Two decades of fighting aliens: Exploring Working for Water successes

Dr Phumza Ntshotsho
Ntshotsho is a restoration ecologist in the CSIR’s biodiversity and ecosystem services research group. She holds a PhD in conservation ecology from Stellenbosch University. Her work focuses on exploring a transdisciplinary path to ecological restoration.

About the talk: Ntshotsho and her colleagues sought to verify and characterise success in government’s efforts to restore degraded ecosystems through invasive alien plant management.

Invasive alien plants pose a significant threat to South Africa’s biodiversity and human well-being. Through its Working for Water programme, the Department of Environmental Affairs is tackling the problem head-on. The programme was specifically set up in 1995 to manage invasive alien plants and provide employment to marginalised sectors of society.

Many areas that were once badly infested by these plants have now been successfully cleared. Examples of projects that have been successful, are presented, together with managerial and operational factors critical for success. This is necessary for the optimisation of the programme’s future operations.

Co-authors: Greg Forsyth, Dr David Le Maitre, Dr Nadia Sitas and Thozamile Yapi

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