Natures Reserves in Cape Town
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Conservation Partners

The City of Cape Town is not the only organisation that cares for natural areas and biodiversity in Cape Town. National and Provincial Government, Non-Governmental Organisations, Friends Groups and businesses are also involved in conserving biodiversity in the City. In this section we will find out about a few of these organisations and groups.

Have a look at the Map showing where these organisations are based.

  • Click here for a summary table of organisations involved in Biodiversity Conservation in the City of Cape Town.







Biosphere Reserves: Kogelberg & Cape West Coast
  • Biosphere Reserves are areas where the use of land is carefully planned to conserve nature and achieve sustainable development.

  • The United Nations developed the idea of the Biosphere Reserve: 

    • The central core of a Biosphere Reserve is a protected natural area where activities that damage or disturb nature are not allowed.

    • The core is surrounded and protected by a buffer zone, where activities like education, tourism and research take place. These activities cause very little damage to nature.

    • Outside the buffer zone you find towns, farms and industrial areas.








  • The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve was established in 1998 in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region. It is more than 103 000 hectares in size, about 1650 different types of plants grow here, and 150 of these grow nowhere else on Earth. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve and part of the Steenbras Dam Catchment area form the core of this Biosphere Reserve.

  • The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve was established in 2000. It is 378 000 hectares in size and stretches from the Diep River in Milnerton to the Berg River. It includes the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve and the Blaauwberg Conservation Area. The West Coast National Park is one of the core areas. This Biosphere Reserve is famous for its spring flowers and its fishing industry.

  • There are more than 450 Biosphere Reserves in 90 countries around the world.








The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc)
  • The Botanical Society of South Africa, one of the oldest and largest NGOs  in the country, was started in 1913. Its head office and bookshop are based at Kirstenbosch Gardens.

  • You and your family can become members of the Botanical Society. Membership allows you free entry to all eight National Botanical Gardens including Kirstenbosch. You also receive a quarterly magazine called Veld & Flora and a discount from the book shop.

  • There are Botanical Society branches all over the country. Members living in Cape Town belong to the Kirstenbosch Branch. The branch organises hikes, talks and the annual Plant Sale at Kirstenbosch.  

  • The Botanical Society does important research into the conservation of South Africa’s indigenous plants, e.g. identifying the most important plant conservation sites in Cape Town.

  • The Botanical Society worked with the City of Cape Town to produce this environmental education package.








Cape Action for People and Environment (C.A.P.E.)
  • C.A.P.E. is a partnership of many organisations in the Cape Floristic Region. It aims to achieve sustainable development in the region so that people and nature both benefit.

  • Many conservation organisations that work in Cape Town are C.A.P.E. partners, e.g. the Botanical Society, CapeNature, City of Cape Town, SANBI, Table Mountain National Park and WESSA.

  • The C.A.P.E. website will link you to these partners and their projects.








Cape Bird Club
  • The Cape Bird Club is the Western Cape branch of BirdLife South Africa. This national NGO is involved in conservation, research, education and tourism development relating to birds.

  • The Cape Bird Club and local bird clubs (e.g. Somerset West, Tygerberg) assist many of the City of Cape Town’s nature reserves with conservation and education projects.

  • Bird Clubs have helped many reserves to develop bird lists so that visitors know what birds they are likely to see in the reserves. They also catch and ring birds in the reserves to find out more about their movements.

  • Primary school learners can take part in junior Bird Club outings, which take place once a month in and around Cape Town.








Cape Flats Nature - Networking people and nature

Zwai Peter works for a project called Cape Flats Nature.

“At Cape Flats Nature we believe that we need to care for nature so that nature can care for us. We are working with people who live close to three city nature reserves on the Cape Flats to find out how they can benefit from the reserves, and how they can help to care for nature in the city.  We are based at Edith Stephens Wetland Park in Lansdowne Road and also work at Wolfgat Nature Reserve and Macassar Dunes. The Harmony Flats Nature Reserve is also one of our pilot sites.  The reserve managers are supporting community projects like youth environmental hikes and planting medicinal plants, and education officers are involving local schools in environmental programmes. In future we hope to do similar work in the north of the city at Mamre, Atlantis and Silwerstroomstrand.”








