In 2012, Greenpop began a collaboration with the Platbos Conservation Trust to begin the long-term process of reforestation. Our efforts are focused in the pockets of alien vegetation that have penetrated the borders of the original forest. By combining alien vegetation clearing with a proactive planting regime, the project aims to bolster the original forest and stimulate and accelerate the regrowth of the original forest. We plant a combination of pioneer and apex species in dense clusters to allow them the opportunity to shade out and out-compete the invasive seed bank in the planting sites. Our monitoring surveys show that the vast majority of the trees are surviving and becoming established.

About the Platbos Forest

A rare botanical gem in the crown of South Africa’s natural assets — Platbos is home to a world of ancient tree specimens (many of which are over 1000 years old) creating a habitat for a biodiverse array of fauna and flora — from critically endangered leopard toads to mysterious bushbuck, from twirling ferns, velvety mosses and lichens to bryophytes of every shade of green — and has been considered a botanical marvel and mystery by historians and botanists alike.

In addition, the vegetation surrounding this precious hidden forest comprises limestone fynbos (an endangered ecosystem of immense floral biodiversity) and coastal thickets – making this multi-ecotype area incredibly unique.  Unfortunately, over the last 100 years, unsustainable land-use practices have resulted in large tracts of the forest ecosystem being denuded and clear-cut for timber, the cultivation of potatoes and livestock grazing. Today, these fields are a mass of alien vegetation, which poses a serious fire threat to the last remaining remnants of indigenous forest still intact.

Reforestation Aims

The Platbos Reforestation Project aims to:

  1. Clear the alien vegetation under-story that poses a fire threat to the forest.
  2. Reforest the cleared area with endemic forest trees such as Milkwoods, Wild Olives, Pock Ironwoods and Bladder Nuts.
  3. Restore the indigenous forest canopy, the biodiversity that this supports and, in turn, the vital ecosystem services that this forest system provides.

The most recent monitoring data for this project, collected in 2017, are encouraging. Data show that cover of indigenous species is increasing, the amount of open area decreasing and the cover of alien species is being maintained at below <10%. As such, we can say that the aims for this reforestation project are indeed being fulfilled.

Making Reforestation Fun

In order to plant thousands of trees in the Platbos Forest annually, Greenpop created the Reforest Fest!

The Reforest Fest is Africa’s largest annual reforestation festival. Each March, we bring people together in the Platbos Forest to plant thousands of trees, dance to live local bands, learn with sustainability leaders, camp under the stars, and be inspired by positive collective action.

Check out the Reforest Fest:



“Platbos is uniquely special and should at all cost be conserved and protected for future generations.” 

Professor Eugene Moll

Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.

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