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A New C·I·B Working for Water Partnership

"Partnerships of this kind are exactly what are required to reduce the rates and impacts of biological invasions in South Africa" says C·I·B director, Prof. Steven Chown, of the long-term research agreement recently signed by Working for Water (WfW) and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (C·I·B). The agreement is designed to improve the effectiveness of the alien plant clearing operations of WfW in freshwater catchment areas. This is best done by integrating a range of tools to control or halt the spread of invasive alien species, while at the same time developing strategies to prevent the introduction or establishment of new populations.

The new research programme will address the integrated management of alien invasive species by carrying out targeted applied research. For example, researchers and postgraduate students will use genetic techniques to identify the source of South African invasive plant populations, or will employ ecological techniques to compare the biodiversity impacts of different alien clearing methods on freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.

A key component of the programme is the training of postgraduate students (particularly at the doctoral level) and the development of short courses on the ecology and management of invasive species for environmental managers in government agencies.

At the signing of the collaborative agreement between the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (C·I·B) and Working for Water (WfW) were (front) Ms. Mandisa Mangqalaza (Director: Working for Water), Prof. Dave Richardson (Deputy Director: Science Strategy, C·I·B), (back) Dr. John Wilson (Post-Doctoral Associate, C·I·B), and Ms. Sarah Davies (Deputy Director: Operations, C·I·B).