Cape Flats Nature Reserve
  • The Cape Flats Nature Reserve is a 32 hectare private nature reserve close to the suburbs of Belhar, Bellville and Parow. It is run by the University of the Western Cape (UWC).

  • The reserve conserves Strandveld and a small area of Sand Fynbos. There are about 220 plant species in the reserve, including the Vulnerable succulent called Medusa’s Head or Vingerpol (Euphorbia caput-medusae marlothiana). More than 100 bird species have been seen in the reserve.

  • The Environmental Education and Resources Unit (EERU) at UWC offers environmental education programmes like guided field trips to the Cape Flats Nature Reserve for schools, students and community groups.

  • EERU also offers help with school and community greening.









  • CapeNature is the Western Cape’s provincial nature conservation agency. CapeNature manages 34 nature reserves in the Western Cape, including Driftsands and Kogelberg Nature Reserves.

  • CapeNature also has a Stewardship Programme that encourages farmers to look after nature on their land.

Driftsands Nature Reserve

  • Driftsands Nature Reserve is managed by CapeNature. It is one of the only Provincial nature reserves in South Africa that is based in a city. It is surrounded by the suburbs of Khayelitsha, Blue Downs, Mfuleni, Delft and Westbank.

  • This 650 hectare reserve was declared in 1983. It conserves Strandveld vegetation, seasonal wetlands and part of the Kuils River. There is a dam in the reserve where water birds are found.

  • CapeNature and the City of Cape Town work together to manage the floodplain of the Kuils River next to Khayelitsha and Macassar.

  • In the past, ecosystems at Driftsands were threatened by frequent fires, over-grazing, sand mining, dumping and invasive alien plants. Since CapeNature started managing the reserve and removing the alien plants, the natural veld has been recovering. People have started finding plants that had not been seen in the area for many years.








  • Animals found in the Driftsands reserve include:

    • Mammals: Common Duiker, Small Grey Mongoose, Cape Clawless Otter, Porcupine,

    • Reptiles: Mole Snake, Cape Cobra, Puff Adder

    • Birds: Sunbirds, Weavers, Rock Kestrel, Redknobbed Coot, Dabchick, Great White Pelican (Near Threatened) and Pied Kingfisher

  • Driftsands Nature Reserve provides neighbouring communities with educational, recreational, ecotourism and economic opportunities. Community forums meet regularly with nature reserve staff to share information and make decisions.

  • Driftsands Nature Reserve runs awareness programmes for neighbouring communities to celebrate special days like Arbor Day, Youth Day and Heritage Day.

  • Rapid urbanisation is having a large effect on Driftsands. This reserve has three settlements inside its boundaries: Sekumbule, Green Park and Los Angeles. These parts of the nature reserve will have to be de-proclaimed.








Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET): ZEEP & FBEP
  • The Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) has been established to provide residential environmental education programmes in City nature reserves.

  • Both centres offer programmes that include hiking, dragon boating, obstacle courses, birding, fishing, water quality testing and visits to the wastewater treatment works and landfill site.








Zeekoevlei Environmental Education Project (ZEEP)

  • The Zeekoevlei Environmental Education Project (ZEEP) has a centre on the western shore of Zeekoevlei. The centre offers three-day, two-night programmes for schools and youth groups that combine adventure and education.

  • The centre was opened in 2001. Groups stay in dormitories at Zeekoevlei or camp at Rondevlei.

False Bay Ecology Park Environmental Centre (FBEP)

  • The False Bay Ecology Park Environmental Centre on the southern shores of Zeekoevlei was opened in 2006. It is situated next to the Waste Water Treatment Works, one of South Africa’s most important sites for wetland birds. It can accommodate 120 learners.








