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.
The Sustainable Harvesting team has received additional support to test new fynbos monitoring methods. A field monitor, Daylene van Riet has joined the team. She will now work with fynbos harvesters who are members of the Sustainable Harvesting Programme, together testing the field monitoring method and capturing fynbos harvesting data.
Silver brunia is helping to focus attention on the Cape Floral Kingdom – and specifically, the need to harvest fynbos sustainably. In an article featured in the Business Day, the demand for fynbos is highlighted – with fynbos exported to Europe, Asia, Russia and many other global markets.
Flower Valley’s Sustainable Harvesting Programme is in need of 4 field monitors. They will assist in using a new monitoring method as well as capturing data in the fynbos veld.
There’s nothing simple about monitoring fynbos populations – like seeing how fynbos harvesting may affect fynbos in an area over time. So the Flower Valley team has teamed up with scientists and students to find ways to more easily see how fynbos changes in the long term.
Flower Valley is introducing new skills and capacity to answer difficult questions around fynbos use. With the help of a database expert, the team is now able to use internet-based databases, to help analyse trends in fynbos.
Flower Valley’s Sustainable Harvesting team hosted the Conservation Ecology students from Stellenbosch University for the whole week, testing the field assessment set out by the Sustainable Harvesting Programme.
Our former Harvesting Manager, Oom Alfred Swarts has died aged 62. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, and died at his home in Stanford on Saturday 17 December.
The Flower Valley team travelled to a chilly London in December – to bring partners in ethical trade and sustainable production together.
The Sustainable Harvesting Programme has a new team member. Kirsten Retief joins the team as the Conservation Extension and Applied Research Coordinator. She will meet with landowners and harvesters, providing support to meet environmental best practice principles in the fynbos sector.
Landowner and municipalities are now required to have a plan to control invasive species on their properties, and have an obligation to remove these species. New National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) regulations came into force on 1 October 2016. According to the new laws, invasive species are now considered a legal liability to property owners.
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.