Efforts to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of bark stripping are continuing.
This week, section rangers from the Northern Section of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) conducted an education and awareness programme with various stakeholders to address biodiversity crimes within the park.
According to SANParks, the aim of the programme is to raise awareness and understanding of biodiversity crimes such as bark stripping within the Newlands section of the Park, and the impact it has on the natural environment. It furthermore encourages personal responsibility to mitigate and report biodiversity crimes.
This has been an ongoing challenge in the Newlands forest for years but has recently increased over the years with the tree barks being used in traditional medicines and rituals as per Newlands Forest Conservation.
“Bark stripping is the illegal harvesting of tree barks for private use by individuals or groups mainly for medicinal purposes. This has a huge impact on forest diversity as trees die a slow death due to the interruption of the nutritional transport system. SANParks rangers apply a paste to stripped trees to try and help them heal, but the survival rate is low and most bark stripped trees will rot and die,” they said.
Residents are encouraged to report bark stripping to SANParks emergency number 086 110 6417 and if you see tree that has been bark-stripped, with no brown or black sealant on, please take the GPS coordinates and report it to: [email protected]
Picture: Cape Town ETC gallery