Deforestation in South Africa (CCD-Coalition / OLYecology)

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CCD-Coalition 192 – Earth’s Tree News


South Africa

One of the world’s largest remaining indigenous forests in St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal has been damaged, because of informal settlements. Now the race is on to protect part of the Dukuduku forest, which remains untouched and once a haven of plant diversity, animal species and water resources. Landless subsistence farmers occupied the forest in the late 1980s. Inhabitants were relocated to a new settlement a decade later but many refused to leave. Violent protests and court battles over the land ensued and it was left unattended. Vusi Kubheka of the water affairs forestry department, says South Africa has laws, people have rights in terms of occupation of the land and government has certain laws that they need to apply to be able to make headway in terms of resolving this problem. He says they are currently rehabilitating the land, and are aware in terms of the studies that have been done with various other stakeholders that it could take up to 20 to 30 years to rehabilitate the forest. However it is too late to lobby as the damage has been done and it will be too costly to revive it. But on the other side, environmentalist want government to protect this section before it is invaded. Plans are in the pipeline to protect it, giving South Africa’s heritage a better chance of survival.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

One thought on “Deforestation in South Africa (CCD-Coalition / OLYecology)”

  1. Conservation shall be given a big slice in South African budget in order to educate people and conserving the natural resource. Instead, South Africa does not have conservation Ministry and i do not thing our politicians are considering to have this kind of ministry without combining with other department. Evry day are talking about health but underming the destruction of natural resource that have great contribution on heath, e.g. trees give us oxygen and take our carbon that makes our life so healthy if we have enough oxygen and it also help on preventin wind erosion and would be less acid rain because it will help to mach the war aginst air pollution.

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