Conservation : Research

An important role that all biosphere reserves must perform is research and monitoring. The MaB programme requires that biosphere reserves participate in an international network, undertake research and exchange information. Monitoring is important as it provides the basis of measuring performance.
The KBR Strategic Management Framework will identify what research and monitoring is required in the KBR.

Conservancies are voluntary agreements between private landowners and the provincial conservation authority. Conservancies undertake to manage their environment according to sound conservation principles.

In the KBR, conservancies take two forms: conventional land tracts owned by one or a few neighbouring property owners… and the more unusual ‘urban’ conservancy.  

Motivated by a desire to protect the scenic splendour of Rooi Els and its environs, Rooi Els became the first KBR village to form an urban conservancy in March, 2004.
Pringle Bay registered their conservancy in 2005 and Betty’s Bay is following suit.

By uniting communities behind the desire to conserve, these urban conservancies can address a host of problems that typically plague human settlement areas: over-development, air, soil, noise and light pollution, illegal dumping, water wastage, waste pollution, litter, denudation of river banks, loss of wetlands, loss of indigenous flora through of exotic gardens and invader plants with the resultant loss of bird-life and wildlife, etc.

By forming urban conservancies and embracing conservation principals, these communities enjoy a more beautiful, healthy environment with the added advantages of higher property values. And, by standing united behind a common cause, conservation communities can become a voice that actively promotes or disputes any issue concerning their environment.  It is the combined co-operation of communities that form the principle of conservancy or local environmental management.  The basic definition being "The democratic environmental management of the local environment by the local and user community."

In terms of the Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance, conservancies enjoy the usual protection of fauna, flora and natural resources, which applies to all landowners.  It is up to Conservancy members to ensure that all necessary protection is applied.

Some ???? hectares of land in the KBR are now in conservancies.

Large land tract conservancies include: (list…Dr Steyn?)

Conservation Associations / NGOs
A place such beauty and the world’s greatest biodiversity naturally attracts people with a love of nature and the passion to conserve it. In addition to the conservancies there is a host of conservation orientated NGO’s and associations:  
Mission: To unify, co-ordinate and promote environmental conservation in the Overstrand. (This is the main ‘umbrella body’, set up to ensure more effective conservation management through co-ordinating the efforts of all the independent smaller bodies.)
What it does…in brief:
The OCF assembles and disseminates a host of information and practical assistance of use to its members…from new legislation, news of unsuitable developments, how to form a conservancy, etc.
On behalf of its members, it comments on proposed developments deemed to be unsuitable or unsustainable.
It promotes environmental education through activities such as the newly formed Overberg Environmental Education Forum (to join the forum, contact the OCF on 028 316 2181). It has also applied to the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) for funding for an Eco-schools project in 2006 and 2007.
It co-ordinates hands-on job-creation opportunities in eradication of alien vegetation and has just received R1, 7 million in NLDTF funding for ”KEEP”, its 90 000 ha Kleinrivier Employment and alien vegetation Eradication Project.
Structure: The OCF is a registered Non-Profit Organisation with a Management Board and full time office across the road from CapeNature in Onrus, 028 316 2181. Manager, Rob Fryer, 072 185 5726,  HYPERLINK "",  HYPERLINK ""
Membership: At the moment the OCF has some 54 member organizations mainly conservancies, private nature reserves, environmental & tourism NGO’s, ratepayer organizations and public sector agencies. Membership fees are R100 pa.

Mission: To help conserve this magnificent centre of endemism and biodiversity and its landscapes and seascapes, through championing uplifting, sustainable living in harmony with Nature.
What it does…in brief:
KOBIO was initially formed to achieve UNESCO ratified Biosphere status for the  90 000 ha area stretching from Grabouw down to the coast with a further 21 000 ha marine component along the coast from Botrivier towards Gordon’s Bay. The KBR falls under the authority of four Municipal areas, but the largest section lies within the Overstrand.
After the successful application to UNESCO, KOBIO has represented the voice of the people in the management of the Biosphere Reserve (a vital role as Biosphere Reserves are essentially a pact between officialdom and the people of the area.)  Unfortunately, as in its 9 years of existence the KBR has not had a management plan or a strong management structure, KOBIO was forced into taking on the role of “watchdog”, trying to protect the ‘buffer’ and ‘transition’ zones from unsustainable development until a management plan was in place.
Today KOBIO’s focus is moving towards getting greater community and stakeholder involvement and participation, plus promoting sustainability in both land management and social development. It wants to ensure the research, education and job-creation potential of the KBR is developed for the benefit of all.
Structure: KOBIO is a registered NPO with a management board headed by Chairman, Louis van Heerden (028) 272 9105
Membership: Individual R30 pa - Family R40 pa - Associate R60 pa - Corporate R200 pa. Quarterly newsletter. Email  HYPERLINK "" for membership application information.

