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      Biosphere Reserve Information

South Africa


  General Description   The Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve is located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa approximately 40 km east of Cape Town. The Biosphere Reserve extends from the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve in the south, northwards along the Cape Fold Belt Mountain Chain and the adjoining valleys constituting the Cape Winelands. The Biosphere Reserve incorporates key portions of the registered Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site.

The Biosphere Reserve is characterised by a mosaic of diverse ecosystems and physiographic environments, and a gradation of land-uses and human settlement patterns associated with the world-renowned Cape Winelands viticultural landscape. The area includes an array of historic towns, hamlets and farmsteads, which are home to approximately 320 024 people.

Main economic activities in the area include agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, forestry, real estate, and business services. Agriculture forms the backbone of the economy with most of the other sectors being dependent on its strong backward and forward linkages.

The key management focal areas of the Biosphere Reserve include:
coordination of conservation activities with the focus on protection of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Site and its associated ecosystems;
provision of a sustained flow of high-quality water to adjoining regions (including the Cape West Coast) and the City of Cape Town; and
promotion of sustainable development in order to alleviate poverty and inequality.
  Major ecosystem type   Cape Floral Kingdom incorporating Mountain Fynbos and Renosterveld.
  Major habitats & land cover types   Endangered vegetation types, including Mountain and Sand Plain Fynbos; various types of Renosterveld (e.g. Central Mountain Renosterveld, South and South-West Coast Renosterveld), and Little Succulent Karoo.
Diversity of topographic features including a key portion of the Cape Fold Mountains, valleys and open plains, and a unique cultural landscape characterised by vineyards, pastures, wheat fields, commercial plantations, and a built environment characterised by the distinctive Cape Dutch architectural vernacular.
  Location   33 18 0.19 to 34 9 2.12 South; 18 42 29.93 to 19 29 5.99 East
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   322,030
  Core area(s)   99,459
  Buffer zone(s)   133,844
  Transition area(s) when given   88,727
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   20 m to 1 860 m.
  Year designated   2007
  Administrative authorities   Cape Winelands District Municipality, in association with: Stellenbosch Municipality Drakenstein Municipality Breede River Municipality Witzenberg Municipality Theewaterskloof Muncipality Western Cape Nature Conservation Board (operating as CapeNature)
  Brief description   Land-Care Program - Department of Agriculture.
Stewardship Program - CapeNature.
Biodiversity and Wine Initiative supported by, amongst others, the IUCN, CAPE (Cape Action for People and the Environment), Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund, WWF-SA, Botanical Society of South Africa, Conservation International, and the South African Biodiversity Institute.
Development of a seed germination database for Cape Fynbos species with horticultural potential - South African National Biodiversity Institute.
Working for Water & Working on Fire Initiatives - Department of Water Affairs.
Raptor Research Program - Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town
Promotion of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the Cape Floristic Region - Cape Action Plan for the Environment (C.A.P.E.), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Studies on all aspects of invasion biology in the Western Cape and South Africa fire ecology, biodiversity management, community ecology, etc. - Centre of Excellence for
Invasion Biology, University of Stellenbosch
Numerous projects undertaken by CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research).
Numerous projects undertaken by Sustainability Institute of University of Stellenbosch.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, air quality, air temperature, climate, drought, erosion, geology, geomorphology, geophysics, global change, groundwater, habitat, hydrology, indicators, meteorology, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, nutrients, pollution, pollutants, siltation/sedimentation, soil, topography.
  Biodiversity   Afforestation/Reforestation, alien/invasive/exotic/introduced species, amphibians, biodiversity, biogeography, biology, biotechnology, birds, breeding/reproduction, community studies/communities, conservation, degraded areas, ecology, ecosystem assessment, ecotone, endemic species, evapotranspiration, evolutionary studies/palaeoecology/evolution, fauna, fishes, flora, freshwater/inland water, fungi, genetic resources, genetically modified organisms/gmo, home gardens, indicators, invertebrates/insects/spiders, lichens, mammals, mediterranean type/scherophyll, methodologies, microorganisms, migrating populations/migration, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, mountain and highland systems, natural medicinal products, natural resources, pests/diseases, phenology, phytosociology/succession, plants, pollination, population genetics/population dynamics, productivity, rare/endangered/threatened species, reintroduction, reptiles, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, species inventorying/inventory, taxonomy, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, anthropological studies/anthropology, aquaculture/mariculture, archaeology/paleontology, bioprospecting, capacity building, control and monitoring of illegal activities, cottage industry/artisanal industry, cultural aspects, demography, economic studies, economically important species, energy production systems/alternative energy, firewood cutting/harvesting, forestry, human health, human migration/population exodus, indicators of sustainability, indigenous people, industry, livelihood measures, livestock and related impacts/overgrazing, local participation, micro-credits, modelling, monitoring methodologies, natural hazards, people-nature relations/man/nature, poverty, quality economies, recreation, resource use, role of women/gender, sacred sites, small business initiatives, social/socio-economic aspects, stakeholders' interests, tourism, transport.
  Integrated monitoring   Biogeochemistry, carrying capacity/sustainability, conflict, ecosystem approach, education and public awareness, environmental change, environmental quality, geographic information system/gis, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, indicators, infrastructure, institutional and legal aspects, integrated studies/interdisciplinaty, interdisciplinary studies, land use/land cover, landscape inventorying/monitoring, management issues, mapping, modelling, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation, policy issues, remote sensing, rural systems, sustainable development/sustainable use, transboundary/transfrontiers, urban systems/towns/cities, watershed studies/monitoring.
  Contact address    Executive Mayor
PO Box 100, Stellenbosch
7599 Western Cape Province
South Africa
  Telephone   (27.23) 348 2301
  Fax   (27.23) 342 6768

Last updated: 26/11/2007

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