Local conservation professionals attending the Working for Water New Approach Towards Invasive Plant Management on Private Land.
C·I·B core team members Prof Karen Esler (Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, SU) and Dr. Heidi
Prozesky (Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, SU) co-hosted a workshop to discuss Working for Water’s (WFW) new approach to
managing alien plant invasions on private land. Participants included a diverse group of local conservation professionals experienced in
invasion management and affiliated to organisations such as WFW, LandCare, CapeNature, CSIR, SanParks, the City of Cape Town, Agulhas Flower
Valley Association, the Department of Agriculture, and the Botanical Society of South Africa. The workshop formed part of a larger
multi-stakeholder assessment of incentives and barriers to invasive plant management on private land in the Western Cape. Dr’s Esler and
Prozesky are collaborating with Lauren Urgenson, a PhD candidate from the University of Washington, USA, visiting under a US National Science
Foundation Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) grant to conduct this research.
Private land-user involvement has been identified as a limiting factor in the long-term management of alien invasive plants
throughout South Africa. Without broad land-user support, invasive plants persist on the landscape and continuously re-invade cleared areas.
WFW’s policy will combine a novel suite of incentives and disincentives to promote sustained land-user responsibility and management of
invasions. This approach requires a major shift in the rights, roles, and responsibilities of both land-users and the management agencies
working with them. Enhanced understanding of stakeholder perspectives is therefore critical to effective policy development and
The multi-stakeholder research project will use a combination of workshops, personal interviews, and e-mail surveys to
collect data on the perspectives of local experts, private land-users, and WFW managers towards WFW’s new approach. Study results will
provide valuable monitoring information to feed back into policy development. The study will also serve as a case study to evaluate the use
of incentives and disincentives to promote alien invasive plant management on private land. The April 1st workshop proved itself to be a
highly informative initial step for all involved in this project.