How to Rehabilitate Damaged Landscapes Together

 

 

Restoring landscapes and regenerating topsoil creates jobs and secures a future for people who rely on ecosystems for their food and water security.  In South Africa today government, communities and businesses are working together to restore one of the most important watersheds in the country.

The story in alliance with the Guardian UK:

Farmer Pieter Kruger stands smiling on a large weir built on a river in the Baviaanskloof area that provides water to South Africa’s fifth largest city. Tall and lean, he looks out over a gathering pool, delighted at the first time it has filled up enough to have the water roll over his shoes.

“The actual restoration work happens here on this farm, but the benefits also flow to the users downstream, so in the long run everyone is going to benefit from this.”

Land degradation and desertification is now affecting 168 countries around the world, according to the UN, but many here believe there is hope. Living Lands, an international not-for-profit organisation, started working here in 2008 to bring together the users and beneficiaries of this water catchment; government, communities and farmers like Kruger.

Read the article in the Guardian.

See a full selection of the images below and learn more about projects that lead the way in addressing Climate Change in Africa with us here at Alliance Earth.

An  public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
An public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
Rooihook, in the heart of the Baviaanskloof, in full flood.  This water is used by almost a million downstream users.  The area was heavliy overgrazed but is now being restored. A public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
Rooihook, in the heart of the Baviaanskloof, in full flood. This water is used by almost a million downstream users. The area was heavily overgrazed but is now being restored.
A public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
Pieter and Magrite Kruger are restoring Zandvlakte farm in the Baviaanskloof by planting millions of small Spekboom trees like the one in the foreground. The challenge is to create benefit for the farmers who have to adjust from goat and sheep farming to something more sustainable.   An  public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
Pieter and Magrite Kruger are restoring Zandvlakte farm in the Baviaanskloof by planting millions of small Spekboom trees like the one in the foreground. The challenge is to create benefit for the farmers who have to adjust from goat and sheep farming to something more sustainable. 

A Wier like this holds back water which rushes off of the landscape because of bad policies during the 1970s that saw government channelizing the water.  Now new wiers like this are holding the water back so it can go into the groundwater table, assuring a full flowing river all year around.   A  public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
A Wier like this holds back water which rushes off of the landscape because of bad policies during the 1970s that saw government channelizing the water. Now new wiers like this are holding the water back so it can go into the groundwater table, assuring a full flowing river all year around.
Farmer Pieter Kruger stands on a wier on his farm that was paid for by the Department of Water Affairs.  Wiers like this holds back water which rushes off of the landscape because of bad policies during the 1970s that saw government channelizing the water.  Now new wiers like this are holding the water back so it can go into the groundwater table, assuring a full flowing river all year around.   An  public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
Farmer Pieter Kruger stands on a wier on his farm that was paid for by the Department of Water Affairs. Wiers like this holds back water which rushes off of the landscape because of bad policies during the 1970s that saw government channelizing the water. Now new wiers like this are holding the water back so it can go into the groundwater table, assuring a full flowing river all year around. 

Spekboom seedlings are grown before planting at the project headquarters near Pantensie in the Baviaanskloof. A public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate th problems of climate change.
Spekboom seedlings are grown before planting at the project headquarters near Pantensie in the Baviaanskloof.
A public and private initiative by NGO Living Lands, the South African government, insurance companies and water users in Port Elizabeth is restoring the main water catchment for the city with indigenous carbon-sequestrating trees and helping to alleviate the problems of climate change.
Hundreds of thousands of hectares of the Baviaanskloof have been restored by planting spekboom, the anchor species of the subtropical thicket.
Hundreds of thousands of hectares of the Baviaanskloof have been restored by planting spekboom, the anchor species of the subtropical thicket.
Planting spekboom creates thousans of jobs in the area for communities.  Unemployment in the region is almost 50% or more, so these jobs are a lifeline for communities.
Planting spekboom creates thousands of jobs in the area for communities. Unemployment in the region is almost 50% or more, so these jobs are a lifeline for communities.

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