The Pachamama Forest Retreat has taken on the custodianship and regeneration of this land, which is currently dominated by invasive trees which drain the soil of water and nutrients, preventing the growth and propagation of native indigenous trees and forest; whilst also adversely affecting the natural climate and rain cycles within the Knysna Area.
In reaction to the problems described above. The Pachamama Forest Retreat sees it as highly important to regenerate the indigenous forest and control the alien tree species. This will bring the benefits of:
- Enhancing water supply
- Reduce fire hazard, not only for the land of Pachamama Forest Retreat but also for the safety of the region
- Increase biological diversity
- Modify erosion impacts
- Job creation for the local community
In response to the recent fire, we will heighten our focus on ensuring that our firebreaks are in perfect condition: allowing for 6 meters of fire break on every border of the Pachamama Forrest Retreat. In the future, these fire breaks will be planted with indigenous trees. Because, due to their high water content, these trees don’t burn. Therefore, they function perfectly as a firebreak, whilst simultaneously enhancing indigenous plant and animal species to thrive.
We are currently working hard to establish a co-operative campaign to work together closely with the Tree Planting Companies that run the Tree Plantations in the region such as “The Precious Tree Project”. The mission is to convince them to utilise patches of indigenous forest as fire breaks. Thereby increasing the fire safety of the region, allowing for connected veins/patches of indigenous forest to growth throughout the region and regenerating 10% of the indigenous forest.
The fire has affected more than one third of the Pachamama land. This land mostly contained invasive trees such as Wattle, Eucalyptus and various species of Pine. Now that the ground has been burned, the ground is highly fertile. Recent rainfall and the Wattle seeds from all around will cause an exponential growth of invasive trees all around the land. This is contrary to the agenda of our project.
The mission at Pachamama is to use manpower over the next months to pull up the seedlings using no sprays or poisons, to gain the best result of managing invasive tree species. We will physically pull out as many of the sprouts of the non-native trees as possible and transform the land which has been affected by the fire, to be used for the growth of indigenous trees. Saplings of indigenous trees will be planted next year summer (Tree planting festival, Dec 2019). However, the fire has severely damaged our funding for the project here. We need to ask for the support and trust of our friends and followers to establish the goals of this project. Therefore, we kindly and humbly ask for any donation you can spare. This is the last indigenous forest in South Africa, we want to continue to do what we can to assist in the expansion of the Forest, we will make sure your contribution makes a difference.