Issue 1 - Summer 2016

Like a blue vein traversing the stunning South African landscape from Cape Town to the Atlantic Ocean, the Bergrivier supplies fresh water from the Berg River Dam to the many farms along its banks. 

The presence of a robust river on farmland is generally a positive for any farmer, especially in countries with long hot summers, such as South Africa. However, the farms in the Bergrivier region of South Africa were facing a number of challenges; lack of healthy vegetation causing the river banks to erode, invasive species pushing out the native trees, and poor water quality. Established, healthy plant life along riverbanks positively influences the filtration of water to the surrounding area, with multiple benefits to farmers and their livelihoods.

We partnered with the Western Cape Government and Living Lands to rehabilitate the 300 km of river bank along the Bergrivier. The rehabilitation of ecosystems has obvious benefits for the farmers including the retaining of healthy top soil, less water use, clean river water, fewer floods, biodiversity supporting pollination, and natural disease management.

The project caught the attention of a few VIPs too. The Dutch Ambassador to South Africa, as well as the Consul General, stopped by to plant a tree with the Cocoon; a diplomatic day indeed!