Working for Ecosystems
Our forests are under threat
The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy consists of 35 000ha of private land, where the lowland vegetation (forest and fynbos) is threatened by the expansion of agricultural activities, over-grazing of veld and incorrect fire regimes. The Grootvadersbosch Conservancy also lies within a mountain catchment area. Mountain catchments provide critical provisioning services for improving water supply to downstream users.
The private landowners who are members of the Conservancy-[a non-profit trust that promotes conservation on private land in the Grootvadersbosch valley.] work together on a range of projects to ensure that correct fire management and grazing activities take place. They are also responsible for things like alien clearing, forest rehabilitation, eco-tourism, environmental education and trail building.
Working for Ecosystems
Through implementing eco-friendly trail networks, the Conservancy conserve unique landscapes of fynbos and forest vegetation by bringing together key stakeholders to realise the tangible benefits associated with conservation activities.
Thanks to funding from the Table Mountain Fund and other sources, a network of mountain bike trails now traverses the Conservancy. The project created jobs and developed skills and the resulting trail network continues to support the local hospitality sector and sustain jobs.
The Conservancy is also implementing a “Working for Ecosystems” invasive clearing, indigenous forest restoration and job creation project. This project is financed by a donation from Gondwana Alive and Department of Environmental Affairs, through their Natural Resource Management – Working for Ecosystems Programme. The project has rehabilitated 1000s of hectares of forest and river course, grown and replanted indigenous trees, and created the equivalent of 120 full time jobs in the low income rural communities of Heidelberg and Suurbrak.
Since October we have cleared 960ha. We have cleared 300ha of mountain fynbos which was invaded with pines, wattles and Australian myrtle. The clearing will ensure the protection of the mountain fynbos, increased water runoff and enhancement of mountain views.
Why GA supports Grootvadersbosch Working for Ecosystems?
We believe that it is not enough to simply conserve, we also need to actively restore our ecosystems and biodiversity. Projects like Grootvadersbosch Working for Ecosystems and similar projects in the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (e.g. !Khwa ttu alien clearing) make a fantastic contributions towards restoration in biodiversity hotspots and create jobs and develop skills at the same time. However, these labour intensive projects are costly, so please donate to help us support them.
How does GA support this work?
Gondwana Alive with kind donations from Alex Anderson supports the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy with several projects in this area-via promotion, consultation and financial administration.