CONSERVATION EFFORTS BY WINE INDUSTRY LAUDED

BDLive recently published an article talking about the appraisal of Environment Conservation by the South African Wine sector. The World Wide Fund for Nature has stated that it is very impressed by the Conservation efforts made by the SA Wine Industry.

Conservation efforts in South Africa’s wine industry have been so successful that the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-South Africa) feels there is no longer a need to educate SA’s wine farmers on this issue, the environmental organisation said on Monday.

From now on the WWF-South Africa is endorsing the industry’s “Sustainable Wines South Africa” seal, found on the neck of wine bottles, as indication enough that the wine estate is environmentally responsible, said WWF-South Africa agricultural programme manager Inge Kotze. This would make things easier for consumers.

The South African wine industry’s conservation efforts form one of the four major pillars of Wines of South Africa’s marketing message, said the association’s spokesman André Morgenthal. Wines of South Africa is a not-for-profit industry organisation which promotes the export of all South African wine in key international markets. The other three pillars are history, the beautiful environment and South Africa’s people and hospitality.

The fact that the country’s wine farmers, once they signed up to the WWF-South Africa biodiversity programme, were legally bound to improve and maintain conservation on their farms was a world first, he said. “We have it on paper. There are 100,000ha under vineyards, and 140,000ha under (private) conservation on wine farms,” Mr Morgenthal said.

“The WWF-South Africa initiative is very important. It played a big role in sensitising our farmers. Ten years ago the conservationists came to the industry concerned because 95% of the Cape Floral Kingdom was in private ownership,” he said.

The conservation turnaround in the Cape Winelands was “amazing”, he said. “A lot of people have invested a lot of money into the rehabilitation of the natural environment on their farms.”

Under its biodiversity and wine initiative, the WWF-South Africa has for best online casino a decade worked with farmers to raise awareness and industry support for the protection and good management of the Cape Floral Kingdom, said Ms Kotze. However, the “initial aims and objectives have been superseded with elevated levels of awareness and action to conserve and protect the natural heritage of these global diversity hotspots in the Cape winelands.”

The Cape Floristic Region is the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, and an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism. It is home to more than 9,000 plant species, of which 69% are endemic. Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome.

Ms Kotze said work with winelands farmers would continue, but focus would shift to address “issues at landscape level across catchments, conservancies and local wine regions. Many of the WWF-South Africa’s biodiversity and wine initiative members have also been expressing the desire to co-ordinate their efforts towards collective management of their environmental risks”.

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