CCS Webinar: The Impacts of Industrial Timber Plantations on Environmental and Social Justice
Facilitators: Andries Motau & Danford Chibvongodze
Speaker: Philip Owen
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This webinar is a focus on the environmental impacts of timber plantations in South Africa. In Mpumalanga province, more than 600 000 hectares of prime grassland catchment has been converted to industrial monoculture. Grassland is vital to water retention and conservation, and by fragmenting and destroying the grassland biome we are jeopardising future water availability. Grassland is also incredibly biodiverse, and includes an estimated 4000 indigenous plant species, many of which have medicinal value. These need to be safeguarded.
Philip Owen is a founding member of an Environmental Pressure Group GeaSphere. His work is about raising awareness regarding the environmental and social impacts of large scale industrial timber plantations, whilst advocating for a change towards diversified ‘forestry’ models. GeaSphere is one of the founding organisations of the South African Water Caucus, a network of civil society organisations involved in the South African Water Sector. GeaSphere is also a member of networks such as the local TimberWatch Coalition and the GFC – Global Forest Coalition.