As a result of increased agricultural activity brought about by the expansion of the wine industry, the biodiversity of the floral kingdom is under threat in the Cape Winelands. A conservation programme by the WWF is now helping to ensure that wine farms decrease their impact on the environment.
Wine farmers in the Cape Winelands are increasingly turning to alternative farming methods, which are helping to preserve the two global biodiversity hotspots in the region.
About 95% of South Africa’s wines are produced in the Cape Winelands, which is in the Cape Floral Kingdom and includes the Succulent Karoo biome. Unesco has recognised it as one of the world’s six floral kingdoms and it is the smallest and most diverse plant kingdom.
But as the wine industry expands, currently contributing R55-billion to the GDP, increased agricultural productivity has brought about a disturbance to the region, threatening its biodiversity.
The agricultural sector, through increased production, is also notorious for its contribution to the climate crisis, contributing about 17% of global emissions.
Now a conservation programme by the WWF seeks to ensure that wine farms decrease their strain on the environment and produce wine in harmony with nature and its needs.