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We believe in sustainability
What we do
The Nuwejaars Wetland SMA is rehabilitating its
key areas and cultural features.More
Enhancing the wellbeing of all who live here is an
imperative for the SMA. More
Our tourism venture will include training for
operators and entrepreneurs. More
Production and food security is enhanced through
sustainable use of land. More
Sustainably-utilised products will prove a key
economic driver for communities here. More
By developing the SMA's infrastructure, we can
unlock the area's sustainable capital. More
The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (SMA) is an area in which 25 private landowners and local communities
work together to collectively manage our land for conservation.
Through this unique conservation model, some 46,000 hectares of often critically endangered habitat is now protected on
the Agulhas Plain - at the southernmost region of Africa. The primary goal of the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management
Area (SMA) is to protect - and use - the land included in the Special Management Area sustainably, according to triple
bottom line principles. We aim to find the balance between environmental integrity, human wellbeing and economic
efficiency within the area.
While biodiversity and wetland conservation is promoted, so too are sustainable farming practices. As such, farming and
conservation work hand in hand. Endangered plants and animals are protected. At the same time, food security from
farmland in the Nuwejaars Wetland Ecosystem is not threatened.
This collaboration between landowners and local communities is the first of its kind in South Africa. It required significant
commitments from all landowners and communities involved. All had to agree to title deed restrictions to ensure
sustainable conservation principles would be maintained. Already the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) has expressed its interest in the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (SMA), as a working
example of its Man and the Biosphere programme.
- Restore wetlands and other
often-threatened habitat through
rehabilitation and alien-clearing;
- Promote the wellbeing of all who live within
the broader area;
- Promote the sustainable use of biodiversity
products to benefit all;
- Promote diverse uses of the wetlands,
natural habitats and intensive agricultural
- Promote sustainability in all forms of
- Manage the land and manage fire;
- Address climate change;
- And encourage tourists to visit the Agulhas
Plain's unique sites.
A day in the life of a Junior Ranger. The Nuwejaars
Wetland Special Management Area (NWSMA) played host
to the Agulhas National Park Junior Rangers in July. Nine
young nature lovers and their parents visited various
NWSMA activities as part of their Junior Rangers Camp. Read more.
Buffalo and Blue Cranes
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Buffalo sale on the Agulhas Plain
Four buffalo belonging to the Nuwejaars Wetland
Special Management Area have been sold. The
Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (SMA)
reintroduced the buffalo to the Agulhas Plain for the
first time in more than 200 years. Now, with their
numbers steadily increasing, the Agulhas Plain has
once again become a source of disease-free buffalo.
The sale also marked an important occasion for
conservation-minded organisations such as the
Nuwejaars Wetland SMA. It highlighted the steps
taken towards securing a sustainable income from
biodiversity-based products, through for example