No more tree-felling in Tokai Forest, rules court

The Cape Town High Court has ruled that forestry company Mountain To Ocean (MTO) and Sanparks must stop cutting trees in the Tokai Forest.

Parkscape, a community-based environmental group in Tokai, says SanParks has previously been unwilling to engage with community on the matter.

The felling of the trees in the Tokai Forest started last year August but the activity was halted when Parkspace took the matter to court.

Dozens of angry locals protested against the plan, claiming SanParks had gone against the Tokai Cecilia Management Framework, a document signed in 2006.

Parkscape's Nicky Schmidt says they secured a comprehensive win, with costs, and that Sanparks will now be legally obliged to consult with them.

Judge Patrick Gamble handed down the judgement on Wednesday.

Schmidt explains that the groups says biggest concern has been for shaded recreation and public participation.

Our vision goes way beyond saving trees. It's a project about balance, biodiversity, shaded recreation and meeting the need of the community; their health and well-being.

Nicky Schmidt, chair of Parkscape

She describes the remaining landscape in various sections of the forest and plans going forward.

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