THE ORGANISATION IN A NUTSHELL
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.
By 2020, the GCBR will be (inter-)nationally recognised and respected for its balanced and effective approach to ecological sustainability and human development.
The GCBR will be experienced as an inclusive, approachable and ‘desired collaborator’ for all population groups and institutions in the domain.
Our Priority Practical Efforts
Practical work for the domain is already underway, focussing on three priority areas.
- Flagship initiatives which (at scale):
- Restore degraded landscapes while creating employment
- Convert alien biomass into economically viable products
- A suite of smaller scale (peri-)urban and rural projects to catalyse ecologically sustainable livelihoods, for example:
- Stimulate employment opportunities through development of tourism related to our scenic beauty and unique biodiversity
- Promote enterprises that contribute to ecological and socio-economic gains
- Knowledge generation and communication about innovations and practices that have a positive impact on the domain’s ecology and all its populations. Examples may include:
- Environmental education involving schools and youth
- Collaboration with (inter-)national research initiatives
- Testing new models of financing restoration at scale on privately owned degraded land
Our Ways of Working
The GCBR’s organisational culture and ways of working will be characterised by the principle of enabling and informing others.
- Partnerships and networks with champions across the domain: for example, local action and youth groups, innovative farmers and associations, non-governmental organisations, faiths such as church groups, etc.
- Active mobilization, hosting and facilitating multiple stakeholders – business, government, communities, educational establishments – to work together for ecological sustainability.
- Influencing public opinion, perceptions and behaviours, with special attention to young people and tomorrow’s leaders.