“Following an extremely wet winter the Southern Cape is showcasing is natural beauty, and tourists planning to visit the region during the festive season, will not be disappointed,” says Cobus Meiring of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF).
Following many years of drought and hardship the Klein Karoo environment is also finally recovering and with summer in full swing, the region is flourishing with vegetation, ample grazing and dams filled to the brim. The Outeniqua mountains and the regional coastline still bear the scars of relentless rain and storms during the winter months, but nature is resilient and bound to recover.
The Southern Cape biodiversity is flourishing following favourable rains during the winter months. The Garden Route is blessed with several custodians of its natural splendour, and with large areas protected and under mandated and private conservation management, the region will always retain much of its marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
Pro-active actions and initiatives by regional conservation entities such as the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR), the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), the Table Mountain Fund (TMF), SANParks, WWF and Cape Nature collectively recognize the importance of conserving the global significance of the Southern Cape biodiversity. In addition to these recognized conservation entities there are numerous conservancies, governmental and environmental management forums and private and public nature reserves present and active in all parts of the region.
A changing climate will bring new challenges to the Southern Cape environment, and with almost unpredictable rainfall patterns new challenges are looming for the environment and the communities dependent on its resilience.
In addition, invasive alien plants dominate large parts of the Southern Cape’s environmentally sensitive mountain catchments, rivers and wetlands, and landowners are fighting an uphill battle in eradication and control of fast- spreading wattles, pine, Rooikrans and a myriad of lesser known invasive species which all pose a significant threat in terms of the destruction of biodiversity, water security and the ever-present danger of wild fire disaster as the summer heat is bound to dry out vegetation in the coming months.
In celebration of regional conservation efforts, GREF is hosting its annual Key-Stakeholder Report-back Event on 13 December in Wilderness, allowing regional environmental and conservation entities to showcase their programmes and initiatives.
The Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) is a public platform for environmental and conservation management entities in the Southern Cape.