Buffelsdraai Reforestation Project

South Africa

plus de 100 000 habitants / more than 100,000
South Africa

KwaZulu Natal

Période de réalisation de l'initiative

du 10/2009 au 11/2017

Description de l'initiative

The Project aims to alleviate climate change impacts associated with Durban hosting several 2010 FIFATM World Cup matches. Local people grow indigenous tree seedlings which they exchange for food and other goods. The role that natural ecosystems play in supporting the livelihoods and resilience of local communities, is also a key focus area. The project was validated by the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance, and achieved a Gold Standard for ensuring exceptional climate change adaptation benefits as well as for benefits to local communities and biodiversity. The project was showcased as one of the ‘Lighthouse Projects’ of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Momentum for Change Initiative.
The project has a set of objectives:
- Restoring approximately 800 hectares of locally indigenous forest. Part of this contributes to a carbon offset project for Durban’s 2010 FIFATM World Cup matches. The Project seeks to offset approximately 42,214 tons of carbon over a 20-year period, thus reducing the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The footprint of the 2010 FIFATM World Cup matches was estimated at 307,208 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).
- While offsetting CO2 emissions (climate change mitigation benefit) was a key target early on, the project continues to deliver valuable climate change adaptation benefits. The forest provides a range of ecosystem services, and helps to regulate local rainfall patterns. Ecosystem services include the enhancement of biodiversity refuges, improved water quality and river flow regulation, flood mitigation, sediment control, improved visual amenity and fire risk reduction.
- Launching a “Sustainable Livelihoods” initiative, to support local community entrepreneurs who engage in local food production.
- Providing environmental education for children and adults from local communities.
- Setting up a research partnership with the local university focusing on advancing knowledge in biodiversity conservation and management in the context of global environmental change. It ensures staff capacity building, and transdisciplinary research is used to address real-world problems.
The beneficiaries are firstly the local community members, who provide all the trees for the project, and some are employed in tasks such as digging holes and planting trees, fighting fires, and patrolling the site for undesirable activities. And secondly, 16 postgraduate research students, whose research in the field of climate change mitigation and sustainable development has been supported.
Pursuing the Indigenous Trees for Life (ITFL) initiative, developed by Wildlands Conservation Trust, allows ‘Treepreneurs’ to grow seedlings at their homesteads and then trade these for credits. The credits can be swapped for groceries, used to pay for school fees or driving lessons, or to purchase building materials. To date, over 700,000 plants and trees (consisting of over 60 species) have been planted at Buffelsdraai. To ensure ongoing socio-economic development in the area, the project mentors individuals in small business development.
The main activities carried out to date are as follows: mentoring of Treeprenuers (local communities who grow the trees) in propagation techniques, mentoring of small businesses, planting locally indigenous trees in old sugarcane lands, promoting sustainability and climate change adaptation through environmental education and outreach, research and student support.

Principaux résultats obtenus

To date, over 700,000 plants and trees (consisting of over 60 locally indigenous species) have been planted at Buffelsdraai. This is on track to offset approximately 42,214 tons of carbon.
16 postgraduate research students have been supported in doing relevant research.
An average of 60 jobs have been created each year.