Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Public Relations

Sustainable use of land vital for the protection of fynbos

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As the world looks for ways to tackle both an unprecedented health crisis and the ongoing
climate crisis, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust in the Western Cape is working hard to
bring to light the importance of protecting fynbos through sustainable land use.

Established in 1991, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust is making sure that it creates a
fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods. The trust is a non-profit organisation based on
Flower Valley Farm, just outside Gansbaai, and aims to protect natural fynbos landscapes
and improve livelihoods across the Fynbos biome.

Fynbos is part of the Cape floral kingdom – one of six global plant kingdoms. Many fynbos
species have been exported for decades but certain species, such as the king protea,Protea
compacta and silver brunia are currently trending in Europe, Asia, Russia and other international markets.They have unusual aesthetic appeal and they last far longer than
non-fynbos flowers.

With the planet experiencing severe climate change threats and unsustainable natural
resources use, the WWF Nedbank Green Trust is supporting organisations such as the Flower Valley Conservation Trust in making sure that conservation efforts for land continue to meet the current demand for fynbos.

Through the Sustainable Harvesting Programme, we can demonstrate the possibility of
harvesting fynbos in a commercially viable way, creating green businesses and decent green
jobs for people living in the fynbos region,' says Roger Bailey, Acting Executive Director at the Flower Valley Conservation Trust. His love of fynbos developed when he was a child
growing up in Bot River in the Overberg.

Bailey adds “The protection and harvesting of fynbos are vital for the growth and
development of the local economy. Through the support of the WWF Nedbank Green Trust,
we can support livelihoods through the development of Flower Valley’s internal management system.This system helps micro fynbos harvesting businesses on a journey of continuous improvement – which includes compliance with legal requirements,ethical business principles, and good harvesting practices.”

As a result, wild fynbos harvesting businesses offer and supply ethically harvested fynbos products to the market,supporting their livelihoods and benefiting the environment through their practices.

Celebrating 30 years of nature conservation, the WWF Nedbank Green Trust has helped
raise R300 million to support initiatives in land, fresh water, marine, climate, species and
leadership. It has been through the help of countless South Africans that the trust has been
able to support various land conservation projects through organisations such as the Flower
Valley Conservation Trust.

Like any other organisation, Flower Valley is and continues to be affected by Covid-19 and
the impact of the national lockdown.

Bailey says, “While support was ongoing for our invasive alien clearing teams in the Flower
Valley Alien Clearing Programme, the fynbos harvesting industry came to a complete
standstill as a result of lockdown. Harvesters were therefore unable to earn an income
during this time. Even now, things are not yet back to normal for the trust.”

The economy may be opening up, but the trust is now ensuring that we adapt to this new
normal – to help support sustainable green economies that ensure social, environmental
and economic benefits to communities. That means continuing to respond with even more
vigour to challenges in pursuit of our vision: A fynbos-filled future for life and livelihoods.

How to support the work

For 21 years, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust has demonstrated and continues to
demonstrate the importance of protecting fynbos through the sustainable use of land.
While nature conservation continues to thrive through the work of the WWF Nedbank
Green Trust, South Africans are urged to play their part in contributing to a healthier
environment. Through the Nedbank Green Affinity Programme, Nedbank has opened the
doors of conservation and made it easy for everyone to support nature conservation at no
cost to them.

To support the WWF Nedbank Green Trust at no cost to you, visit www.nedbankgreen.co.za

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