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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.
The SMA and SANParks officials met to assess ways to
work together in vegetation and game management, as
well as in joint tourism opportunities. Read more
We managed to get a close-up of Freddie's children
over the weekend - pictured here (Freddie is one of
SA's top Rau Quaggas).
Like us on Facebook for regular updates on the Nuwejaars SMA.
The Nuwejaars Wetland
Special Management Area
has a number of cameras
placed across the area. The
cameras have captured our
wildlife and birdlife at
work, from the bullying
hippos to the shy honey
badger. In particular, our
videos show what these
characters get up to at the
dead of night.
These video footage of the
hippos were taken at the
vlei where they live.