National Invasive Species Week: 07 - 11 October 2019
Invasive species pose a threat not only to South Africa’s biological diversity, but also to water security, the ecological functioning of natural systems and the productive use of land. The undesirable impact of these species on the country’s economy is estimated in the hundreds of billions of Rands, and the impact is rapidly increasing. Government deployed different interventions through Working for Water Programme and collaborations with other organisations in an effort to ensure management and containment of invasive species.
The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) has embarked on numerous awareness interventions aimed at making people aware of invasive species and their negative impacts. The need for advocacy interventions is confirmed by the 1st Status Report on monitoring biological invasion in South Africa which recommends that there is a need to strengthen advocacy and communication across all relevant government departments and institutions for a common message on the impacts of biological invasions.
As part of the awareness interventions, DEFF will be launching the National Invasive Species Week (NISW) 2019 scheduled for the week of October 7th – 11th of October 2019, which highlights the ongoing government campaign aimed at encouraging everyone to contribute positively towards the management of invasive species in South Africa. The week is marked to bring attention to the impacts, prevention, and management of invasive species.
The theme for 2019 is, “know your species” meaning know what you keep, grow and breed as it might have dire consequences to our biodiversity, economy and agriculture.
DEFF is inviting all organisations, both governmental and non-governmental to come together to raise awareness and inspire people to get involved in the management of invasive species in South Africa. There are activities planned throughout the country by DEFF and its stakeholders in different regions to facilitate the exchange of information and provide a strong, national voice on invasive species management. Together we can we fight back for our natural resources and identify solutions to invasive species matters at local, provincial and national scales.
How to get involved?
- Be plant wise, remove invasive species plants
- Report to the Department the occurrence of invasive species on your land
- Keep our water clean, avoid dumping aquariums into waterway
- Join invasive species forums in your area to get involved
- Report new or expanding or growing invasive species outbreaks to the department
- Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region
- Be pet friendly, don’t release your pets into the wild
- Get relevant permits to conduct restricted activities
- Avoid starting veldfire, as listed invasive species may exacerbate veldfire risks
- Grow indigenous plants on our properties