Cape Town’s Racecourses: Kenilworth & Durbanville
  • Cape Town originally had three racecourses, at Durbanville, Kenilworth and Milnerton. Today, only Kenilworth and Durbanville are used for horse races. Milnerton Race Course has been developed for housing, but a small area of natural vegetation has been conserved.

  • These racecourse sites are very important lowland conservation areas. Much of the land in the middle of the racetracks is natural veld, and all sites have large numbers of indigenous, endemic and threatened plants.

  • Gold Circle Horse Racing and Betting owns Durbanville and Kenilworth racecourses and is responsible for protecting some of the most threatened plants in the world!



Cape Town endemic

Site endemic

Red List























Kenilworth Racecourse

  • Kenilworth Race Course conserves one of the largest and richest areas of Sand Fynbos in the world. About 275 species of indigenous plants grow in an area of about 42 hectares inside the race course. Nineteen species are threatened with extinction!

  • Until recently, two plant species occured only at Kenilworth Racecourse and nowhere else on Earth: Erica margaritacea and Erica turgida. Unfortunately, Erica turgida is now Extinct in the Wild.

  • Moraea elsiae is another critically endangered species. Only two plants have been found growing at Kenilworth Racecourse. It also grows on Meadowridge Common and in the Blaauwberg Conservation Area. It used to grow at Zeekoevlei but is now extinct there.

  • The seasonal wetlands in the centre of the race course are home to the Critically Endangered Micro-Frog.

  • In 2005, ten hectares of Sand Fynbos at Kenilworth Racecourse burned for the first time in nearly 100 years. This controlled fire was set by conservationists from the City of Cape Town, CapeNature and Kirstenbosch. Fynbos needs to burn in order to regenerate the vegetation, and this patch was long overdue for a fire. Ecologists are monitoring the site to see what effect the fire has on plant and animal survival.








Centre for Conservation Education
  • The Centre for Conservation Education is the Western Cape Education Department’s environmental education centre. It is based at the Education Museum in Wynberg. This building has been used as a school for 170 years.

  • The Centre offers curriculum-based lessons on a variety of conservation-related topics. Some lessons take place at the Museum, while others take place at natural and cultural heritage sites, e.g. Table Mountain, Dalebrook rocky shore, Tokai Arboretum and Groot Constantia.

  • During International Museum Week, the Centre coordinates an exhibition involving a number of organisations, to which schools are invited. Centre staff can also help schools to develop exhibitions at their schools, e.g. to celebrate a special school anniversary.

  • The Centre produces a quarterly newsletter, which is distributed free of charge to all schools in the Western Cape.








City of Cape Town Youth Environmental School
  • The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department started the Youth Environmental School (YES) in 1998.

  • For seven years, YES was held during World Environment Week at the Chrysalis Academy in Tokai. Thousands of learners from primary schools across the city attended talks, demonstrations and workshops on a wide range of environmental topics.

  • YES has now expanded to include more than just World Environment Week. The City of Cape Town organises special programmes and events to celebrate environmental weeks throughout the year, e.g. Water Week, Arbor Week and Marine Week.

  • Programmes take place in different parts of the city and involve many environmental organisations.







Custodians of Rare & Endangered Wildflowers (CREW)
  • People involved in conservation and development often need information on where rare and threatened plants grow.

  • The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) runs the Threatened Species Programme (TSP). This programme is responsible for producing the Red List of South African plants, which provides information on all rare and threatened plants in South Africa.

  • CREW was started to help the TSP find out where rare and threatened plant species occur, and what threatens their survival.

  • CREW trains volunteers to identify plants. These volunteers go on field trips looking for rare and endangered plants in their areas. Some CREW groups have discovered plants that people thought were extinct!

  • Two CREW groups operate in Cape Town: one at Harmony Flats and the other at Tygerberg Nature Reserve.







