The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region (K2C) partnering with AWARD have recently embarked on a project that will make a big difference to the Blyde catchment and downstream communities.
The project comprises of 1 Intermediate team of 8 passionate individuals, the team is different from the other Working for Ecosystem teams because of the High elevation areas they are working in. They are based at the magnificent Mountains of Mariepskop and are dedicated to make a difference to the environment by rehabilitating the forest back to its natural state. The project supports current efforts on invasive alien plant (IAP) control and Ecosystem restoration in the larger Blyde area, as well as capacity development of local landowner and community members in terms of awareness and trainings.
The vision of this project is to create “A healthy upper Blyde, Sand and Klaserie Catchment, in which degraded areas have been restored and are maintained thus sustaining biodiversity and the critical ecosystem services that support the livelihoods and wellbeing of local and downstream residents in the long term”.
The team is busy with clearing the pines and eucalyptus on the upper mountains where there are wetlands that were prioritized as they hold and recharge water to the Klaserie River which in turn runs to the downstream communities. These communities depend on the river for recreational purposes such as swimming to cool off the heat.
The main project partners include Department Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), the four Communal Property Associations (CPAs) that have claimed the reserve namely Sethlare, Maorabjang, Moletele and Mahubahuba, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) Natural Resource Management and the South African Environmental Observation Unit (SAEON).
We would like to acknowledge USAID for making this possible with the funding that helped see the project’s inception.