE – Greening Phase 2



Matt Nefdt


Laurence Dworkin (STEPS)

Camera Operator

Devin Carter


Devin Carter