  • Eco-Schools is an international programme involving thousands of schools in nearly 40 countries. The programme awards schools that are making a positive difference to the environment.

  • WESSA coordinates Eco-Schools in South Africa.

  • If your school wants to become an Eco-School, you need to register with Eco-Schools and build up a portfolio showing how your school is learning about and improving the environment. Your portfolio will be assessed and, if you are successful, your school will be awarded the green Eco-Schools flag. Schools all over the world fly this flag, showing that they are committed to caring for the environment.

  • Eco-Schools is catching on fast in South Africa. Every year more schools join the programme. In Cape Town, many schools have formed Eco-Schools nodes.

  • Some of the most active nodes in Cape Town are in Atlantis, Guguletu, Manenberg and Mitchell’s Plain.








Electricity Supply Commission (ESKOM): Koeberg Nature Reserve & The Plattekloof Natural Heritage Site

  • ESKOM is the national electricity supplier. The company manages a private nature reserve at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station and also conserves Sand Fynbos growing under the electrical pylons in the Plattekloof area.

Koeberg Nature Reserve

  • This private nature reserve around the nuclear power station conserves Strandveld vegetation, wetlands and coastal areas.

  • Mammals in the reserve include Bontebok, Springbok, Duiker, Steenbok, African Wild Cat and Caracal. Burchell’s Zebra, Eland and Gemsbok have been introduced into the reserve.

  • Nearly 200 bird species have been identified in the reserve, e.g. African Black Oystercatcher (Near Threatened), Black Shouldered Kite, Cape Francolin and Fiscal Shrike. There is a bird hide for bird watching.

  • There are three trails in the reserve: The Dikkop Trail (9.5 -23.3km), Grysbok Trail (2.5 -5.7 km) and Mountain Bike Trail (19km).

  • Groups can book for educational presentations and displays. Entrance to the reserve and the use of hiking and mountain bike trails are free of charge.








The Plattekloof Natural Heritage Site

  • This 73 hectare, Y-shaped stretch of Sand Fynbos was the first Natural Heritage Site to be declared in South Africa (1986). It lies under high voltage power lines in Edgemead and Monte Vista.

  • This Natural Heritage Site was proclaimed to protect a Critically Endangered plant called the Strawberry Spiderhead (Serruria aemula).

  • About 155 plant species are found under the power lines. Twelve species are threatened with extinction and five grow only in Cape Town!








Environmental Education Programme of the University of Stellenbosch (EEPUS)
  • At the University of Stellenbosch, the Education Faculty has an environmental education programme called EEPUS.

  • EEPUS supports environmental education in schools by running courses for teachers and producing resource materials:

    • Windows on the Wild is a book with information, lessons and activities on Biodiversity suitable for Grades 7-10.

    • We Care is a set of learner-centred activities to help you use the local environment for lessons in Grades 4-6.

  • Schools Water Action Project (SWAP) is a river monitoring project. The SWAP kit enables you to do seven simple tests to check the quality of water in rivers and wetlands. You can buy the kit from EEPUS.








Footprints Environmental Centre
  • Footprints Environmental Centre is based at the Military Camp in Wynberg. This centre promotes sustainable living and focuses especially on reducing and re-using waste.

  • You can visit Footprints to learn about recycling, making compost, planting, making art from waste and keeping your neighbourhood clean.







Friends Groups
  • Friends Groups are community based groups affiliated to the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). People form Friends Groups to help protect their local natural areas, like rivers, nature reserves and open spaces.

  • WESSA can help you to start a Friends Group to look after a local natural area.

  • Friends Groups support some of the City of Cape Town’s nature reserves, e.g. Blaauwberg Conservation Area, Helderberg Nature Reserve, Rietvlei Wetland Reserve and Tygerberg Nature Reserve.

  • Other lowland natural areas are also supported by Friends Groups, e.g. Die Oog, Tokai Plantation and Rondebosch Common.

