Terragrn to regenerate up to 200 000 ha of unused land in Mpumalanga

1st November 2022 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Climate-smart multinational Terragrn plans to turn up to 200 000 ha of unused land in coal mining-centred Mpumalanga, South Africa, into a $2-billion sustainable land management agroforestry project over the next ten years.

Terragrn’s vision is to deliver community-centric, nature-based solutions that provide sustainability, jobs, food security and alternative power solutions that will drive an energy transition in the country and, ultimately, further afield into other parts of Africa.

The overall solution in Mpumalanga is said to fulfil all the requirements in terms of climate resilience, community empowerment and economic growth.

This is being achieved through a model that consists of an integrated agroforestry system designed with commercialised plants to assist in growing and harvesting sustainable, non-invasive bamboo, as well as a productive food forest – both of which are expected to considerably boost the conservation of the local natural habitat.

The $2-billion impact investment will take place through multi-phased financing, over ten years, aligned with the forest’s development and expansion.

The time is right for a significant project like this in Mpumalanga, where the pressure is mounting for the province, and South Africa, to diversify energy supply with renewables, and pave the way for a future beyond coal, Terragrn posits.

“Because Africa's biggest problems of poverty, climate, food- and energy-insecurity are interconnected, we realised that it was essential to ensure that our model was designed to limit the worst effects across all of these in a holistic way, while driving positive change and opening the door to exciting growth opportunities.

“Part of these growth opportunities, of course, means that community involvement is key. In addition to the wide-ranging challenges being addressed through the project, it is important to note that the socio-economic benefits for the local community are vast – more than 50 000 jobs will be created over the next ten years,” CEO Sundar Bharadwaj says.