DID YOU KNOW?
The area is one of South Africa's most important tourist attractions and is home to Africa's oldest marine protected area. Tsitsikamma is a 'Jurassic Park' for freshwater life, as half the rivers host dozens of ancient insect species. The Tsitsikamma loses 3% of its water to invasive alien trees.
Free flowing rivers
Interbasin transfer systems
Supplies water to
Alien Invasive Vegetation
Invasive alien trees that have spread through large parts of our country consume more than 2.9% of available water resources. In some catchments, water losses are higher than 25%. These losses contribute to biodiversity loss by crowding out indigenous species, devastating surrounding ecosystem.
Unsustainable land use practices pose a major threat to ecosystems and the livelihood of local communities. It damages flood plains, river banks and wetlands, reducing the regulating capacity of catchments and increasing erosion and sediment loads. This raises the risk of flooding.
Large Scale Plantations
Plantations are mono-cultures made up of the same alien tree species (pine, eucalyptus and wattle) that cause massive environmental damage across the country. These trees are grown to provide wood for construction and raw materials for the paper and pulp industry but they consume huge volumes of water while they grow. Badly managed plantations allow these species to escape and grow wild, making them a source of invasive alien trees. Poor forestry practices lead to the clearing of natural forests and the destruction of wetlands which have negative social and environmental consequences.
Fires are a part of the natural lifecycle of the Fynbos, savannah and grasslands but a higher frequency of fires doesn't allow enough time for natural ecosystems to recover. The impact is exacerbated by the presence of invasive alien trees that burn hotter and longer, causing greater damage to property and the environment. Higher intensity and frequency of fires means that precious soil is eroded and more easily washed away.
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