  • You can get involved in a Friends Group and take part in a wide range of activities, e.g. raising funds for projects, clearing aliens, restoring natural habitats and going on hikes.








Millennium Seed Bank Programme (MSBP)
  • The Millennium Seed Bank Programme is an international plant conservation programme run by the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London.

  • The programme aims to prevent plants from going extinct by preserving the seeds of at least 10% of the world’s plant species by 2010. This is about 24 000 plants.

  • In 2000 the MSBP started working with Kirstenbosch to collect and store seeds of South African plants, especially endemic, threatened and useful species.

  • The MSBP also aims to preserve about 10% of South Africa’s plants (2500 species) by 2010. The project focuses on endemic, threatened and useful plants.

  • Before the planned fire at the Kenilworth Racecourse in 2005, seeds of rare and threatened plants were collected and stored in the Millennium Seed Bank at Kirstenbosch in case the veld did not regenerate.








Parmalat Enviro Centre
  • The Parmalat Enviro Centre based at Soetwater near Kommetjie offers overnight accommodation and fun outdoor adventure courses for groups of up to 80 learners.

  • Activities including obstacle courses, adventure courses, hiking, swimming, beach games and creative activities.








Primary Science Programme (PSP)
  • The Western Cape Primary Science Programme (PSP) works with teachers from more than 300 schools in disadvantaged areas of the Western Cape. The PSP aims to improve teaching and learning in Natural Sciences and other learning areas.

  • PSP produces educational materials on a wide range of science topics. You can order these from PSP.

  • PSP is based at Edith Stephens Wetland Park in Lansdowne Road. The PSP works with teachers to develop fieldwork lessons for primary schools visiting Edith Stephens.







Schools Environmental Education Project (SEEP)
  • The Schools Environmental Education Project (SEEP) works with Cape Flats Nature to offer regular hikes for learners on the Cape Flats.

  • Groups hike along the coast through Wolfgat Nature Reserve, then via the Philippi farm lands to Edith Stephens Wetland Park. On this urban hike learners find out how the first people of the Cape collected shellfish along the coast, hunted wildlife and used local plants for food and medicine.

  • Youth in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha who have been on SEEP hikes have organised clean-up hikes at Wolfgat and trained to become hike leaders.

  • SEEP also works with the Table Mountain National Park to offer overnight hikes for schools on the People’s Trail. Learners hike through Orange Kloof, a part of the mountain that is not open to the general public, and spend the night in the People’s Trail hut on top of Table Mountain.







South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

  • In 2004, the National Botanical Institute (NBI) was changed into the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) by an Act of Parliament. This organisation is responsible for researching, conserving, displaying and educating about South Africa’s biodiversity.

  • SANBI runs eight National Botanical Gardens, including Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town.

  • SANBI does research into many aspects of biodiversity, including:

    • identifying and recording South African plant and animal species

    • identifying and mapping South Africa’s ecosystems

    • mapping threatened species

    • finding out how to grow indigenous plants

    • investigating the impacts of climate change on biodiversity

    • learning how to farm sustainably

  • The Gold Fields Centre at Kirstenbosch has a very active environmental education programme for schools. All grades can visit the Gardens for programmes that relate to their school work.

  • Kirstenbosch also runs an Outreach Greening Programme, which helps schools to plan, plant and look after indigenous, water-wise gardens.








Table Mountain National Park (TMNP)

  • South African National Parks (SANParks) is a national government organisation that manages more than 20 national parks in South Africa, including the Table Mountain National Park.

  • The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) in Cape Town is the only national park in a South African city. It was proclaimed in 1998.

  • The TMNP conserves 25 500 hectares of the Cape Peninsula Mountain Chain from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south. It also protects 138 kilometres of coastline and 1000 square kilometres of the sea around the Peninsula.

  • On the Cape Peninsula Mountain Chain, TMNP mainly conserves Mountain Fynbos, which is different from Sand Fynbos that grows in the lowlands of the City.

