Boplaas is one of South Africa’s leaders in the implementation of sustainable solutions to tackle the climate change issue and reduce environmental damage. This project lies close to the hearts of the Nel family; thirty years ago Carel stated that it is only a question of time before people will be paid to plant trees.
Much of the rare succulent flora of the Little Karoo has been lost due to the devastating effects of ostrich farming. The past ten years Boplaas is busy with rehabilitation of the 2223ha of veldt that they own around Calitzdorp. When Boplaas received ownership of the property, the veldt was in poor condition, due to overgrazing of animals. Today there are big improvements in the quality of the veldt. Succulent species are highly prized by collectors and are threatened by illegal collection and trade. Boplaas appointed a man to patrol the area continuously to protect the succulent species.
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According to, Jan Vlok – Plant Specialist: “The Little Karoo vegetation has been terribly neglected over all the decades.” We need to contribute in protecting our beautiful surroundings, that is why Boplaas started with the “Champions of Nature” campaign. The Succulent Karoo Biome, of which the Little Karoo forms part, is internationally recognised as one of the top 26 areas in the world regarding its biological diversity.
The Central Little Karoo lies in the valley between the Langeberg and Swartberg mountain ranges in the south of the Succulent Karoo hotspot.
The Succulent Karoo Hotspot is a truly extraordinary global biodiversity treasure. With over 6000 plant species, 250 species of birds, 78 species of mammals, 132 species of reptiles and amphibians it is the world’s most diverse arid environment. 40% of these species are endemic and 92 Red Listed.
Succulents are a strange and unusual collection of plants. Many different species look as alike it is almost impossible to tell them apart. They thrive in seemingly barren soil they often mimic their environment for disguise. They swell up during the rains and then produce magnificent flowers only to drop their seeds and then shrivel down to size to withstand the next dry cycle.
Portulecarie afra, locally known as spekboom, is one of the many succulents that are found around Calitzdorp and is one of the most efficient plants that sequestrated carbon. According to Mills study done in South Africa the lost of carbon as a result of degradation in the succulent thicket was 4t/ha/yr.