Ferncliffe Mistbelt Forest Restoration Project
PLEASE VOTE for our Ferncliffe Mistbelt Forest Restoration Project!
EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Organisation) runs a public vote on its website – EOCA project voting, enabling outdoor enthusiasts and the general public to vote on the shortlist of project applications. Through this process, 3 projects will be selected for the Association to fund.
The restoration and biodiversity conservation of strategic portions within the 250 hectare Ferncliffe Nature Reserve. Overlooking the city of Pietermaritzburg KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Ferncliffe Nature Reserve falls within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot. A Rocha SA is one of a number of NGO’s working together to conserve and restore this indigenous portion of threatened and degraded Southern Mistbelt Forest. The Southern Mistbelt Forest type consist of scattered patches of what was once an extension of the Afro-Montane Forests of tropical Africa now limited to the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa. Approximately 16000 ha’s of this forest type is formally but not always effectively protected in South Africa. A Rocha SA is working alongside other NGO’s to engage with authorities to improve the protected status of the Ferncliffe Nature Reserve through registration with the National Biodiversity Stewardship Programme (NEMBA).
The overall goals of this project are:
- to create opportunities for volunteers to participate in a forest rehabilitation project.
- to provide volunteers opportunities to contribute towards upgrading the protected status of the reserve by active participation in citizen science biodiversity surveys.
- to take actions towards reversing the historical destruction of the forest through an ongoing planting programme of area specific canopying indigenous tree species.
- to counteract the infestation of exotic invasive vegetation though manual invasive vegetation control measures and replacement with suitable natural vegetation.
The results of such action will:
- reduce and possibly reverse biodiversity loss through habitat improvement,
- reduce riparian zone water loss through invasive vegetation control,
- contribute towards climate action through the establishment of large tree species,
- instil a sense of ownership and care for the forest amongst volunteers and,
- create an improved experience for outdoor enthusiasts.