Duivenhoks River – from extinction to sustainability

Authors:
Hannes Muller

Publication Date:
2019

Abstract/Summary:
The Duiwenhoks River required a radical intervention on many fronts. The priority was to stop further erosion. The LandCare team, under the mentorship of Hans King, designed innovative weirs and groyne structures to stabilise the river. Two weirs and 30 groyne structures were built, creating jobs for 140 people at a cost of R40-million. Erosion control and conservation cannot take place without alien clearing. LandCare teamed up with the Grootvadersbosch Conservancy. Together they developed a clearing model where LandCare provides 70% of the funding, while landowners commit to 30%. Eight contracting teams employing 144 people now clear invasive plants.  Where aliens have been cleared, teams plant palmiet and other indigenous plants. None of this work could take place without landowner buy-in. Over 10 years, the LandCare team worked to build close relationships with landowners, to build trust, and so to change farming practices and perceptions. The aim is to encourage farmers along the riverbanks to protect their natural resources – to the benefit of nature, food-security, as well as the broader community. Improvements took place both through LandCare’s direct contribution and through indirect impacts. The 30 groyne structures and two weirs were strategically placed along the river. One of the weirs was placed where an 11-m deep gulley had formed. This weir lifted the gulley floor by 5-6 m. This has already had impressive results with the erosion having stabilised and with palmiet returning to the region, as well as other indigenous fauna and flora.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program

Source:
Society for Ecological Restoration