SMC Synergy is assisting DFFE to capture Knysna fire restoration in the WOCAT Knowledge database
SMC Synergy is assisting the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment (DFFE) to capture restoration projects implemented after the destructive fires around Knysna during 2017 in the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technology (WOCAT) database ( Sediment retention fibre rolls and erosion blankets were introduced to stabilise slopes after vegetation was destroyed by fires. The Knysna fires were the worst wildfire disaster in South African history (more than 21 000 ha affected - destroying > 800 buildings, 5000 ha of forest plantations and claiming the lives of seven people). The lack of vegetation cover on steep sandy slopes in the fire affected areas posed an immediate danger of erosion and landslides to downstream catchments, ravines and man-made infrastructure. It is estimated that 53 km of wood fibre rolls (or sausages) and 54 000 m² erosion blankets (wood-wool fibre filled) have been installed - hydro-seeding has also been introduced with annual teff grass (Eragrostis tef) to serve as an interim soil stabiliser. This will be replaced by indigenous plant growth in time. The restoration projects were funded by the NRM Programme of DFFE. Mr. Japie Buckle from Hive Carbon (preciously from DFFE) is assisting with the capturing of information in the knowledge database.