BUFFELSDRAAI COMMUNITY REFORESTATION PROJECT: IS THE CURRENT ACTIVE RESTORATION ON A TRAJECTORY TO SATISFY STATED TARGETS?
Kathryn Terblanche, Kevin Kirkman, Hylton Adie, Errol Douwes1 and Debra Roberts
eThekwini Municipality, Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department, University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Life Sciences

 

Abstract

In 2012, the Earth’s population reached a staggering 7 billion people and is set to rise to 9 billion by 2020. In addition, more than half the world’s population is now living in cities. Cities have ecological footprints hundreds of times larger than the actual boundary of the city. They rely on surrounding land to provide goods and services to sustain the urban human well-being and quality of life. This places increased strain on the surrounding ecosystems and presents many challenges to the functioning of these ecosystems and is now of critical concern for conservation. These issues highlight the very real need to protect and maintain ecosystems and to restore degraded lands to ensure functioning ecosystem services that are able to support human populations as well as biodiversity in cities. The eThekwini Municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection Department (EPCPD) initiated the Buffelsdraai Community Reforestation Programme, with goals to offset carbon dioxide emissions and enhance biodiversity. This is in the process of supplemental planting with a goal to create natural forest and woodland ecosystems in the 800 ha buffer zone surrounding the Buffelsdraai Regional Landfill site. This study aims to determine whether ecological restoration (the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed) implemented at Buffelsdraai is on a trajectory to satisfy stated objectives of the restoration program. This will be determined through comparing measurable ecological parameters (richness, abundance diversity, functional traits) to assess restoration within the buffer zone to intact forest/woodland types. The results of this study will have direct management benefits to the EPCP of the eThekwini Municipality.
Presentation Topic

 

Presentation Topic

BUFFELSDRAAI COMMUNITY REFORESTATION PROJECT: IS THE CURRENT ACTIVE RESTORATION ON A TRAJECTORY TO SATISFY STATED TARGETS?

Contact Ms Kathryn:
Email Kathryn Terblanche