Amsterdam, 12 February 2018
In anticipation of their annual ‘Goed Geld Gala’ (‘Charity Gala’) the Dutch Postcode Lottery announced, on February 9th 2018, that Commonland will be granted an EURO 1,394,000 for direct restoration of the South African Baviaanskloof landscape over the next three years.
On behalf of Commonland, co-founder Michiel de Man accepted the symbolic cheque. De Man: ‘We are enormously grateful to everyone who participates in the Dutch Postcode Lottery for making this possible: this allows us to kick-start one of the largest private nature restoration efforts in South-Africa and also functions as an impetus for accelerating the establishment of a local restoration economy.”
The Baviaanskloof is a pristine and relatively unexplored landscape of great beauty that, thanks to its exceptional biodiversity, is one of South-Africa’s largest protected natural areas. It is also part of the Port Elizabeth water catchment on which over a million people are dependent, and it is of crucial importance for agriculture and the production of food.
However, for various reasons, including climate change, large parts of the area are affected by droughts and floods and are seriously degraded. The landscape is quickly losing its natural resilience and in order to prevent natural, social and personal crisis, action is needed now.
This grant will make this possible. It will bring back millions of trees and ground cover on the bare land, contributing to not only the return of biodiversity, but also carbon capture and storage, job creation and, critical in South-Africa, improving sustainable water management. All of this is made possible by the 2.9 million players of the Dutch Postcode Lottery: half of every lottery ticket goes to charity.