International Plant Appreciation Day – 13 April

green plant varieties and running water

International Plant Appreciation Day – 13 April

Contributed by Tshegofatjo Mashedi, Senior Consultant in our Mine Rehabilitation & Closure department

International Plant Appreciation Day is held on 13 April every year, putting focus on plants and their significance.

Globally, Plant Appreciation Day is celebrated by participating in some of the following activities:

  • Visiting a botanical garden.
  • Embarking on a nature walk.
  • Sowing a few plants (veggies, flowers, developing a gardening).
  • Researching indigenous plants to expand your knowledge base.
  • Attending webinars or workshops that are centralised around plants.

Plants play a pivotal role in our lives and ecosystems, offering a wide array of benefits beyond their roles in oxygen production, food sources, and providing shelter for humans and animals.

Some additional benefits of plants include:

  • Water purification through wetlands and other riparian vegetation such as, but not limited to trees, shrubs, grasses, and forbs. These vegetation types are adapted to wet or moist conditions and play critical roles in stabilising banks, filtering pollutants, providing habitat for wildlife, and enhancing overall ecosystem health (Mitsch and Gosselink, 2015).
  • Carbon sequestration refers to the long-term capture and storage of carbon dioxide to mitigate or defer global warming and climate change (Lal, 2004). Therefore, practices like afforestation and reforestation contribute to efficient carbon storage.
  • Medicinal value due to how most medicines emanate from plants. Traditional medicine systems worldwide rely heavily on plant-based remedies for treating various ailments and diseases.
  • Air purification through the absorption of pollutants subsequently improves the air quality of an area (Nowak et al., 2014).
  • Soil Conservation because plant roots anchor the soil, therefore reducing potential erosion caused by wind and water. They also contribute organic matter to the soil, improving its structure and fertility.

The abovementioned points lead to the nexus between plants with mine closure and rehabilitation. Thus, the following list presents the linkages between how plants are crucial for mine and closure rehabilitation:

  • Revegetation and restoring indigenous plant communities to mining areas that were previously disturbed.
  • Plants are used during mine closure and rehabilitation to promote the stabilisation of the footprints that were previously disturbed, erosion prevention, habitat restoration for animals and water quality improvement.
  • Potential eco-tourism opportunities associated post-closure land uses.

The points above reveal how plants play an important role in mine closure and rehabilitation.

By celebrating plants and their significance in restoration efforts, more information on how to conserve plants is spread and also practices like reforestation and afforestation are introduced to communities, furthermore, contributing to sustainable environments for future generations.

Shangoni’s commitment to mine closure and rehabilitation

Shangoni has established a specialised team committed to delivering mine closure and rehabilitation services, encompassing a range of imperative activities and strategies essential for responsible environmental management in the mining industry. Our dedicated team offers expertise in mine closure planning, financial provision, and the development of rehabilitation plans and strategies tailored to meet regulatory requirements and ensure sustainable post-mining land use:

  • Mine Closure Planning: Our team collaborates closely with mining companies to develop comprehensive mine closure plans that outline the steps and procedures necessary to safely and effectively close mining operations. These plans consider environmental, social, and economic factors, addressing closure objectives, timelines, and post-closure land use scenarios (ICMM, 2019). In addition to the mine closure plans, detailed execution plans are developed to illustrate exactly how to effectively implement the closure plan.
  • Financial Provisioning: We assist clients in establishing financial provisions for mine closure and rehabilitation activities, ensuring that adequate funds are set aside throughout the mining lifecycle to cover closure costs and environmental liabilities. This involves financial modelling, risk assessment, and compliance with regulatory requirements such as the Financial Provisioning Regulations, 2015 (as amended) and other international guidelines.
  • Rehabilitation Plans and Strategies: Shangoni’s experts design tailored rehabilitation plans and strategies focused on restoring disturbed landscapes and ecosystems to a pre-mining or improved condition. Our approach integrates ecological principles, stakeholder engagement, and adaptive management strategies to achieve long-term environmental and socio-economic benefits (EPA, 2020). The rehabilitation plans include actions, rehabilitation criteria, procedures and processes followed to ensure sustainable post-closure land use.

In conclusion, the services that are provided by the mine closure and rehabilitation division at Shangoni aid in the protection of the environment and highlight that without plants, mine closure and decommissioning would not be implemented.

Therefore, kindly join Shangoni in celebrating International Plant Appreciation Day.