Ecosystem Management Plans
We have developed ecosystem management plans for all our forestry operations in South and Russia. They help us improve the way we identify, protect, preserve, manage, and in some cases, restore functioning ecosystems and biodiversity.
Control of alien invasive species and the use of fire
Fire as a management tool:
- controls the encroachment of invasive aliens;
- contributes to fire control by reducing fuel loads;
- maintains or develops grass cover for soil and water conservation;
- creates suitable habitats for animals; and
- increases plant productivity by removing litter and improving grazing value.
Alien invasive species potentially pose a serious threat to biodiversity and water resources as woody alien invasive species consume more water than indigenous grassland vegetation, shade out indigenous fauna and flora and, if located in wetland/riparian areas, can have a significant impact on fresh water and wetland systems.
Mondi manages invasive alien plant species with dedicated conservation teams that have been trained in the identification and removal of invasive alien plant species. This work is a significant part of conservation measures to manage and maintain the habitat quality of the various ecosystems. Mondi treats over 60% of the conservation land holdings annually, with 70% maintained at a weed-free level.
Together with clearing of invasive alien plants, controlled burning is the principal tool available to Mondi’s plantation forestry management for its unplanted natural areas. The grasslands biome evolved with fire and fire is necessary to maintain the native vegetation.
Control and monitoring of pests and disease
The effects of climate change on our weather patterns are having notable impacts on the world’s forests and the forest sector through longer growing seasons, expansion of insect species ranges, and increased frequency of forest fires. These effects are more pronounced in monoculture forest plantations.
Our intensive breeding programme is based on a wide genetic base, aims to produce stronger, more robust species. We continually work to improve on our cultivation methods, and endeavour to eradicate invasive species and increase pest and disease resistance using non-harmful techniques.
Mondi is in partnership with the University of Pretoria’s Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), a world-renowned institute established in part to help the development of food and fibre crops. In 2013, FABI responded to the increasing incidence of pests and disease in our plantations with practical measures to manage the Sirex wasp and the Chalcid wasp, two pests of pine and eucalyptus, respectively.