Promoting healthy ecosystems to build resilience to climate change


1.2 Action – Mitigation (Restoration): Restoration of Eastern Cape Subtropical Thicket

The carbon sequestration potential of Eastern Cape thicket is high and it is estimated that the restoration of degraded land will sequester some 411 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per hectare. In light of the rapid development of the carbon market, the project explores the potential for sourcing financial support for biodiversity conservation and land restoration in the Eastern Cape thicket biome through the sale of accrued carbon credits. The thicket restoration project support local communities through job creation and the restoration and maintenance of the vital ecosystem services upon which these communities depend for survival. CAP is currently in negotiation with local stakeholders, including the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF)’s Eastern Cape Restoration Programme (ECRP,) to assist with the development of a business case for the broad scale future the roll out of thicket restoration in the province.

The Wilderness Foundation (WF), as the lead implementation agent in the Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve Project, made land and resources available to the DWAF, funding the Subtropical Thicket Restoration Program (STRP) which started in 2004. The STRP is now incorporated under the national Working for Woodlands and provincial ECRP banners. The ECRP currently comprises the STRP and thicket and other vegetation restoration initiatives such as the Matiwane Forest Restoration Project, St Francis Thatch, and the Kouga Riparian Restoration Programme.

WF planted pilot restoration plots around the eastern Baviaanskloof, in the Cambria Region at Goedehoop, Rooihoek, and in western kloofs of the Mega Reserve. These sites are spread across land owned by both Eastern Cape Parks and WF. These pilot plots are an essential part of developing the business case for thicket rehabilitation and ‘carbon farming’ as an alternative land-use for the Eastern Cape, allowing for the collection of data to provide a scientifically defensible basis for claiming carbon sequestration rates. The plots are also sites for experimentation with various planting and land restoration tools and techniques, part of determining the most effective strategy for large scale thicket restoration. To view the information booklet, Investing in Sustainability – Restoring degraded thicket, capturing carbon, and earning green credit, which provides an overview of this research, go to The monitoring of the pilot sites continues under the ECRP with the Restoration Research Group (R3G). R3G have undertaken all the scientific research with regard to subtropical thicket restoration at the pilot sites. DWAF and the Gamtoos Irrigation Board have also constructed an indigenous nursery to supply restoration projects throughout the province.

See also the CAP Project 3.2. Section: Research for the Investing in Sustainability viability assessment of carbon capture and creating sustainable livelihoods in Eastern Cape Subtropical Thicket restoration.

Matthew Norval- Programme Director: Conservation
Tel: + 27 (0) 41 373 0293
Fax: + 27 (0) 41 374 1821

Click the image to enlarge:
Click the image to enlarge: Baviaanskloof thicket restoration pilot project
Baviaanskloof thicket restoration pilot project
Click the image to enlarge: Havens Nursery
Havens Nursery
Click the image to enlarge: Richard Cowling (R3G) explaining about Spekboom restoration
Richard Cowling (R3G) explaining about Spekboom restoration
Click the image to enlarge: Planting Spekboom in Oudtshoorn
Planting Spekboom in Oudtshoorn
Click the image to enlarge: Spekboom
Click the image to enlarge: Spekboom
Click the image to enlarge: Spekboom field trip
Spekboom field trip
Click the image to enlarge: Erosion prevention on Havens restoration site
Erosion prevention on Havens restoration site
Posted: 4/13/2011 (2:17:25 PM)

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