KwaZulu-Natal property developer, Devmco Group, had undertaken to plant 1600 Warburgia Salutaris, otherwise known as Pepper-bark tree or Isibaha, in support of Arbour Week from 1 – 7 September, in conjunction with the Grow Sibaya initiative. As the Sibaya Coastal Precinct’s most prominent property developer, Devmco Group has made significant investment into the precinct, and in partnership with SAPPI, had to planting this endangered species of tree.
Charles Thompson, Director of Devmco Group says, “Sibaya is underpinned by a strong sustainability ethos which is active and ongoing. It is our responsibility to take an active role in the sustainability and conservation efforts of this precinct if we are to make a success of it, and have it exist in perpetuity for generations to come. Part of what makes Sibaya so attractive is the surrounding natural beauty, and that it is accessible to all who live or visit this precinct. Sibaya would not be what it is today without these natural assets, and we as developers have to do all we can to uphold this; so entrenching ourselves in such incredible initiatives just makes sense.”
The Pepper-bark tree is a tropical forest tree found in dune and riverine forests and occurs naturally in the North-eastern parts of KZN, especially along coastal areas. The tree is native to this region and suited to the climate which means it’s not detrimental to other tree species and plant life. This evergreen species has been planted at key locations throughout the precinct, which will also grow into the lush, green aesthetic that has guided the sensitive design of Sibaya.
Thompson continues, “We invited the public to get involved with this initiative; educated people through social media drives on our goals of this initiative, and also to give them the opportunity to be involved, first-hand, with planting the trees during the first week of September.”
Pepper-bark Tree (Warburgia Salutaris) were assessed as endangered in 1998 because of its limited distribution and low abundance in Southern Africa. It is a great all-round plant, which naturally aids in the rehabilitation and restoration of any disturbed landscapes, and best known for the way it attracts the bees and butterflies.
“It’s about the chance to help the environment. We are particularly proud to be part of this national Pepper-bark Tree (Warburgia Salutaris) conservation programme that was initiated by SANPARK in the Kruger National Park about 10 years ago. It is a programme that is supported by ARC and SANBI,” ends Thompson.