Meeting social and environmental requirements
Our task is to generate benefits for the many who live here.
And so, when you include the rural and peri-urban areas in the SMA, we reach an estimated population of approximately 6,800.
On agricultural land
The Nuwejaars Wetlands area is made up of about 50% agricultural land, and 50% natural land. Livestock, grain and dairy farming are prominent here, while there are a number of wineries with vineyards on the SMA.
So around 250 people are employed within the SMA’s boundaries on farms here. When you include the rural and peri-urban areas in the SMA, we reach an estimated population of approximately 6,800 – many from the historically-disadvantaged town of Elim, a town full of rich culture and history (and also a member of the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area).
Many farmers in the area are working hard to rid their own land of invasive plants. They employ their own invasive alien clearing teams throughout the year, some from the SMA’s boundaries, and some from neighbouring towns such as Bredasdorp.
Teams of alien clearing project participants undergo essential training. From First Aid, to Health & Safety, to how to operate a chainsaw – it’s all included in the capacity building support taking place here.
Teams have also received training on fynbos ecology and monitoring (in a partnership with Flower Valley Conservation Trust), and on fire prevention and management (through the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association).
And then we work closely with SANParks, on their Kids in Parks programme, or providing environmental education programmes to children of the SMA when the opportunities arise.
What have we done to date?
The Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area employs six people permanently. Two are Conservation Managers. Four are part of our maintenance team – who head out daily to check on our infrastructure, like our Buffalo Boma.
Then we employ a team of invasive alien clearers through the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative Alien Clearing Project, led by contractors living in the boundaries of the SMA. These contractors own and manage their own businesses. And we work well with them – as they help us rid the area of invasive alien species. We’re working with four teams now, employing about 40 people.