Heal the land, heal the people manifesto

A manifesto of a likeminded value-driven community that cares about people, the land and the future. Click here to download this manifesto.


Economics of restoration project - ASSET Research

Sustainability in the South African Dairy Industry – a project by MilkSA

South Africa is a country with a rich endowment of natural resources, which include its biodiversity and ecosystems. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) is responsible to fulfil the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). With the adoption of the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, the NBSAP has outlined a path to ensure that the management of biodiversity assets and ecological infrastructure continue to support South Africa’s development path and play an important role in underpinning the economy. As the demand for agricultural products has increased, driven by the nutritional needs of a growing population, the importance of developing a biodiversity-based agricultural system to ensure future sustainability should be regarded as a key driver for the Industry. Dairy farms across South Africa have widely undertaken (although still not always to a formal extent, especially among smaller-scale farmers) to integrate biodiversity- conscious approaches in their businesses. The vast costs involved in repairing damaged soils are understood and therefore the benefits in monitoring soil health, structure, nutrients and biological activity are recognised. In general, therefore, the dairy industry supports the vision and strategies of the NBSAP.

Read more

The economics of restoration in South Africa – ASSET Research project

ASSET Research, in partnership with SAEON and with the support of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), is developing and populating South Africa’s first database on the economics of restoration (https://assetresearch.org.za/media-resources/). This will equip policy- and decision-makers as well as restoration practitioners to take informed, science-based decisions with respect to restoration. It will also advance the science, business and practice of restoration in general. The database will be used to develop an open access and user-friendly online system dynamics modelling tool that will enable users to simulate the benefits and costs of their own restoration projects.

Read more

Using goats to control the spread of invasive alien plants

Using goats to control invasive alien plants could provide an economic opportunity for small livestock farmers in South Africa. Goat farmers can become entrepreneurs that run alien plant clearing goat herds and so become indispensable in the fight to control and eradicate invasive plants. There is also the great advantage of the goats being a lucrative source of meat and skins with a ready market. We have invasive alien plants in almost every part of South Africa and if properly managed, goats for aliens could become economically important in smaller rural communities.

Read more

Clearing stinkbean in the Kamma River – August/September 2020

These alien trees invade the wetlands, changing both the plant composition and the soil surface stability. This ultimately results in canalisation and increased flow of the water out of the wetland as well as the formation of severe erosion head-cuts, which voraciously eat back into the less protected wetland substrate with each flood. The peat wetlands then begin to suffer the loss of their function as storage systems for water and carbon.

Read more

Restoration of the land and the people in Vanwyksdorp

The community of Vanwyksdorp, a little agricultural village in the heart of the arid Little Karoo, was stuck in a status quo of depopulation of rural agriculture, unemployment, poverty and helplessness. Vanwyksdorp has a good school but the situation was exacerbated by the annual exodus of school leavers, full of knowledge and expectations, only to find a world of closed doors and very few or no opportunities.

Read more