- Andrew Jackson

I was recently given the opportunity to present the preliminary results of my research at the second annual conference of the Land Rehabilitation Society of Southern Africa (LaRSSA). As it was my first time presenting at a conference I was both excited and nervous. Fortunately I had the support of the staff and students of the SRU and NMMU’s School of Natural Resource Management who all gave excellent feedback and helped to improve my presentation during an informal presentation session.


The conference was held at Glenburn Lodge on the outskirts of Randburg. The beautiful bushveld setting was enhanced by a veld fire making the sunset of the first evening of the conference spectacular. There were many interesting conversations about the issues of Land Rehabilitation and conservation in general which were made all the more edifying by the accumulative knowledge and experience of the participants. There were two days of parallel presentation sessions focusing on the current state of Land Rehabilitation in Southern Africa. Although there was a diverse range of topics the presentations focused mostly on Land Rehabilitation in the mining sector. The attendees and presenters were an assortment of Land Rehabilitation stakeholders from various sectors including mining, agriculture, academia, regulators and conservation.

I presented on my Masters research with the title: "Microcatchments effectiveness at enhancing transplant survival in Nama-Karoo riparian ecosystem restoration". I was honored to receive the prize for ‘best student input’. Conclusions of the conference include the importance of establishing and reaching consensus on norms and standards in the Land Rehabilitation sector as well as the importance of innovative management techniques for novel ecosystems.