Where we work

The Biodiversity and Land Use Project is being implemented in four districts and their local municipalities. These municipalities occur in global biodiversity hotspots and national biodiversity priority areas.

Biodiversity and Land Use Project map of project areaAmathole District Municipality is located on the south-eastern seaboard of South Africa. The municipality hosts high species diversity at the intersection of five different biomes. About 1.7 million people live within the municipality. The area is mostly under communal land tenure, with small-scale crop farming and open grazed livestock. Biodiversity and ecosystems are subject to pressures from spreading urbanisation, commercial agriculture and plantation forestry, overgrazing, mining, industrial activities and wind farms.

Cape Winelands District Municipality in the Western Cape is found between two globally recognised biodiversity hotspots, the Succulent Karoo and Cape Floristic Region. It has extraordinary endemism and diversity of succulent and vascular plants, invertebrate species, specialist insects, freshwater fish and birds. The municipality is home to 650 000 people. Much of South Africa's wine is produced in the area, and it is also an agricultural centre for deciduous fruits and vegetables. Overconsumption of water, damming of rivers and water pollution has compromised the ecosystem functioning in this municipality.

Ehlanzeni District Municipality is located in Mpumalanga province. Over 70% of all South Africa's vertebrates occur in this area, including a very high diversity of mammals and birds. The municipality has a population of 1.6 million. The tourism industry plays a central role in the district, with Kruger National Park as one of the major tourist destinations. Land in much of the district is the subject of prospecting or mining rights, and commercial forestry, urban and informal settlements are expanding. The municipality faces a number of challenges with regard to land ownership.

uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, falls within one of the most diverse corridors in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany hotspot. A large percentage of this district is comprised of high-yield water catchment areas, with numerous Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas. Just fewer than 1 million people live in the district, where there is mixed land use on commercial livestock farms and a strong emphasis on tourism. Extension of urban areas, major infrastructure and 'ribbon' development along the N3 corridor, are driving biodiversity loss. Water demand for the municipality and downstream users exceeds supply. 

Last updated on 10 July 2017
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