PROJECTS

Jobs for Carbon

Objective

To improve ecosystem health and resilience in the Little Karoo and restore severely degraded thicket by planting spekboom.

Jobs for Carbon

Location

Vanwyksdorp

Project Period

2014 - 2021

Partnership

WESSA, RRRG/Rhodes University (pilot phase)

About the initiative:

Spekboom is an iconic plant that used to dominate large parts of our region. Unfortunately, Spekboom thicket areas have been badly degraded through overgrazing and erosion, resulting in loss of veld productivity, loss of jobs and destruction of valuable biodiversity.

Jobs for Carbon was established in 2014 in Vanwyksdorp and consistently continues its work to meet the project’s objective and to expand the area of restoration. It rehabilitates degraded veld by planting spekboom back into the landscape where it used to occur naturally.

The project stimulates veld improvement, environmental restoration and rural employment. Spekboom is also exceptionally good at capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it in the soil, and is thus a great asset in the fight against climate change.

The initial phase (2014-2016) of this programme was supported by the European Union.

Activities undertaken and deliverables:

  • Scientific mapping of degraded Spekboom thicket areas
  • Carbon baseline assessments on all active restoration sites
  • Active restoration areas replanted with Spekboom: Total 490 Ha
    • Phase1: 187 Ha
    • Phase 2: 53 Ha
    • Phase 3: 250 Ha
  • Passive restoration areas under stock exclusion regime: Total 1,649 Ha
    • Phase 1: 1,072 Ha
    • Phase 2: 222 Ha
    • Phase 3: 400 Ha
  • Skills development and employment of previously unemployed people: Total 72 people
    • Phase 1: 60 people
    • Phase 2: 24 people (existing)
    • Phase 3: 36 people (including one new restoration team of 12)
  • New restoration methodologies tested, to guide future restoration actions

Unlocking a Spekboom Economy in the Klein Karoo

Location

Klein Karoo

Project Period

2015 - 2018

About the initiative:

This was a capacity building project to support a semi-structured learning programme for the Jobs for Carbon management team about land restoration practices, the carbon economy and carbon market opportunities associated with land restoration. It explored potential institutional and financial models for spekboom-based carbon trading that could unlock revenue from carbon sequestered by Jobs for Carbon.

Activities undertaken and deliverables:

  • Three learning workshops involving landowners, professionals and practitioners
  • Three learning exchange visits in Eastern and Western Cape
  • Publication of a technical report on carbon economy systems and opportunities
  • Assessment of feasibility, costs, risks and benefits of spekboom-based carbon trading by GCBR
  • Jobs for Carbon Project Identification Note lodged with the South African carbon registry Credible Carbon

#Spekkies Enterprise Development

Location

Vanwyksdorp

Project Period

2016 - 2017

About the initiative:

This initiative was created to sustain the jobs created through the initial Jobs for Carbon restoration project. It provided support and opportunities for new grassroots entrepreneurs and promoted climate change awareness through the sale of potted spekboom. The value-added product, #spekkies, is a sustainably sourced spekboom cutting presented in a biodegradable pot (compot).

Activities undertaken and deliverables:

  • Micro-MBA course completed by three beneficiaries (business modelling, pricing, costing, marketing)
  • Practical training course (5 days) in compot manufacture by two beneficiaries
  • Development of business plan and social media outreach (website, Facebook page, Instagram)
  • Manufacture, marketing and sale of #spekkies (>3,000 plants sold since the project’s inception)

 

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