  • The marine section of the TMNP is very rich in animals and seaweeds because the Peninsula is the meeting place of two very different ocean currents: the cold Benguela and warm Agulhas Currents.

  • The marine environment is under great pressure because of over-harvesting, pollution and coastal development. Fish and shellfish stocks are declining and threatening the livelihoods of fishing communities. The TMNP is helping to protect coastal and marine ecosystems that many people depend on.







  • The Table Mountain National Park has been providing unemployed people in Cape Town with poverty relief jobs removing invasive alien plants, building paths on the mountain and controlling soil erosion.

  • The TMNP is developing overnight hiking trails on the mountain. The People’s Trail is available for school and youth groups. You can also stay overnight at the Sunbird Centre at Silvermine.

  • The Park’s Environmental Experiences programme introduces school groups to different parts of the TMNP, including Cape of Good Hope, Boulders, Silvermine, Newlands Forest and Table Mountain itself. The TMNP has two buses to transport school groups to the Park.

  • The TMNP produced an educational resource pack to help teachers and learners find out more about the Park.









Two Oceans Aquarium

  • South Africa’s coastal and marine environments are rich in sea plants and animals because of the two major ocean currents that flow past our shores.

  • The Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront in Cape Town displays more than 3000 animals from these coastal and marine ecosystems. These include crabs, lobsters, corals and sea anemones as well as fish, sharks, turtles and penguins.

  • The Aquarium also has a river display that shows some of the plants, animals and ecosystems that you can find between the source of a river and the sea.

  • The aquarium offers “H20” or “Hilltop to Ocean” education. What we do on land has an impact on rivers, which flow into wetlands and the sea. Even if we don’t dump rubbish or chemicals directly into the sea, if we drop a chip packet in the street or throw paint down a drain, there’s a good chance that it will end up in the sea.

  • The aquarium introduces us to the plants and animals that live under the sea. It helps us to understand that we must live with care on the land so that we do not pollute or destroy their habitats.

  • Schools can visit the aquarium for self-guided visits or attend lessons on a wide range of environmental topics in the classrooms.

  • The aquarium also organises marine field trips, camps and holiday courses, as well as family sleep-overs in the aquarium.








University of the Western Cape:
Biodiversity & Conservation Biology (UWC BCB)
  • The Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Department (BCB) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) provides useful information for projects on its website.

  • Topics include:

    • The world of algae
    • EcoTree - teaching Biology concepts
    • EnviroFacts - information on a range of environmental topics
    • Focus On series - on-line magazine articles on the environment
    • Flowering plants of the Cape Flats Nature Reserve - an interactive key

  • Internet Biological Education Project - supporting school learning








  • The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) was started in 1926. It is one of the oldest non-governmental organisations caring for the environment in South Africa.

  • WESSA aims to get people involved in caring for the Earth. You can become a member of WESSA and take part in activities of your local Branch, Friends Group or Environmental Club (see below).

  • WESSA organises many environmental projects throughout South Africa and tries to make sure that developments are sustainable.

  • Environmental clubs at schools or in communities can join WESSA. You receive a Club Action Kit that gives advice on starting and running a club, as well as WESSA magazines and newsletters.

  • WESSA's junior magazine is called EnviroKids. Each issue focuses on an environmental theme and is full of environmental information and activities.

  • Share-Net is a WESSA project that publishes many environmental education booklets and other materials. You can find an order form on the WESSA website or request one from

  • The Western Cape Branch of WESSA runs many projects including Eco-Schools and Blue Flag Beaches.








West Coast Field Studies Centre:
Stone Dragon Education

  • The West Coast Field Studies Centre is based at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital. The Centre is in easy walking distance of Zoarvlei (also called the Paarden Eiland Wetland).

