Hartenbos “Kersmark”

Mossel Bay

Gouritz Biosphere Reserve

Mossel Bay’s history is unique and was pivotal to the development of the rest of South Africa.
The first economic transaction in South Africa took place here along with several other “firsts” that changed the history of South Africa … forever

On the southern edge of Africa lies a place all humans can call “home” – the place where almost 200 000 years ago our earliest modern ancestors began their journey across Africa and the world. This place is located in the heart of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR). Registered as a non-profit company, the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve organisation is a citizens’ initiative dedicated to the conservation of our region’s biodiversity, tied to socioeconomic development for the wellbeing of its peoples. UNESCO has recently designated the region as a place of major biodiversity significance for the planet.

The GCBR is an incredibly special area which is of global importance.

On the 9th June 2015 UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) finally approved the designation of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) as South Africa’s 7th   biosphere reserve!

The GCBR was established in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973) as an association incorporated not for gain to manage the biosphere reserve in terms of the requirements of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.

Furthermore, UNESCO approved the serial extension of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (CFRPA) World Heritage Siteon the 3rd July 2015. In 2004 eight Protected Areas (including the Cederberg Wilderness Area, Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area, Table Mountain National Park, Boland Mountain Complex, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Swartberg Complex, Baviaanskloof Complex and BoosmansbosWildernis Area) were approved by UNESCO as the CFRPA World Heritage Site. Together with the latter three sites, the GCBR now includes 18 formally protected areas as part of the CFRPA World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Sites are areas recognised as being of Outstanding Universal Value and are proclaimed in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act, 1999 (Act 49 of 1999).

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