our history

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve is South Africa’s newest member of a group internationally designated as ‘UNESCO Biosphere Reserves’ – and the first in Africa to be designated as a ‘Cluster Biosphere Reserve’. These are internationally-recognized regions dedicated to sustainable development in the 21st century. While socially and environmentally different, they each face a similar challenge: How to accommodate and manage growth and development for the well-being of their human communities, while strengthening agriculture and natural resource conservation in ways that put ‘sustainability’ in practice.

The former ‘Gouritz Initiative’ is proud of its new emerging status as the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, and is busy reorganizing itself to meet these new challenges.Landscape from Rooiberg