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  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Fire Application for Grassland Management

    eThekwini Municipality | Planning Unit

    ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING & CLIMATE PROTECTION DEPARTMENT

    by Bheka J. Nxele

    Biodiversity, Climate & Green Project

    Implementation Branch

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    September 2012

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity

    Ecosystem Management

    Background on Grassland Management

    Fire-managed areas within EMA (selection)

    Working on Fire Programme - IFMS (WoF)

    Training;

    IAP Control;

    Green economy;

    Local Economic Development

    Herbicide-Assist Programme

    Biocontrol trials on specific IAPs

    Emerging-weed Control (Triplaris americana)

    Indigenous invasive species (Pteridium aquilinum)

    Fire training for landowners

    Challenges faced by green projects such as WoF

    Contents

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Ecosystem Management

    Ecosyst. Serv. Areas (id, mapping, mngment agreements etc).

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    Sustainable Ecosystem Management Approach: Vital for delivery of essential life-supporting ecosystem services Should be mainstreamed into societal conscience, political thinking & economic processes

    Changing times call for mental disposition Incr. human pop demand for finite resources enviro. degradation Climate Change FEEDING THE WORLD??? = Sustainable Ecosystem Management & Equitable Governance (Munang et al. 2011)

    Facts on Human Activities: Dramatic in biod. loss; habitat destruction; incr. soil erosion; deforestation; desertification processes; soil degradation; limiting fresh water supply; changing global climate; facilitating IAS infestations etc. (Peters & Lovejoy, 1992)

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Background on Grasslands

    Grasslands dominantly constitute a herbaceous layer of a variety

    of species, including forbs.

    In savanna systems, the continuous herbaceous layer of grassland gets

    broken by woody species.

    Grasslands usually support a rich diversity of both flora and

    fauna ever-growing conservation interest (Uys & Bond).

    Grasslands (Open Savanna systems) play a crucial role in providing;

    a) grazing fields for livestock

    b) carbon storage

    c) agricultural fields,

    d) other ecosystem services

    In a nut-shell, grasslands greatly increase the ability of the land to

    support people!

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Scientific Facts on Grassland Management

    Historically, fire has been the most dominant, natural, tool employed for a

    number of reasons (moribund, manage species, control IAS etc. effective!)

    Grasslands comprise of different species respond differently to fires.

    Fire (intensity & frequency) affects different grassland species, differently.

    Whilst forbs seem to be less affected by fires, grass species composition

    remains highly susceptible to bias as a response to fire.

    Impacts on grasslands, indirectly affects both fauna and the ecosystem

    service value of a grasslands more so if the impacts are unmanaged!

    Fire-tolerant

    species

    Fire-

    intolerant

    species

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Scientific Recommendations to Grassland Management - Fire

    Understanding how grassland species respond to fire,

    is essential in

    a) applying the correct fire regime and thus

    b) sustainably managing a grassland

    Such understanding provides the basis for knowledge on.

    i) species composition and response to fire regimes

    ii) how spatial and temporal arrangement of fires affect biota and

    iii) fire-regime interactions with other processes (ecological / anthropogenic).

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Grassland Status in EMA

    KZN Vegetation Type1 Conservation Status EM3 Conservation Status SANBI

    Dry Ngongoni Veld Endangered Vulnerable

    Moist Ngongoni Veld Critically Endangered Vulnerable

    Eastern Valley Bushveld Near Threatened Least Threatened

    KZN Hinterland Thornveld Vulnerable Vulnerable

    KZN Sandstone Sourveld Critically Endangered Endangered

    North Coast Bushland Critically Endangered Endangered

    South Coast Bushland Endangered Endangered

    North Coast Grassland Critically Endangered Endangered

    South Coast Grassland Critically Endangered Endangered

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Working on Fire Project

    WoF is a South African, government-funded, multi-partner org focused on

    Integrated Fire Management and Veld & Wildfire fighting (IFMS).

    WoF specializes in control and eradication of IAS by various methods incl.

    the use of fire in winter i.o.t. enhance the sustainability and protection of

    ecosystem services and natural processes through integrated fire

    management.

    WoF contributes to the National Vision of boosting economic empowerment,

    skills development, social equity and accelerated service delivery.

    WoF currently operates in KZN as well as other provinces such as Gauteng,

    wherein in it is responsible for widespread eradication of IAS, implementing

    controlled burns and putting fire-breaks

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity WoF Project in eThekwini Municipality, contd

    Within eThekwini, WoF operates on sites strategically identified by the EPCPD (priority sites of conservation significance Syst. Cons. Plan).

    The programme focuses on,..

    a) Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs) clearing b) Application of fire-breaks and controlled burns. Current WoF team comprises of aprox. 60 members (locally based youth) one base in Pinetown (New Germany) One highly specialized High Altitude Team (HAT), work on steep area/cliff lines.

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Ecosystem Management & Co-management

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    Status quo - assessment

    Planning & Co-management

    Implementation evaluation & adaptation

    Info dissemination

    .& awareness

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Ecosystem Management, Training & Co-management

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    Fire Dept.

    IFMS & EPCPD

    2-way participation

    Site Preparation Live-fire Application

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity

    Training, contd

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    Machinery timber processing

    Coffin manufacturing

    Chainsaw handling

    Fire Application & confidence

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Health & Safety a priority for WoF!

    Human safety and avoiding

    Environmental contaminations

    form the bases of WoF principles.

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    Chemical application

    Protective gear

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Some WoF Managed Areas in eThekwini Municipality

    WoF Managed Area Area (Ha) Virginia Airport D'MOSS 18.61

    Krantzkloof Nature Reserve

    High Meadow Managed Area 17.63

    Edgecliff Managed Area 81.99

    Cliffdale Managed Area 8.28

    Assagay Managed Area 7.92

    Alfred Park Managed Area 1.02

    Crestview Managed Area 14.20

    Empisini Nature Reserve 56.44

    Giba Special Rating Area

    Monteseel 25.27

    Bluff Grasslands 8.58

    Treasure Beach Dune (St Geran) 1.33

    Hillcrest 1.19

    Forest Hills 4.53

    Cliffdale (Erf 127) 6.54

    Langefontein 1.44

    Remainder of Hamilton No. 14305 26.2

    Remainder of Tongaat (Erf 747) 1.65

    Crestview (Erf 48) 0.4

    Waterfall Farm No 978 4.6

    Total Area 287.82

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    New areas land

    acquisition

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Biocontrol Trials

    Fire Application for Grassland Management

    Over and above mechanical and chemical controls implemented,

    there are also biocontrols released.

    Biocontrol agents, sourced from the same area as IAP, are host specific.

    St. Helier strains of Cyrtobagous selviniae released for Kariba weed.

    In New Germany, hypogeococcus pungens released for The Queen of the Night.

    Normally one strain is released per IAP.

    WoF has released two strains of Hypogeococcua sp.

    WoF Programme is recognised as the 1st breeding programme in the country

    to introduce two genetically diverse strains of the same species.

    Aggressive approach to controlling the spread of an unwanted weed

  • HEADING OF SECTION OR PRESENTATION - Biodiversity Emerging weed Control

    Fire Application