Biodiversity and Ecosystems 

Plantations meet a World Heritage Site

Rhinos and elephants now roam alongside commercial plantations, after Mondi and SiyaQhubeka Forests (SQF) helped to protect and restore one of South Africa’s most important wetland areas. The project transformed a long history of the dispute between forestry operations and environmentalists into a successful partnership.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is the last remaining coastal wilderness in South Africa, vital for conservation and a popular tourist destination. In 1999 it was designated a World Heritage Site for its rich biodiversity, unique ecosystems and natural beauty.  

Mondi-SQF worked with the government, environmental NGOs and the park authority to determine which areas were suitable for commercial plantations, and which should be returned to their natural state. As a result, 9,000 hectares of plantations with significant potential conservation value, half of them belonging to Mondi, were transferred to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.



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