Managing for biodiversity

Managing for biodiversity

Sappi owns and leases 390,000 hectares (ha) of land of which 255,000 ha is planted and all of which is FSC-certified. The remaining 135,000 ha is maintained by Sappi Forests to conserve the natural habitat and biodiversity found there.

Our strategic approach

Our strategies for managing biodiversity include:

  • Managing natural vegetation according to best practice in terms of burning, grazing and weed control to ensure healthy habitats.
  • Ongoing assessment and monitoring of veld condition.
  • Protection of sites from poaching, illegal medicinal plant collection and overgrazing.
  • Participation in the national stewardship programme through which we have seven declared nature reserves.
  • Identification, monitoring and maintenance of 166 Important Conservation Areas (ICAs).
  • Long-term integrated weed management plans on all our plantations. Invasive alien plants (IAPs) are widely considered as a major threat to biodiversity, human livelihoods and economic development. Currently, there are 379 species of plants list as IAPs in South Africa. As a result of their high diversity and far-reaching distribution, they are extremely difficult to control. We combat weeds by implementing weed control programmes, managing natural areas to maintain healthy vegetation (weeds generally spread into disturbed poorly managed areas) and reducing sources and avenues of seed dispersal.

There are seven nature reserves and 166 Important Conservation Areas on our land.