Australia and South Africa have teamed up to add new functionality to the Flower Valley Alien Clearing Programme.
While invasive alien clearing work has continued across the landscape over the past seven years, as part of the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative Alien Clearing Project (coordinated by Flower Valley Conservation Trust), it’s not been possible to date to easily extract specific or combined data around the impact of the programme.
Enter Australian, Rod Moss.
Rod had worked with Flower Valley’s Esna Swart in previous years. He became aware of the Alien Clearing Programme and the specifics thereof through Esna, and saw this as an opportunity to learn something new, while helping the Trust.
With Rod’s help, Flower Valley now has a digital tracking and monitoring system – making it easy to measure the impact over time.
Here’s Rod’s letter on how this came about…
“I had been interested in Esna Swart’s work with Flower Valley for quite a while as working with drones, GIS and general mapping was something I had a pretty good understanding of. So, after my retirement in October 2019, during one of our discussions, the topic of Excel came up. Since I was interested in teaching myself VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) for Excel, I asked if there was any way I could help. I wanted to develop my skills and the Flower Valley project seemed like a great way to do that – especially with all this free time during lockdown.
“After a few productive Zoom/WhatsApp discussions, we identified what we needed to do and created a plan to achieve our goals. Since our initial discussion, the project has grown and taken on an interesting life of its own.
“Today, with the click of a button, we can see where the aliens are located, what the species and densities were, how many person days were allocated, what investments were made, cost analysis and much more.
Even though the data had been available in the past, the platform to extract and run quick analysis has not existed until now. We are currently working on the next stage of the project, which includes the creation of a dashboard where near real-time data will be made available.
“We still have a long way to go, but so far we have developed a working product that adds value to alien clearing and conservation efforts. I have thoroughly enjoyed the development and am looking forward to assisting with future projects.”
Flower Valley Conservation Trust
Natural Resource Management: Alien Clearing Programme
When fynbos is picked sustainably, you not only protect the fynbos kingdom for future generations, you also protect the livelihoods of those who harvest it.
When we saw that an intact pristine fynbos farm was threatened by potential agricultural expansion 21 years ago – you, our donors, stepped in to help. This purchase with the help of Fauna and Flora International, saw the birth of Flower Valley Conservation Trust.
At the height of the lockdown during the past four months, Flower Valley Conservation Trust had to react swiftly. At the time, the spotlight fell almost exclusively on the latter half of our vision: for life and livelihoods (our vision is: A fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods).
Over the past two years, 138 fynbos harvesters received training in how to harvest fynbos sustainably. They were trained in their own home language (Afrikaans, isiXhosa and English).
“The response we received to our call for donations, was heartwarming and enabled us to meet the overwhelming need in these communities.”