Where we plant. South Africa. Eastern Cape
Size of land – 3 000 hectares
2 million trees
We have identified 2 pieces of land, totaling 3000 hectares. Here we plan to plant an estimate of 2 million trees.
Both the industrial and natural forests in South Africa are presently in a relatively good condition but require careful tree and parks planting. The South African forest is in bits and pieces and not in a coherent whole. Policies are often revised, as are strategic plans, forest product mixes, volumes and emphases. The different sectors of the country need to talk to each other and determine the correct and acceptable country policy. Certainly the process of formulating and implementing the new policy will stimulate debate and research that will continue to improve our understanding of the management of forests, woodlands and plantation resources in the country and also improve the design of policies needed to sustain these resources.
In South Africa, there is still a growing interest in the application of agroforestry. There is no doubt that agroforestry can make a sound contribution to the well being of the country and that of farmers in particular. Farmers now understand the usefulness of trees in maintaining their livestocks, during drought seasons. The Biomass Initiative was successful in paving the way for the design and implementation of a long-term social forestry programme. Lessons from the project are being used to formulate policy for social forestry.
If sustainability is to become the main aim of forestry in South Africa, tertiary education for the forest sector will have to broaden its scope and strengthen the education provided. There is a substantial shift towards gender and racial balance and representation of previously disadvantaged groups among graduates. Also it is important that an appropriate and effective system for the development of skills and worker competencies is needed to support a thriving forest sector.
There is a consensus that research to support forest-sector development in South Africa could be better coordinated among the parties involved, even though the co-ordination on research relating to industrial forestry is seen by some participants as good. It is rather unfortunate that South Africa does not have in situ and ex situ seed conservation, rather the policy of the country protects natural forests from over-utilization.