Nyani Quarmyne/Panos Pictures

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Daybreak over a high-angle tree clearing team's campsite in a remote montane catchment area that feeds the Theewaterskloof dam. The teams are deployed on two-week rotations and operate at height in dangerous and remote locations, using ropes and climbing harnesses to reach cliff faces and other difficult-to-access locations which they clear of invasive non-indigenous tree species such as pines and wattles. According to environmental NGO The Nature Conservancy, invasive non-indigenous trees outcompete endemic shrubs (fynbos vegetation), elevate the risk of fire, and consume approximately 20% more water per hectare than the native vegetation. This latter factor contributes significantly to the Greater Cape Town Region's water challenges, such the 2018 drought. The Nature Conservancy as part of the Greater Cape Town Water Fund public-private partnership has embarked on a 30 year project to clear invasive trees from 54,300 hectares of the metropolitan area's watersheds, restore the native vegetation, and prevent the invasive species from reestablishing themselves. The business case for the project indicates that by 2025 this should be yielding water savings of 55 billion litres per year, or the equivalent of two month's supply for the greater metropolitan area, which has a population of approximately 4.8 million people.

Part of story
Object Name
Nyani Quarmyne/Panos Pictures
Cape Town, Western Cape
South Africa
Max size
High Resolution
5000 x 3333 pixels
42.33 x 28.22 cm (300 dpi)
16.67 x 11.11 inch (300 dpi)
4.5 MB size on disk
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