Symposium 1: Active Riparian Rehabilitation in the Berg and Breede River Systems, Western Cape

Organiser: Georgina & Johann Van Biljon
Date: Tuesday, 7 September

Active riparian rehabilitation is a developing field in South Africa. Much work has been done in clearing alien invasive plant species through the Working for Water Programme; however this is only the beginning, as many of the riparian rehabilitation sites on the Berg and Breede River were invaded by Eucalyptus and Acacia species resulting in a lower potential for spontaneous recovery (Holmes et al. 2020). Most of the middle reaches of the riparian systems are a mosaic of farmland with little natural vegetation intact, hence the need for active rehabilitation. Riparian ecosystems are highly dynamic and diverse ecosystems together with the high local biodiversity, making rehabilitation of these systems a challenging undertaking. 

The Berg and Breede River Riparian Rehabilitation Programme is one of the largest active riparian restoration projects occurring in South Africa at the moment and Intaba Environmental Services, together with various partners have developed a series of videos that share some key aspects relating to this work and some practical methodologies.  

This session is comprised of 6 separate videos: 

  1. Introduction to rehabilitation of the Berg and Breede River, Western Cape. Showing drone footage of rivers and degradation drivers. (20mins) Contributors: Phil Mc Lean, Prof Patricia Holmes, Dr Liz Day & Johann van Biljon.
  2. Propagation methodologies (10mins) Contributors: Johann van Biljon and Intaba staff
  3. Focus on palmiet – Prionium serratum (10mins) Contributors: Dr Alanna Rebelo, Johann van Biljon
  4. Research & trial experiments relating to riparian restoration (10mins) Contributors: Prof Karen Esler, Dr Chalene Janion,  Monique von Zitters, Georgina van Biljon.
  5. Working with the local community (10mins) Contributors: Johann van Biljon, landowners, community members & Intaba staff. 
  6. End piece, reflections. (5mins) Contributors: Prof Karen Esler, Johann van Biljon

Discussions, Q& A will occur between videos. Not all contributors will be available for the Q&A session after each video. Total time: 1hr 40mins

If you are interested in further developing your practical skill set relating to riparian rehabilitation, please book the ‘live fieldtrip’ on riparian rehabilitation in Tulbagh following the Fynbos Forum.