Coega launches its second plant rescue initiative

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has launched its second City Sustainability Initiative through the Coega Development Foundation (CDF) in an effort to promote indigenous gardening and the support of biodiversity.

The City Sustainability Initiative puts emphasis on sharing the Coega SEZ green infrastructure approach. Prior to developing any industrial site, a representative sample of vegetation is removed for conservation purposes.

Thereafter, vegetation is made available to the public, institutions and SEZ enterprises for indigenous gardening through the Coega Plant Rescue Project.

Initiative targets schools in the vicinity of the SEZ

On Wednesday, 29 September, learners from Douglas Mbopa High School in Motherwell, Gqeberha took up the opportunity to rescue indigenous plants from a site within the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which is earmarked for development, and established an indigenous garden at their school as part of the initiative.

Graham Taylor, CDC trade facilitation manager, highlighted that the departure point for the Coega plant rescue project – focused on schools neighbouring the SEZ – is the principle that no plants may be collected from the wild.

“Indigenous plants can only be purchased from accredited nurseries or acquired through formal Plant Rescue programs such as those run by the CDF. Proof of ethical acquisition is mandatory. Secondly, we focus on common, easily grown species, within an ethnobotanical context (e.g. Portulacaria afra (Porkbush, Spekboom (Afrikaans), iGqwanitsha (Xhosa)).

Thirdly, we provide guidance on schoolyard soil health by providing an overview of the climate, geology, soils and natural processes of the Albany Thicket vegetation unit. Finally, we focus on how thicket gardens conserve water, are low maintenance and mitigate climate change,” Taylor said.

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