On February 18, 2024, approximately 100 ASEZ members in Pretoria, South Africa, gathered at the Klapperkop Nature Reserve to remove alien plant species known as “Pompom.”

As part of the ASEZ Green Carbon [AGC] Movement aimed at conserving terrestrial ecosystems such as trees, forests, and tropical rainforests, ASEZ members cut down the alien plant Pompom and applied poison to prevent further growth. Pompom is an invasive species belonging to the South American herb family. Due to its rapid propagation and growth rate, it poses the most significant threat to South African nature reserves by depleting water resources.

This event marked the fourth occasion of the AGC Movement at this location, following the removal of Wattle trees twice before. The Tshwane Municipality provided work tools, drinking water, and snacks to the volunteers.

Louis Geeringh, Chairperson of Klapperkop Nature Reserve expressed his gratitude, saying, “As you know, this reserve faced many challenges over the years. But you may have seen many people coming here today for a walk. Three years ago, no one came because this place was a problem. Indeed, this is the results of ASEZ’s efforts over the past three years.”

Vice-Chairperson Angelique Geeringh, who graced the occasion with her presence, said, “I want to thank ASEZ for the amazing work they have done. These flowers look beautiful, but they are very harmful to the environment. I sincerely thank the volunteers who sacrificed their Sunday morning to be here.”

Litha Olive Mda, an ASEZ member from the University of the Witwatersrand, commented, “Pompom absorbs nutrients from native plants. So I hope that by removing these plants, it will promote the growth of native plants, showcasing the beauty of the land and encouraging more people to visit.”

Through continuous cooperation between ASEZ and local authorities, Klapperkop Nature Reserve is reclaiming its beautiful landscape and gaining recognition. Through this initiative, ASEZ aims to raise citizens’ awareness about the importance of combating climate change and to establish the reserve as a popular tourist attraction in the region.

Additionally, ASEZ is also conducting the ASEZ Blue Carbon [ABC] Movement to protect marine ecosystems as part of its efforts to combat climate change as well as the AGC Movement. In pursuit of a better society, ASEZ will continue its endeavors without ceasing.