+27 71 448 3496
leon@whyafrica.co.za

Growing a forest one tree at a time

Share Article
Mama Evelyn with a Yellow wood seedling. Image credit: Cape Parrot Project

Growing a forest one tree at a time

A single seed in the overworked hands of Nozibele Mphothulo can be the beginning of a forest.  

Affectionately known as “Mamma Evelyn”, she is one of the tree growers of Siyazama Nursery, an initiative established in 2017, to re-establish forests in the Hogsback area of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

The trees grown by the nursery are planted to restore the Cape Parrot’s natural habitat.

The Wild Bird Trust’s Cape Parrot Project is a registered non-profit, public benefit environmental organisation. Since 2009, the Cape Parrot Project has taken action to protect South Africa’s only endemic parrot.

Based in Hogsback, a village at the heart of the Amathole-Katberg Mountain Key Biodiversity Area in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, the Cape Parrot Project strives to link conservation with economic benefits by uplifting small, rural communities surrounding Cape Parrot forest habitat.

Becoming forest custodians (Growing a forest one tree at a time)

To increase on-the-ground forest protection, the project encourages local people to become forest custodians through the development of local livelihoods that derive benefit from healthy Afro-montane forest.

Mamma Evelyn is in her 70’s and she has lived in Sompondo community her whole life, and the neighbouring forest is home to her. Along with other growers, she collects indigenous seeds from trees in the community and forest edge, germinates the seeds and grows healthy seedlings.

Cape Parrot Project purchases the seedlings when they reach planting height. For most growers, this is their primary source of income.

Mamma Evelyn has been a true pioneer of this nursery, and along with her passion for growing trees and dedication to this initiative, she supports the other growers in every way she can. The income she receives from the tree sales has allowed her to purchase rainwater tanks for water security, fence off her food garden and support her large family.

Future food source for the Cape Parrot (Growing a forest one tree at a time)

Although Mamma Evelyn grows a diversity of tree species, Afrocarpus falcatus is her signature species and over several years, thousands of these trees have been planted in and around forest habitat, creating a future food source for the Cape Parrot.

Listed as Critically Endangered, there are fewer than 2,000 Cape Parrots (Poicephalus robustus) left in the wild, limited to forest patches in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Limpopo Province.

The parrots nest in existing tree hollows in old Yellowwood trees – South Africa’s national tree – and rely on the fruit of these trees for nutrition and survival. However, there is currently a shortage of natural nesting sites due to the scarcity of old Yellowwood trees, largely attributed to habitat degradation caused mainly by historical logging practices.

“Our goal is to achieve sustained growth in the population of this rare parrot species, and together with strategic partnerships we are working towards a total wild population of 2,500 birds within the next 10 years,” says Dr Kirsten Wimberger, Director of the Cape Parrot Project and Trustee of the Wild Bird Trust.

“The Cape Parrot’s limited habitat is under threat because of numerous human-induced factors, including over-exploitation of natural resources, the proliferation of exotic plants, including commercial forestry, and depleted groundwater supplies, which all contribute to habitat degradation and ultimately a lack of nesting sites and food for the species.

“The plan is to protect and improve Cape Parrot forest habitats, thereby halting the habitat degradation driving their decline, and providing conservation actions needed to improve population numbers.”

Growing a forest one tree at a time

ADVERTISEMENT

WhyAfrica provides on the ground information and business intelligence about the sustainable utilisation and extraction of natural resources in Africa, and can assist your company through:  

  1. Membership:
  • WhyAfrica’s membership offers great business insights to you, your company, and clients.
  • Amongst many other benefits, we will publish editorial content about you or your company on the WhyAfrica online platform and on all WhyAfrica’s social media pages – the annual fee is R6,500 and you can find out more or subscribe here: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/ 
  1. Sponsorship:
  • WhyAfrica’s Road Trip takes place annually in July and August. During our Road Trip we aim to visit more than 30 project sites. Sponsoring the Road Trip, or to be a WhyAfrica member, gives you unparalleled insight into the business environment of the countries that we travel to and the project sites we visit.
  • To be a member or sponsor allows you access to invaluable, on the ground, business intelligence and a great marketing opportunity for all companies doing business in Africa.
  • The main aim of our Road Trips is to promote Africa as an investment destination and to showcase Africa’s greatest companies, and projects to our large global audience, which includes a list of potential investors, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs.
  • To view the photos of this year’s Southern Africa Road Trip click on the gallery link or follow our Instagram account at why.africa https://www.whyafrica.co.za/road-trips/whyafrica-road-trips/. 
  1. Advertising:
  • We publish daily online articles on our WhyAfrica platform and post them on social media every day. Our combined online reach is more than 45,000. In-article banner ads are highly successful advertising tools as is advertising space on our website.
  • In addition to our bi-weekly newsletters, we publish two printed- and two interactive digital magazines per year. The printed magazines are distributed at major events and conferences throughout the year, and also on our WhyAfrica Road trips.
  • Digital magazines are e-mailed to all our subscribers and shared on our social media platforms. A copy of the latest edition is automatically attached to all our outgoing e-mails.
  • WhyAfrica magazines provide great marketing opportunities. There are also in-article and on-line advertising opportunities at exceptional rates. Contact me for more information on leon@whyafrica.co.za or give me a call.
  • To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletters and magazines click on the link and register: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/subscribe/  
  1. 4. Partnerships
  • Maximise your African exposure and link with our large business network through becoming one of only 10 WhyAfrica partners. We have only five prime partnership positions left for 2023, so contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za to get the best deal.

 Growing a forest one tree at a time

 

Share Article

Sectors

AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management