Engaging and supporting one’s local surrounding community forms an integral part of a business’s commitment to social responsibility. Community involvement can take many forms, and SIZA members have shown significant advancement within this requirement. When it comes to the environment and your surroundings, it is a no brainer to take care of your surroundings because of the interconnected nature of ecosystems. The availability of water will, for example, not only benefit you as an agri-business owner, but neighbouring farms and communities can also reap the benefits of sustainable biodiversity management.
By restoring ecosystem services and focusing on sustainable farming methods, SIZA drives an initiative to establish a culture where agri-business owners can become environmental gatekeepers by ensuring healthy ecosystems and thriving biodiversity. This, in turn, helps support the diminishing South African natural life and focuses not only on the single site where management practices are implemented, but also on neighbouring landscapes, towns, and generations to come.
Management of biodiversity ensures healthy and growing wildlife, and it also protects the well-being of an entire functioning ecosystem for everyone around it. Biodiversity management makes you a custodian of the environment, and a caretaker of your neighbour, because healthy biodiversity benefits all.
The SIZA platform details “Best Practices” that can assist farmers in being proactive in the quest of being a good neighbour and in contributing to the community in a positive manner:
- Clearing of invasive species on riverbeds and wetlands reaching further than the borders of your farm.
- Maintaining a healthy bee population and ensuring that extermination of bees is exchanged for relocation.
- Ensuring that fencing allows wildlife to move freely to ensure the growth of critically endangered species.
- The establishment of natural areas on and around farms
Becoming a custodian of the environment starts in your own “backyard” and spreads like wildfire to benefit all.