Tree apocalypse looms in the face of policy paralysis

You thought the corruption in SARS was bad? You should see what’s happening to our trees. A tiny beetle – the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) – threatens to kills trees across the country, just like it decimated the old English oaks of Knysna. Not only the trees in your garden, and lining our streets, but in national parks and on farms. Too small to notice until it’s too late, this indiscriminating killer has already devastated green belts in California and avocado plantations in Israel. Despite learning lessons from these cases, national and regional stakeholders in South Africa are spinning in their efforts to respond to the crisis. We need clear policy and decisive action. The clock is ticking.