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South Africa’s landscape is one of the most diverse in the world. Its Cape Floral Kingdom (or the Cape Floristic Region), is one of only six floral kingdoms in the world. The ecosystem supports 9,600 recorded plant species. 70 per cent of them are found nowhere else on the planet.
Many of the critical habitats of the Cape Flora (including lowland Fynbos, succulent Karoo and Renosterveld) are severely threatened by human development pressures on land. Ploughing of land for agriculture (arable, dairy farms) and conversion for viniculture and other industries endanger the unique plants and animals that rely on Cape Flora habitats.
Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) work in South Africa is focused on the Cape Floral Kingdom. We are developing and applying tools that will help our local partners increase the area of land under effective conservation management. These tools will range from land purchase or legal designation, to packages of incentives derived from the sustainable use of biodiversity.
South African-based organisation ResourceAfrica is in the vanguard of the new generation of charities in southern Africa that focus on the linkages between conservation and rural development. ResourceAfrica is currently active in raising awareness of environmental issues through community theatre and in the field of community adaptation to climate change. FFI aims to support the group in its work, both in community-based initiatives in South Africa and more widely throughout the continent.
FFI’s partner, the Flower Valley Conservation Trust, works to protect the fynbos, the most botanically rich habitat on Earth, located at the southern-most tip of South Africa. Together, we continue to develop and extend a financially and ecologically sustainable programme of conservation based on the marketing of wild fynbos flowers around the world, including Marks & Spencer in the UK and Pick & Pay supermarket in South Africa. FFI is also supporting the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, which aims to conserve the Agulhas Plain landscape through securing privately-owned land under sustainable land management and other innovative activities.
Who is Flower Valley Conservation Trust? Flower Valley Conservation Trust operates in the heart of the threatened Cape Floral Kingdom. In 1999, Flower Valley farm, found close to the most southerly tip of Africa where the Trust is based, was threatened by plans to plant vineyards. That would have led to many hectares of invaluable fynbos, the local indigenous vegetation, being lost. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) intervened – and with the help of the Arcadia Fund, bought the land,…Read more