Protecting the Endangered flora of Papenkuils wetland in South Africa

Lyndre Nel

Papenkuils wetland is a biodiversity hotspot located along the Breede River. The area is designated by UNESCO and WWF as a priority site with a high conservation status and it is an irreplaceable ecological cornerstone to conservation efforts in the Western Cape. It provides habitat to numerous indigenous and threatened plants, seven of which are on the Red List. The surrounding area includes agricultural land, sub-economic housing developments, and the Brandvlei dam, which have detrimental impacts on the area.

The purpose of this project is two-fold: (1) mitigate the impact of surrounding areas on the threatened flora of the wetland and (2) build wider-community involvement in protecting the wetland.

(1) The impact of bordering land-use impacts will be mitigated through planting a buffer zone of 300 native trees and shrubs with a new sustainable, water efficient planting technology called Cocoon.

(2) To build community involvement, we will engage wider communities in the planting process and hold an environmental awareness day.

This project has good balance of conservation research and action as it engages local stakeholders and implements conservation measures for the benefit of a conservation priority area.