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Disturbance & Restoration Ecology

Nurture, Restore Innovate (NRI) provides the leadership for this research focus within the PCU.  NRI provides guidelines for the restoration of natural vegetation impacted by mining and heavy grazing, particularly in Namaqualand.  Scientific expertise is combined with a commitment to practical application of our knowledge in restoration projects and environmental advocacy.  Through this research we have developed novel techniques that facilitate the recruitment and establishment of perennial species in the succulent karoo. Based on this knowledge, we have developed a handbook and restoration pack for restoration practitioners in the mining and agricultural sectors. Our work is also published in the international peer reviewed literature.

NRI Staff, students and a number research, business and conservation partners are involved in restoration research and implementation. In this way, the NRI provides a bridge between restoration science and practice, and specialises in the communication and sharing of knowledge in forms and language appropriate to end users.

Key objectives for the future include the training of local and regional experts who will act as restoration consultants for the mining and agricultural sectors. We plan to distribute our handbook freely amongst land-users in Namaqualand.

Large areas in Namaqualand have been degraded by centuries of cultivation and grazing and will need to be actively restored to their productive potential (Photo: M. T. Hoffman).