Research and Conservation

NVT plays a pivotal role in research, conservation and community education along the Garden Route which informs inclusive management of the local area and the greater Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR). The organisation strives to promote sustainable connectivity between people and nature – always firmly grounded in sound scientific research.

At the end of 2011, the NVT board identified a gap in research capacity in the region and made a bold move to become a major role player in conducting ecological research in the region, with the aim of providing high quality scientific data in order to guide conservation and management efforts in this biodiversity-rich region. The NVT has set up research partnerships with South African National Parks (SANParks)CapeNatureBirdLife Plettenberg Bay and several national and international universities. The Trust’s scientific staff runs long-term ecological monitoring projects that enable a better understanding of the environment and the different habitats, as well as the impact people have on them. The data collected from these research projects is fed directly to local conservation authorities, supporting them in their efforts to ensure the long-term ecological integrity of the area and assisting in managing the sustainable use of the ecosystem services.

The NVT currently runs five programmes: a coastal programme, an estuary and river programme, a fynbos programme, a forest programme and an urban programme. A sixth programme (the marine programme) has temporarily been suspended due to a lack of available expertise and capacity. Nevertheless, the Trust has engaged several higher education institutions with a view to initiating a research programme with the objective to propose a sustainable marine spatial development and management plan. It is envisaged that this programme will focus on aspects such as acoustics, ski-boat fishing, reef monitoring, fish tagging, and plastic ingestion by marine taxa, sustainable marine tourism (seals), pelagic fish biomass surveys and biodiversity records, etc.

The tabs to your left give a brief introduction to each of our current research projects. Visit our Facebook and blog pages for more in depth articles on each one of them – we update Facebook several times a week, and post new blogs at least twice a month.

Conservation in Action

The NVT has a reputation for ensuring that development occurring in the area is done ethically, legally, and responsibly. We see ourselves as an organisation that helps protect the long term ecological integrity, beauty and wildness that Nature's Valley is world renowned for.

Community Engagement

We partner with several local communities in terms of environmental awareness initiatives, community cleanup events, and community re-greening programs. By resourcing, assisting and educating local communities, we put conservation issues at the forefront of sustainable community development, which is where it should be.

Conservation Education

Our conservation education staff use curriculum based initiatives to reach over 5000 community members each year, making this one of the biggest environmental education initiatives in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa.