Conservation

Climate crisis: our pledge, your invitation

Please join us in the fight for climate health. Take the step with us and plant a spekboom.

Boplaas has always been conservation-minded. Now we’ve stepped up our drive and pledged to establish one million plants of the Portulacaria afra succulent variety – commonly known as the spekboom – before 2025.

The world is at a tipping point and we should do everything in our power to avoid a global climate catastrophe. The spekboom that is indigenous to the Klein Karoo area is a carbon miracle worker. Spekboom, for the amount of water it uses, is the most efficient carbon sequester in the world.

The humble spekboom can gobble up between 4 and 10 tons of carbon per hectare per year. But it needs our help. According to the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, the world currently produces 1 331 tons/sec CO2.

Our goal at Boplaas is to escalate plantation of the spekboom through strategic partnerships and as a wider aim to spread awareness. We want to encourage its cultivation in private gardens, on estates and on farms.

It’s not an impossible task – the spekboom is great at adapting to its surroundings and can flourish almost anywhere. It makes wonderful hedges and beautiful shrubs; and, can be planted in fields, flowerbeds and pots.

Boplaas has over 2 200 hectares of veld under conservation where the variety occurs naturally. In addition to planting more, this project will actively distribute spekboom cuttings from our Calitzdorp farm and our wine tasting room in Klein Brak River on the Garden Route.

We will also distribute information on how further cuttings can be made and the best way to plant them. The spekboom requires very little maintenance and can survive with only the most minimal amounts of water.

If we can get 1 000 people to plant 100 plants, that’s 100 000 spekboom shrubs helping us fight global climate change.

The Klein Karoo is amongst the most diverse and fragile biospheres in South Africa and uniquely home to the confluence of three distinct biomes: fynbos, Karoo succulent and thicket. The fynbos and Karoo succulent biomes are globally recognized as biodiversity hotspots, harbouring endemic and endangered species of fauna and flora found nowhere else on the planet. The unique diversity of this area is underlined by the fact that more species of fauna are found in a 120 km radius of Calitzdorp than in the whole of Europe.

Thirty years ago Carel realised that ‘it is only a matter of time before people will be paid to plant trees.’ This vision was the motivation for the establishment of the the Rooiberg Conservancy and the rehabilitation of almost 2 200 ha of veld.

Bountifully populated by the hardy spekboom (Portulacaria afra), one of the planet’s most efficient carbon sequestrating plants, the conservation of this piece of natural veld ensures that all Boplaas’ farming activities are carbon negative.

Boplaas is also proud to be a part of the ongoing research of the Cape Leopard Trust on the elusive Cape leopards, which occur in the Rooiberg and Swartberg mountain ranges. At the last count 23 individuals have been spotted in the Calitzdorp area, including females with cubs and juveniles.

With such a rich fauna and flora, we invite visitors to come and enjoy the incredible scenery, while being mindful of the fragility of our area, including the tortoises which cross the R62.

Member of the Biodiversity & wine initiative (BWI)

Go to www.wwf.org.za for more information

Cape Leopard Trust

Cape Nature

Calculation of the Carbon Sequestration:

Total = 2223 ha

1005 ha = Valley Thicket

750 ha = Arid Thicket

4t/ha/yr for Valley Thicket

2t/ha/yr for Arid Thicket

1005(4) + 750(2) = 5520t/C/year

5520t/C/yr for Spekboom (Portulecarie afra) only.

Research from: Mills, A.J., and Cowling, R.M. 2006 Rate of Carbon Sequestration at Two Thicket Restoration Sites in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Restoration Ecology 14 (1):38-49