  • Frank Wygold, a retired engineer and committed science educator, started the West Coast Field Studies Centre. He runs programmes based on the in-depth courses offered by Field Studies Centres in Britain. Frank uses his pension to fund the centre and its programmes.

  • The Centre offers half- and full-day Ecology courses for Grade 4 - 12 learners. Courses include field work and laboratory sessions.

    • You can explore different habitats, including an estuary, sandy beach, lagoon, permanent and seasonal wetlands and dunes. Stone Dragon staff and volunteers share information on the history of the area. You can also learn about the physical conditions, plants, animals and ecological relationships in the different habitats.

    • In the laboratory you can observe animals closely, use a microscope to view the invisible life in a wetland, and learn from various ecology demonstrations.

  • The Centre also offers three-day, two-night weekend courses that include night time activities, e.g. learning about stars.

  • In order to sustain the work of the West Coast Field Studies Centre, Frank has joined with Stone Dragon Camping to form Stone Dragon Education. The company offers environmental education, outdoor adventure and entrepreneurship development.







Working for Water
  • The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) is the national government department that is responsible for conserving water catchments and securing South Africa’s fresh water supplies.

  • The Working for Water programme (established in 1995) involves many government departments and is coordinated by DWAF. It employs about 20 000 people each year to remove invasive alien plants from water catchments.

  • DWAF organises WeedBuster Week in October each year. The programme aims to raise awareness of the importance of getting rid of invasive alien species.

  • DWAF produces many useful educational materials on water conservation and invasive alien plants.

  • Alien plants have invaded more than 10 million hectares of South Africa. This is 8% of the land. If they are not controlled, they spread to double this area in just 15 years.







Working for Wetlands
  • South Africa is a dry country so its wetlands are precious to people, plants and animals. Unfortunately, many wetlands have been degraded or lost because of human activities.

  • Government departments and other groups started the Working for Wetlands programme to protect and restore wetlands all around South Africa. The programme also supports wetland research, training and communication.

  • Working for Wetlands is a poverty relief programme that restores damaged rivers and wetlands.

  • Working for Wetlands teams help to control erosion, reduce the risk of flooding, rebuild wetlands, clear invasive alien plants, grow and plant indigenous plants, and raise awareness about the value of wetlands.

  • Working for Wetlands has been restoring rivers and wetlands in various parts of Cape Town, e.g. Tokai Plantation, Zeekoevlei and Zandvlei. They have started a nursery at Edith Stephens Wetland Park to grow indigenous plants to replant in wetlands.








Working on Fire

  • Every year, fires cause loss of life and property, and result in huge costs to South Africa. But some fires are needed, such as natural fires in fynbos and grassland ecosystems.

  • Working on Fire is a national programme that was started to develop an integrated plan to manage fires in South Africa. Working on Fire helps to reduce the losses caused by unwanted and uncontrolled fires by managing fire in a coordinated way across the country.

  • Many partners are involved in this programme, e.g. the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the National Disaster Management Unit in the Department of Provincial and Local Government, the National Department of Agriculture, local authorities, conservation agencies, the forestry industry and private fire protection associations.

  • Working on Fire is a poverty relief programme. Like Working for Water and Working for Wetlands this programme provides training and employment for unemployed people.

  • Teams of trained fire fighters are based around the country in areas that often experience wildfires. Some people work on the ground and others in the air, in helicopters and aeroplanes that spot and water-bomb fires.

  • Integrated fire management includes raising awareness about wildfires, preventing fires, setting planned fires, working in a coordinated way, spotting fires, fighting fires and rehabilitating areas damaged by fires.







Zandvlei Trust
  • The Zandvlei Trust is a non-profit organisation that was formed in 1988 to help protect Zandvlei.

  • Members of the Zandvlei Trust are involved in many conservation activities, e.g. observing and recording plants and animals, clearing aliens and rubbish, planting and maintaining indigenous gardens, and educating people about Zandvlei.

  • The Zandvlei Trust produces a newsletter and organises interesting talks on the environment.








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