Riparian rehabilitation in the upper Berg & Breede River, Western Cape, South Africa

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Johann van Biljon

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Intaba Environmental Services has been involved in rehabilitation and re-vegetation projects in the Western Cape, South Africa, since 2009 with specific focus on the river riparian on private land in the upper Breede and Berg River (Western Cape) since 2012. This has been in partnership with the Dept. of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEADP) and Department of Agriculture (LandCare), Western Cape. Approximately 356,000 plants have been propagated at Kluitjieskraal Nursery (Wolseley, Western Cape, RSA) and planted over 14 sites within a 3-year time frame (2016-2019). Sites on the Berg River are located in Franschoek, through Paarl, Wellington to Hermon. Sites on the Breede River are located from Wolseley to the Breede Valley towards Worcester. The objective of such an initiative has been the active rehabilitation of degraded areas to improve ecosystem functioning and catalyse further succession within the broader catchment. This is regarded as the largest project of its kind within South Africa for rehabilitating riparian land. There have been numerous obstacles and challenges to overcome as we facilitate the return of nature. Main challenges have been: 1) drought and irrigation, 2) landowner participation, and 3) capacity of staff. The following topics will be expanded: 1) drought and irrigation – attempts to increase plant survival while decreasing irrigation requirements, 2) successful landowner relationships, and 3) capacity building of staff. The high variation in conditions between sites required site specific rehabilitation plans and an adaptive mitigation approach to challenges that were faced. 

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration