What we do
Natural Resource Management
Alien Clearing Programme
Sustainable Harvesting Programme
The Alien Clearing Programme is one leg of our Natural Resource Management Programme (the other is the Sustainable Harvesting Programme).
Our mission is to conserve fynbos landscapes, livelihoods and connect people to nature through collaboration, learning and demonstration.
Flower Valley Conservation Trust has adopted a people-centric approach to conservation. We know that people are the biggest influencers of change. And that’s why we approach solutions using people, planet and profit perspectives in our Natural Resource Management work. This holistic approach towards true sustainability makes Flower Valley Conservation Trust unique.
Alien Clearing Programme
The threat of alien invasive plants has never been more real than now.
Alien invasive plants in the Western Cape, most originating from Australia, outcompete our local indigenous vegetation – especially our Fynbos. These invasive plants are extremely well adapted to our climate and fire-driven ecosystem.
What’s more, climate change, with hotter and dryer temperatures, accelerates the alien threat through greater water loss, and more severe fire regimes. At the same time, the increasing atmospheric carbon (climate change) stimulates faster growth for herbaceous species such as alien invasive plants. Alien plant invasions threaten our unique biodiversity, catchment and wetland areas, ecotourism, harvesters that use indigenous species, as well as the future bioprospecting and green economies. That’s why Flower Valley drives an Alien Clearing Programme, which consists of many projects, including the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative (ABI) Alien Clearing Project.
This project was established in 2013
ABI Alien Clearing Project (a project driven as part of the
Flower Valley Alien Clearing Programme)
Flower Valley Conservation Trust drives the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative’s (ABI) Alien Clearing Programme. We work with nine land user groups across the Agulhas Plain, who have actively participated in the project since 2013.
– Stanley Engel
Flower Valley Alien clearing Programme
The objective of the programme is to improve ecosystem functioning by removing alien species, while creating socio-economic opportunities at the same time (through alien clearing work). The programme is supported for the most part by government funding, through the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries. In 2018, we expanded our work opportunities beyond the immediate clearing project, to also include alternative support mechanisms to support good natural resource management.
Our key focus areas in our Flower Valley Alien Clearing Programme are:
To facilitate the effective control of alien invasive species.
To identify opportunities and promote empowerment of local communities within the green economy.
To engage landowners, partners and agencies in applying best natural resource management practices.
To promote research and development for mitigating impacts of alien invasive species.
And to raise awareness on challenges and advancements within the industry, and advocate for action and accountability.
How can we help you?
Assess the invasive alien plant clearing requirements, and costs to clear these invasives, on your own property.
If your farm has invasive alien plant species on it, and you’d like to know the best way to clear it, and the cost of clearing it, the Flower Valley team can help. We can also support invasive alien management on your property. And we will check the QUALITY of the work undertaken, to ensure it meets best practice standards. (This support is in the Overberg)
Manage and monitor your farm or harvesting area.
A specialist mapper can provide GIS solutions to you, to help you improve your natural areas. (This support is available in the Overberg).
HERBICIDE ASSISTANCE AND HERBICIDE APPLICATION QUALITY CONTROL.
We can provide herbicide to those clearing invasive plants on their property (this does depend on whether we have received herbicide from the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries). We also have qualified support to ensure quality and correct application of herbicide, so that you can know that your herbicide application is not damaging the natural environment.
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 difference between an average photograph and an eye-catching one doesn’t necessarily require you to buy a new camera.
How well do you know your fynbos? This Environment Day (Friday 5 June), the world takes Time for Nature (2020’s theme). So take a moment to test your fynbos knowledge (there are just 10 super quick questions). Do it simply #ForNature.
The Coronavirus may have ended our first year of the new ABI Alien Clearing Project, implemented by Flower Valley Conservation Trust, earlier than we had planned.
Did you know that exposure to plants can boost your health? And in times of lockdown – they can especially support your mental and emotional health.
A new study has highlighted the importance of Silver Brunia (Brunia laevis) as an economic driver for fynbos harvesters. And the potential threats this could hold for the species – and for fynbos pickers.
It’s quite simply not that easy to remove any invasive alien plant. Each species requires a different technique to try to prevent it from re-growing.
Three new and emerging invasive alien species are being targeted on the Agulhas Plain. The plan is to rid the area of these three species – before they spread beyond their current farm boundaries, threatening our region’s biodiversity.
Climbing a fynbos mountain daily, seeing wildlife up close and personal? That’s exactly what fynbos harvesting teams do every day while picking stems for the market.
Fynbos offers a number of tasty foodie options. So on World Food Day (16 October), we’re taking a slightly different view of fynbos – to see how to use fynbos in food (responsibly, of course), and some of the medicinal benefits.
Support our cause
Act today for fynbos
Fynbos faces extreme threats.
Many fynbos species have already gone extinct.
Others literally stand on the brink of extinction.
Act today, to stop the extinction spiral of this truly South African floral heritage.
Fynbos faces extreme threats. Many fynbos species have already gone extinct. Others literally stand on the brink of extinction. Act today, to stop the extinction spiral of this truly South African floral heritage.