JOHANNESBURG, 1 December 2022 Supa Quick has sponsored the planting of 2 609 trees in the Platbos Forest Reserve in collaboration with the Greenpop Foundation. The rehabilitation of the Platbos Forest forms part of a bigger project to rehabilitate and protect unique and highly threatened forest areas in the Uilenkraal Valley close to Gansbaai in the Western Cape.
“We wanted to make a contribution to conservation in this country, and protecting this unique forest is a really worthwhile cause to support,” says Yolandi Grundeling Supa Quick Brand Manager. “We are planting 2 609 trees in 2022 because it is one for every hour that our stores are open for business in the year. This is about conserving and restoring an important ecosystem, and it represents an investment in all our futures. A renewed Platbos Forest is a powerful beacon of hope.”
Conserving and restoring ecosystems benefits the environment by promoting biodiversity—and healthy ecosystems are excellent at producing oxygen and sequestering carbon dioxide. They provide homes for animals and insects, recharge groundwater, replace soil nitrates, and prevent soil erosion, among other benefits.
Platbos Forest is a puzzle because, unlike other indigenous forest remnants, it did not retreat into moist mountain ravines to survive gradual temperature increases over the past centuries. It remains exposed to the seasonal summer winds, has no river and experiences low rainfall. What makes it unique is the mix of tree species in the forest—it does not fit into any of the existing forest categories in South Africa.
To renew and expand the forest, Greenpop and its partners actively plant indigenous seedlings harvested from the forest interior. The harvested seedlings are reared in the forest nursery and replanted two years later following a high-density planting methodology honed over the years. The methodology aims to achieve a closed canopy as soon as possible.
The 2 609 trees sponsored by Supa Quick this year were propagated and planted in this manner during the 2022 rainy season.
The active planting project is supported by ongoing efforts to remove or control alien vegetation in the area to reduce fire risk.
“In the 20-plus years the project has been in existence, we have also created a number of semi-permanent jobs in the forest restoration sector, which have revitalised local communities,” says Carla Wessels, Partnerships and Communications Manager, Greenpop Foundation. “Platbos is a unique part of South Africa’s natural heritage and, of course, plays a role in mitigating climate change.
“We could not do this work without generous sponsors like Supa Quick; 2 609 trees are a substantial addition to this forest and will make significant impact on its preservation and expansion.”