Next steps to rid the Overberg of invasive plants

A new invasive alien clearing programme is ready to
launch in the Overberg. 

The project is an Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) project, implemented by Flower Valley Conservation Trust.

Flower Valley has secured just short of R12-million over the next 3 years from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).

This project follows up on invasive alien clearing work undertaken in the Overberg over the past 8 years – since the launch of the ABI project. In the project this year, we’ll target:

  • 4,655 hectares of follow up clearing;
  • And 1,039 hectares of initial clearing.
  • It will also create 16,768 person days of work this year.

The implementation plan is based on a partnership model.

Flower Valley works with conservancies and other land user groups to roll out the project. We’re working with 9 such groups in this round.  

That means landowners must be a member of a land user group to qualify for clearing support. This allows conservancy-wide clearing plans to address invasive species challenges across the landscape, with crucial areas prioritised.

In this project, Flower Valley works closely with the Land User Group representative. But the Trust will also work closely with each landowner who agrees to join the project, as well as with the elected contractors.

Over the past 8 years, the partnership has learnt a number of lessons that will be addressed in this round.

The quality of the clearing is essential.

And that requires closer monitoring – both from the landowner (or his/her elected representative), as well as by the Flower Valley team.

The DEA-funded project also requires a strong administrative support team. While DEA funds support the clearing work and transport of the contractors, they do not support the admin requirements.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO LANDOWNERS JOINING THE PROJECT?

 

  • All clearing salaries and transport costs are covered.
  • Herbicide assistance is provided.
  • The Flower Valley team ensures best practice standards are implemented, in terms of health & safety, and herbicide use.
  • Working with the Land User Groups, the Trust pulls together the Annual Plan of Operations.
  • We advise each contractor on each site that will be cleared.
  • And we monitor and assess the quality on completion.
  • The Trust’s team also supplies detailed maps and datasets on treatment-areas.
  • And the Flower Valley team serves as the communication touchpoint with DEA.

Landowners who choose to join the project pay an administrative fee, to cover these service costs.

For more, contact your Land User Group representative, or speak to Stanley Engel. Email: stanley@flowervalley.co.za; or Tel. 028 425 2218.

The project is co-funded by the Drakenstein Trust and Millennium Trust.