Myself to ask Mr A Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Plan
Mr B N Herron to ask Mr A W Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning:
(a) What proportion of CapeNature’s properties is free from invasive alien vegetation, (b) what was the budget for the clearing of invasive alien vegetation in the last four years, (c) how are properties prioritised for the clearing of invasive alien vegetation and (d) considering the current rate of clearing, what is the expected date on which all properties will be clear of invasive alien vegetation?
a) No CapeNature-managed land is free from invasive alien vegetation. Approximately 46% of CapeNature-managed land have low density, while 27% of CapeNature-managed land have high density infestations. The remaining 27% has moderate density infestations.
b) YEAR EXPENDITURE
2015/2016 - R 7 407 575
2016/2017 - R 12 524 640
2017/2018 - R 13 630 770
2018/2019 - R 5 854 013
Totals R 39 416 998
c) Each nature reserve has an Invasive Alien Control Plan. Annually CapeNature prioritises invasive alien plant clearing per reserve based on this plan. CapeNature’s prioritisation is based on biodiversity and ecological considerations to protect the ecosystem functioning of these areas as a whole. To be specific, priorities are based on the primary invasive alien species present, densities (typically working from low to high densities), accessibility, slope and elevation. It is critical to retain the gains made over the years. Plans are determined within budget availability.
In collaboration with our partners we have also prioritised which catchments are most important to manage in terms of providing critical environmental infrastructure and ecosystem services particularly in the form of water provision.
d) One needs to bear in mind that once cleared, properties need to be maintained in this state as reinvasions from seed banks and neighbouring invasion sources are an ongoing problem. Based on the modelling work by van Wilgen et al (2016) with the current funding, it is unlikely there will be a date upon which we can declare the Cape Floristic Region (in which many CapeNature reserves are located) to be ‘cleared’.