Working together to eradicate unwanted invaders

21 October 2014

Working for Water supporting the fight against alien plants - Weed Buster Day 2014

SANBI’s Lowveld National Botanical Garden together with the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Working for Water Programme joined forces for the Weed-Buster Month’s annual campaign on 16 October 2014.

Weed Buster Month is an annual campaign intended to raise awareness and increase public understanding of the problems alien plants can cause.

The Garden and the Working for Water employees came prepared with their tools and joined hands in the fight against invasive plant species in and around the Garden.

“These weeds are unwanted invasive plants that grow rapidly and cause unwanted impacts which ultimately cause a threat to biodiversity,” said SANBI Invasive Species Programme’s Mr Walter Mbatha.

Billions of rands in damage

Furthermore, he highlighted that the purpose of the day was to celebrate our rich biodiversity but most importantly to understand what invasive weeds are and how they need to be managed.

Invasive alien species cause billions of rands in damage to South Africa’s economy every year, and are the single biggest threat to the country’s biodiversity. These are plants, animals and microbes introduced from other countries, which then out-compete and push out indigenous species.

SANBI staff cutting down trees identified as alien plants - Weed Buster Day 2014

“Invasive alien plants not only use up lots of water but they take up space and are also posing a serious threat to plants like the Strelitzia and Marula,” said Mr Mashabane of the Mpumalanga Working for Water Programme.

Play your part

Invasive plants pose a direct threat not only to South Africa’s biological diversity, but also to water security, the ecological functioning of natural systems and the productive use of land. They intensify the impact of fires and floods and increase soil erosion. These plants can divert enormous amounts of water from more productive uses.

It is imperative that every single person contributes to the eradication of these alien plants if we are to maintain the extraordinary biodiversity of our country. If you have a garden at home even you can contribute by systematically removing alien plants and replacing them with suitable indigenous plants.

Visit the Invasive Species Programme’s invasive alien plant alert page for more details on invasive alien plants in South Africa.

SANBI and DEA staff ready to eradicate alien plants - Weed Buster Day 2014

For more information please contact

Sekgabo Kedijang

Lowveld National Botanical Garden

Marketing and Communications Officer

Tel: +27 (0)13 752 5531

Or

Invasive Species Programme

invasivespecies@sanbi.org.za

Tel: +27 (0)21 799 8403/4

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Comments

Submitted by Aphumelele at 30/10/2014 - 12:08
What happens if its an indiginous invasive plant do we also remove it like the acacia polycantha-uMnga?

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