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Old 08-09-2009, 03:11 PM   #1
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Default 150 Indigenous Yellowwood Trees Destroyed as Invasive Alien Species - Lessons From South Africa?

150 Indigenous Yellowwood Trees Destroyed as Invasive Alien Species - Lessons For South Africa?
Written by Dave Harcourt
Published on August 6th, 2009
Posted in About Environment, About Society, In Africa

150 Indigenous Yellowwood Trees Destroyed as Invasive Alien Species - Lessons For South Africa? : EcoWorldly
excerpts from above:
The destruction of 150 trees by a programme that has made real impacts on South Africa’s environment is regrettable but not really serious, until the underlying cause is questioned.
A Working for Water team destroyed some 150 yellowwood trees in March this year by chopping them down and poisoning them. The trees, in the Drakensberg near Winterton were 50 to 100 years old. This emerged in a report drafted by an environmentalist who witnessed workers cutting up yellowwood trees. On investigation he found that an entrepreneur, who had executed contracts for Working for Water over the past six years had destroyed the trees because she and her team apparently thought they were Black Wattles.

While the photographs heading this post show the significant differences between the Wattle & Yellowwood, the difference is even more evident up close. The wattle has characteristic branching leaves structure of the acacia with numerous very small leaves while the yellowwood long and often curved single leaves. So someone seems to not have been adequately trained to make this rather simple identification.
What Can Be Learnt From This?
It should be realised that even in a well established undertaking like the Working for Water Programme, which has done so much excellent work, can make errors which are a result of poor implementation. South Africans should recognise that to do things right and to do them to a high quality does not necessarily go hand in hand with low costs and short deadlines - real empowerment takes time and effort but the outputs are sustainable and effective.
The tendency of man's nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.
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