World Nature Conservation Day is an annual event taking place on July 28, which amplifies the message about needing to preserve a healthy environment, as well as natural resources, to maintain a stable and healthy society for not only us, but also for the generations to come.
Nature is under threat due to clearing of land for agriculture and human settlements. In this process valuable ecosystems and ecosystem services which include provisioning services, such as water and food, regulating services such as flood attenuation, pest control and pollination, supporting services, such as nutrient cycling and cultural services, such as recreation, spiritual and cultural benefits are lost; these are the very systems that humans depend on for survival and economic development. World Nature Conservation Day alerts us of the importance of conserving the biodiversity of our natural systems. This also implies conserving the well-being of humans, who are an intrinsic part of nature.
The Zero Carbon Charge farm stall and charging station collaboration will be a first for SA.
The dynamic team of hardworking individuals strive to contribute to a healthier future by implementing a network of fast charging EV stations. These charging stations will be amongst all major routes in South Africa. In some cases it will be a charging station built alongside a already well established farm stall, like Dassiesfontein on the N2, while other sites will be a complete built of off-grid, self sustaining Zero Carbon Charge farm stall and charging station.
One of the established network partners with a already well-known farm stall, Dassiesfontein, will soon be home to one of the off-grid ZeroCC charging stations. At Dassiesfontein, a brownfields site altered by agriculture, we intend to reintroduce some of the original Renosterveld bulbs. The Renosterveld garden will be accessible to walk through, with places to sit, while the cars are charging. Renosterveld is part of the Fynbos biome, which used to be here and is regarded as one of the richest ecosystems in the world due to its diverse selection of bulbs.
This will be an effort to bring back a small part of the plant diversity, which was originally growing here, considering how much of this fynbos biome has been lost. According to Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (ORCT), ‘Not only has Renosterveld been altered by management, but it has also been severely fragmented for agricultural development. The result is that over 95% has been irreversibly converted to croplands, rendering what remains of this vegetation type in urgent need of conservation attention. Despite these incredibly high levels of threat, Renosterveld has retained an extraordinary diversity and the ORCT was instrumental in discovering six new species in 2012 (Otholobium curtisiae, Polhillia curtisiae, Ficinia overbergensis, Aspalathus quartzicola, Hesperantha kiaratayloriae, and Aspalathus microlithica). These discoveries, along with the countless records of rare, endemic, and threatened species are testament to the importance and biodiversity value of this overlooked and under-valued habitat.’
In line with World Nature Conservation Day, Zero Carbon Charge will, through its landscape interventions, aim to bring back some of this biodiversity through the re-introduction of diversity of bulbs and other plants originally from the area.
Biodiversity is an important building block for healthy ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems are then, in turn, more resilient to change and disturbances. The healthier the ecosystems around us are, the healthier we are as humans, being an integral part of nature. Humans exist in nature and are part of nature.