Arbor Week - Visit - Silverglen Medicinal Plants Nursery

Full photo-set from the Silverglen Medicinal Plants Nursery visit on Wednesday, 6th September in support of Arbor Week 1 – 7 September. Much thanks to Brian Abrahams and the Silverglen Nature Reserve and Nursery staff for having us over. And also much thanks for the tour and the seed germination and propagation workshop. We learnt so much. Onwards! Can't wait to visit the Nature Reserve and Nursery again ;-) 

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Press Release: Arbor Week - Visit - Silverglen Medicinal Plants Nursery 

WEDNESDAY 6TH September 2017
Start: From 10.00am - 1pm
Venue: The Silverglen Nature Reserve/ Nursery, Lakeview Drive, Chatsworth

In support of Arbor Week 1 – 7 September, the Greenpeace Durban Local Group in partnership with CitiZen Gardens & the Slow Food Youth Network have planned a visit to the Silverglen Medicinal Plants Nursery. The Nursery is situated within the Silverglen Nature Reserve. It's said to be the largest medicinal plant nursery in South Africa, and contains an extensive collection of indigenous and medicinal plants. The Silverglen Nursery is an example of an environmental initiative on the African continent that connects with themes of biodiversity. Silverglen was established in 1980, by Geoff Nichols, the then Conservation Officer of the eThekwini Parks Department, and Protus Cele, an Inyanga (herbalist) who owns a successful muthi business in Umlazi Township. Nichols and Cele joined forces to address a vital need to start to propagate rare and threatened indigenous plants that were used for healing. In 1986, they started a project called “The Silverglen Medicinal Plant Project.” [1] [2] [3]

The objective of the visit is to create awareness for the need to plant and maintain indigenous trees throughout Africa and to stop the destruction of our indigenous forests. Such as the vast forest of the Congo Basin, which is the second largest tropical rainforest on earth and the lungs of Africa. Its incredibly rich and diverse ecosystem provides food, fresh water, shelter and medicine for tens of millions of people, and is home to many critically endangered species including forest elephants, gorillas, bonobo chimpanzee and okapis. Our indigenous forests and plants plays a critical role in regulating the global climate and halting runaway climate change, for the benefit of the entire biosphere. Sadly our indigenous forest and the people and animals that depend upon it, are under threat as the unquenchable global thirst for natural resources, crops and foodstuffs means African lands are, more than ever, a target for investors. [4]

We also what to bring awareness to the issue of tree plantations being misrepresented as forests. We are deeply concerned about the use of misleading terms such as those promoted by the timber industry, the UN FAO, other UN agencies and and various national governments, to describe tree plantations. These terms, which have been derived from ‘forest’, commonly include “planted forest”, “afforestation”, “reforestation”, “forest plantation”, “plantation forest”, and “forestry”, but using them to describe large-scale industrial tree monocultures, sometimes also referred to correctly as industrial timber plantations (ITPs), is not appropriate. [5]  

Through this kind of green-washing, combined with certification by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), to make ecologically destructive tree plantations seem more acceptable to policy makers and markets, real forests are being put at greater risk of being ravaged through corporate exploitation. It's a huge concern that the bulk of Earth’s remaining indigenous forests be systematically wiped out, and then replaced with huge water-guzzling industrial plantations, with the potential introduction of GE (genetically engineered) tree species, and transgenic hybrids. [5] [6] 

Contact Person: Delwyn Pillay, Greenpeace Durban Local Group coordinator
Email: greendelwyn@gmail.com Tel: 0716218305  

References: 

[1] https://www.opengreenmap.org/greenmap/durban-ethekwini-municipality-south-africa/silverglen-nature-reserve-and-nursery

[2] http://www.ramimages.com/weec2007/WEEC2007/Silverglen%20Medicinal%20Plant%20Nursery/Silverglen%20Medicinal%20Plant%20Nursery.html

[3] https://www.sanbi.org/news/arbor-week-celebrated-1-7-september

[4] http://www.greenpeace.org/africa/en/campaigns/Forests-hub/

[5] https://plantationdefinitiondiscussion.wordpress.com/about/

[6] https://stopgetrees.org/ge-trees/