What we do
In order to achieve social and environmental sustainability, the Nuwejaars Wetland Special
Management Area must achieve economic sustainability. That means finding nature-based and
sustainable income-generating opportunities. All income made within the Special Management Area
goes into the Nuwejaars River Nature Reserve - the Section 21 Not-for-Profit company that
facilitates the implementation of the Special Management Area.
One way we've set out to achieve this is via biodiversity products: from utilising our game, to
harvesting our other natural resources. The game - translocation, breeding and marketing thereof -
will serve as a primary economic driver of the Special Management Area. The buffalo are a prime
example of this. Natural products like wildflowers and thatch will also be harvested sustainably, and
will in particular benefit local communities living within the region.
Alien plant material, too, is already being utilised for economic purposes. With funding secured from
the German government, the Nuwejaars Wetland team bought two chippers. Aliens that have been
cut are chipped, and these woods chips have been used as biodiversity products: in Eco-Log
structures in peat rehydration-wetland projects and as mulch in the place of straw.
The Special Management Area venture also bought a compost turner with funding from the German
government. Compost is now being produced for the market. It also supports our vision of
rehabilitating the SMA's soil - thereby increasing productivity and helping us to build resilience into
the agriculture of the area given the challenges created by climate change.
Other secondary industries are now also being developed, such as honey from beehives within the
Special Management Area. The more sustainable biodiversity products we can produce, the more
jobs we can create, and the more successful we will be in achieving true triple bottom line status.