The main purpose of the Society is the conservation of the natural environment (within the concept of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve) primarily within the boundaries of the former Kleinmond Municipal area, i.e. basically between the Palmiet and Bot Rivers.  What it does in brief:
-      Being represented on various advisory boards and organizations, e.g. the Spatial     Development Framework, the Overstrand Conservation Foundation and Coast Care;
-      Advising the Municipality on the management of the Kleinmond Nature Reserve;
-      Advising and assisting the Municipality with the building and maintenance of hiking  trails and walks;
-      The eradication of alien vegetation in the Kleinmond Nature Reserve;
-     Having been actively involved with the expansion of the Kleinmond Nature Reserve  to its present 800 hectares;
-   Identifying and monitoring plant species in the environment through botanically  knowledgeable members;
-      Exhibiting indigenous flowers in the library on a weekly basis;
-   Having produced and offering for sale a booklet on walks and trails in the  Kleinmond area; and
-    Holding 4-5 day exhibitions of plant, animal and marine material annually in the Library Hall and bi-annually in the Community Hall.

The Society serves its approximately 350 members through the quarterly publication of its newsletter, Fynbos, the invitation of speakers to address the membership on a wide variety of applicable subjects and the activities of its Special Interest Groups.  These are:
The Marine and Shell Group – Convenor: Ian Cushny (028 273 8589);
The Bird Study Group – Convenor: Avril Young (028 284 9181);
The Hack Group – Convenor: Gerhard van Wyk (028 271 4730); and
The Friends of the Coastal Reserve – Chairman: Peter Müller (025 271 4741).
In addition, the Society maintains a close, if informal, relationship with the Kleinmond Hiking Club – Chairman: Hettie Smit (028 271 3749).

The Society’s activities are funded out of its membership fees, small cash donations, the sale of ‘Where to Walk’ books and larger donations sought for specific projects from bodies such as the Frank Robb Trust, the Francie de Klerk Trust, the Roland and Leta Hill Trust and WWF-SA.  
Structure: The Society is a registered NPO, operates under a well-considered constitution and is managed by a committee of ten elected members and a few co-opted specialists.  The current chairman is Peter Müller (028 271 4741) and the Secretary is Henriëtte Botha (028 271 3937), P O Box 2, Kleinmond, 7195.  Enquiries on any matter can be addressed to the Chairman, Secretary or any other committee member.  New members are welcome.  Annual membership fees are R20 per individual or R30 per couple and life membership fees are R120 per individual or R150 per couple.

Mission: Raise awareness of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and the need to protect all its indigenous and endemic fauna and flora. Encourage a caring and proud custodianship of the biosphere amongst the local communities and other stakeholders.
What it does in brief:
This four-person team is dedicated to creating awareness of and interest in the Biosphere through activities such as social events, lectures, newspaper articles, pamphlets, booklets, posters, the Eco-Centre concept etc.
It has organised talks by experts on baboon management issues and produced numerous leaflets on how to live in harmony with baboons aimed at educating children, property owners and holiday-makers.
BRAG initiated and created the entire Rooi Els Eco-Centre involving the Rooi Els community.
It produces the Biosphere Bulletin (a monthly double-page spread in the Overstrand Herald community newspaper) and an electronic version distributed free by email.
Structure: The group consists of a small team of committed individuals: Dr Jenny Stark, Evette Wyers, Chris Burlock, Dr Kay Muir-Leresche.
To receive the Biosphere Bulletin: email Dr Jenny Stark  HYPERLINK ""

(Who else? Please make suggestions with contacts and I will follow up…e.g.)


BOTFRIENDS (Friends of the Botrivier Estuary and Environs)


Clearing Alien Vegetation

Assuring a supply of potable water is becoming an increasing challenge all over South Africa as urban populations continue to expand. The KBR obtains ??% of its water from the Palmiet River system.  Already heavily utilized, the Palmiet is used to fill the dams employed by ESKOM to create power for the national electrical grid, by farmers in the inland transition zone, and to provide water to villages in and near the Biosphere Reserve.  The lack of water is a factor limiting the carrying capacity of the area.  

With ??% of erven yet to be developed and ??% of homes in the KBR’s coastal villages only occupied on weekends or holiday-times, year-round water restrictions are already in place.   

Water conservation and recycling must become a priority in the KRB. Not only do we need to manage this scare resource, but is vital that everyone is motivated to make water conservation a way of life.

To meet future demands, the Overstrand Municipality has recently completed a water services management plan while investigations into alternative water resources – desalinated water, groundwater and reused water - are ongoing.

The City of Cape Town is facing even bigger problems and are looking to tap into aquifers within the KBR as a potential solution. In Texas, aquifer depletion has resulted in the virtual desertification of vast areas of natural and farm land. Ecologists are fighting this threat to tap into these ancient underground water reserves.