Across the planet there are certain geographical areas that are not only extremely beautiful, but also of extreme importance to the balance of life on Earth. These ‘biodiversity hotspots’ host large numbers of endemic species found only in these locations. Unfortunately, in some cases habitat loss and other human-induced damage have caused their populations to decline to the verge of extinction.
The 800 hectares of beautiful Papenkuils wetland is one of these ‘biodiversity hotspots’; over 120 different indigenous plant species live here and seven of these are Red listed by the IUCN as endangered species. Papenkuils wetland is part of Table Mountain Fund’s Climate Corridor. Protecting the flora and fauna of the wetland can have an enormous impact on protecting biodiversity in South Africa and beyond.
The young Conservation Leadership Program team: Lyndre, Michelle, Roderick, and Ingeborg will be using the Cocoon to mitigate the impact of runaway fires on the wetland and its inhabitants. Equally important is establishing community ownership to ensure long-term success. The neighboring Merwida Winery is actively involved in the conservation efforts. The Papenkuils Wetlands Restoration Project shows how successful large-scale restoration can be achieved; setting out a clear vision, incorporating a scalable solution and ensuring local ownership.
OVER 120 DIFFERENT INDIGENOUS PLANT SPECIES LIVE HERE AND SEVEN OF THESE ARE IUCN RED LIST