Donut. or Do naught at Fynbos Forum 2017

14 November 2017

mediumFrom 31 July to 3 August 2017, the Fynbos Forum affiliation of researchers, planners, managers, landowners, students, interns and stakeholders convened at the Swellendam Showgrounds for the annual Fynbos Forum. The forum serves as a means to discuss management issues and research results, and formulate priorities for future research and conservation management actions required to ensure the conservation and sustainability of fynbos ecosystems. To achieve this goal the Fynbos Forum undertakes to assess biological resources, ensure institutional capacity and consider socio-economic issues.

The theme of this year’s Fynbos Forum was ‘Donut. or Do naught’ with the aim of addressing the issues of sustainability by looking at the past in order to understand and anticipate the future. The event was set in motion with a keynote address from Prof. Richard Cowling, which focused on coastal adaptation in the Cape flora. Prof. Cowling spoke in depth about coastal resources and coastal beneficiation that he described as the ‘ecological theatre of the lowlands’.

‘We are only seeing a snippet of what is at play.’ Role players, human survival, coastal flora, discovery of new species at dune landscapes, as well as the differences of fynbos coastal and fynbos non-coastal environments were presented.

This year’s Fynbos Forum attracted 125 delegates who were spoilt for choice through a variety fieldtrip options to Haarwegskloof Nature Reserve (Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust), Suurbraak Meentgrond (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers and CapeNature), Tradouw Pass to see the Critically Endangered Barrydale Redfin (CapeNature) and an overview of the big Tradouw Mountain Fire (Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association).

Themed presentation sessions included: diversity and co-existence, aliens, fire, pathogens, ecological restoration, sustainable use and cultivation, climate change, the Knysna Fire, planning and management, and citizen science.

Prizes were awarded to Johan van Biljon (best presentation) with runner-up Louise Matschke, Keir Lynch (best poster) and Marike Louw (best student presentation) with runner-up Kristen Nolting.

A new Fynbos Forum Committee was elected to serve for the next year. The members are:

Nicky Allsopp

Shahieda Davids

Carly Cowell

Bongani Mnisi

Karen Esler

Rupert Koopman

Mashudu Nndanduleni

Tony Marshall

Kerry Maree

Donald Matjuda

Tessa Oliver

Marlene Laros

Stuart Hall

Martina Treurnicht

Jasper Slingsby

Julia Wood

Amanda Young-Hayes

Secretariat: Kay Montgomery

For more information on the Fynbos Forum, send an email to Get social with the Fynbos Forum at Fynbos Forum Facebook Page

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