‘Alien exemptions contradictory’

2014-08-09 00:00

SOME plants considered invasive aliens have exemption in the Lists and Regulations on Alien Invasive Species published by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) last week.

Environmentalist Wally Menne said he considered these exemptions contradictory and, in some cases, they led to “nurseries promoting alien plants” such as the “highly invasive ‘Sheena’s Gold’ Duranta”. This plant, a cultivar of the forget-me-not tree, which appears on the list, is stated as “not listed”.

South African Nursery Association president Ryan Goodwin agreed this plant was one of several contentious plants and said that while it thrived in regions where it gets cold, it was not invasive in other areas.

Goodwin pointed out that the listings are revised and updated at regular intervals, “and plants come on and off”.

“We have a working committee that often meets with government,” he said. “But there is still a lot of work regarding the classification of plants that needs to be done on why certain plants should be listed.

“Obviously, if some plants are listed that are available in nurseries, it will have an economic impact,” said Goodwin, but emphasised that the nursery industry was committed to supporting the combating of alien invasive species and had “been part of the process for many years”.

• Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

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