Wetlands, the prime filters of water, are disappearing at an alarming rate due to increased grazing and planting areas, urbanisation, pollution and climate change.
The floating islands are just one attempt to mitigate this situation.
South Africa has a large number of migrating and resident bird species which rely heavily on wetlands. The idea behind the floating bird island is to try and replace these lost habitats on farm dams, and other permanent water sources.
If this project can be rolled out on a major scale, it could have a hugely positive impact.
The islands do not only provide for birds, but for a variety of other fauna and flora.
The root systems have the capacity to clean dams and purify the water. This has proved very effective in other countries through biomimicry practices. John Todd is working with the City of Cape Town to develop systems to clean sewerage from informal settlements.
The CWBR is working in partnership with Bird Life South Africa and NCC to research and develop this process further and is working on five dams as a pilot project.