OVERBERG RENOSTERVELD CONSERVATION TRUST NEWS
Newsletter 31 | Aug 2022
by Dr Odette Curtis-Scott.
Restoring renosterveld: Why no fragment is too small
There’s a lot of talk at the moment on something called 30×30. It’s the targets set at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP 15 – to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. At the recent Fynbos Forum, this theme was also top of mind. There were questions on how we can reach the target, not only in South Africa, but also in the Western Cape. Sadly, it’s already too late for renosterveld in the Overberg to meet these ambitious targets – with an estimated 5% remaining. But this doesn’t discourage us. It simply means that for renosterveld, every remnant, watercourse and corridor matters. You’ll see in this newsletter that we’re focusing a lot on restoration. It fits well with the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. But it’s also crucial for us because by restoring degraded or damaged habitats, they can play a role in facilitating ecosystem function, which is a ‘win’ for these unique and irreplaceable habitats. And clearly no fragment is too insignificant to restore, as they serve as corridors and stepping stones for the movement of renosterveld-dependent wildlife. Enjoy this restoration-themed newsletter that we’re sharing with you today, as well as our 2023 annual report, which also looks at our past year through a restoration lens. As an aside, Grant and I are working hard at the moment on a very exciting project. We’re turning our Field Guide to Renosterveld of the Overberg into an app and adding an additional 40% more species, with a stronger emphasis on animals, particularly the smaller critters, as well as over 100 additional plants! That means you’ll be able to easily take our field guide with you on your renosterveld walks and hikes, simply by carrying your phone. We’ll let you know when the app is ready for launch. It’s part of our work to make renosterveld accessible to everyone, to showcase this incredible habitat, and why we must do everything we can – as nature lovers, farmers, and even just as Overberg residents – to protect it.