Forests For Life 9: Uilenkraal Valley Restoration Project

Forests for Life is dedicated to restoring forest and woodland ecosystems, effectively manage critical catchment areas, and improving the lives of communities who rely on forest resources across Sub-Saharan Africa. In partnership with the Platbos Forest Reserve and Bodhi Khaya Retreat in the Western Cape of South Africa, the Greenpop Foundation has been reforesting and restoring Africa's southernmost forest since 2011. This work serves to restore forest habitat for many incredible species including the Cape Leopard throughout the Uilenkraal Valley.

Platbos Reserve, a relic forest with trees of over 1000 years of age, is vulnerable to runaway fires. Indigenous forests are rare and endangered ecosystems covering less than 0.05% of the Western Cape, and contain a wealth of biodiversity within its ancient embrace. The protection of the established forest, and the restoration of historically forested land back to forests, is of utmost importance in ensuring the continued survival of Africa's Southernmost Forest. Situated very close to Platbos, Bodhi Khaya Retreat has extended the work started at Platbos Forest Reserve, in order to extend the existing forest to its historical extent.

Conservation Problem Statement:

The Platbos Conservation Trust, through its Platbos Forest Restoration Project, along with the Bodhi Khaya Retreat and the Purple Plum Forest Restoration Project, aims to protect and restore the forest landscape in the Platbos Forest Reserve and its surrounds. This project includes activities to clear the alien vegetation which poses a fire threat to the forest and to reforest degraded forest patches with indigenous trees. In this way, not only is the fire risk to the forest reduced, but the forest itself, and the biodiversity it supports, is reintroduced back into the landscape.

The Platbos Forest Restoration Project has been supported by Greenpop since 2011 and over 62,000 trees have been planted through this collaboration to date.
The Purple Plum Forest Restoration Project has been supported by Greenpop since 2020 and have planted more than 14 000 indigenous trees.
The new project, FFL9, will be amalgamating the work done by these two project moving forward.

Project Outcomes:

To reforest degraded patches of indigenous forest in the Platbos Forest Reserve and areas which were historically forested throughout the valley, with seedlings from the same genetic stock as the old-growth forest.
To decrease fire risk through the clearing of alien vegetation and maintenance of an extensive fire breaks.

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