ROBBEN Island Museum was the beneficiary yesterday of 101 indigenous trees planted in honour of Nelson Mandela, who would have been 101 this year.
Konica Minolta SA, in collaboration with the NGO Food and Trees for Africa, held a tree planting ceremony for the museum’s long term vegetation management objective, which is to rehabilitate vegetation on the island to make it self sustainable by starting with the clearing of alien invasive plants.
To achieve this goal, the museum intends to plant more than 10 000 trees over the next five years.
“It is essential that we look after both the culture and diversity of Robben Island, which is a historical landmark in South Africa,” said the museum’s chief heritage officer, Pascall Taruvinga.
“The island has a sensitive ecology, and invasive species often obstruct water and cause problems, so this tree planting event is about restoring the vegetation on Robben Island with indigenous trees to create a sustainable environment of biodiversity,” he said.
Konica chief executive Marc Pillay said the company had partnered with the NGO for the past 11 years.
“We’ve enriched community spaces, while helping to offset carbon emissions and better the environment. We’re committed to returning to the island to continue this work,” he said.
Four second year horticultural students from CPUT also attended the event to plant their own indigenous tree on the iconic island.
Xolile Shange, 19, of Durban said it was important for the youth to be involved in the conservation of biodiversity. “I decided to study horticulture because I have always had a love o agricultural work,” she said.
Ongeziwe Mandla, 21, of Mfuleni in Cape Town said everyone no only environmentalists should be involved in environmental conservation and sustainability.
Cape Argus (AM Edition)
Thursday, September 19, 2019