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Van Wyksdorp - Klein Karoo South Africa | 2013 (1)

Publication Date : 2013-09-05
Author/s : Vernon Gibbs-Halls

The Premier of the Documentary - "It's Everybody's Business"

The premier of the film “It’s everybody’s business” – a documentary about the importance of water in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo took place in Mossel Bay on Friday 30th August. Sponsored by Pieter Coetzee of Assegaaybosch Nature Reserve and the Hessequa Municipality, the 40 minute long documentary was  produced for the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve to highlight the importance of water in our region.

“One of the aims of the film is to inform everyone who lives in the region about the reserve,” said Willem Botha, the chairman of the board of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve Not-for-profit Company.621 biosphere reserves have been established in 117 countries under the ‘Man and the Biosphere Programme’ of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).Biosphere reserves exist to promote sustainable development through combining local community efforts with sound science.The South African Government has formally nominated the Gouritz Cluster for biosphere reserve status.

The region comprises the coastal area from the Breede River to the Great Brak River, and the interior area from Montagu in the west to Prince Albert in the north, and Uniondale in the east. “This is a region of incredible diversity in terms of its indigenous vegetation, birds and animals, and in terms of its cultural significance,” said Mr. Botha. “It’s a region that’s in a unique position to fulfill UNESCO’s vision of reconciling the conservation of biological diversity and economic development through partnerships between people and nature.”However, Mr. Botha warned that it has now become vital to initiate numerous, concerted projects to protect the natural environment in order to defend its capacity to sustain all forms of life. Biodiversity is defined as the variety of life in a particular habitat.

The concept of the biodiversity hotspot – which in turn is defined as an area of significant biodiversity that is threatened by human activities – was introduced by the British environmentalist Norman Myers in articles published in The Environmentalist in 1988 and 1990. More recently, Dr. Meyers and others refined the concept to describe a region which boasts at least 1,500 endemic species of plants, but which has lost at least 70% of this vegetation to human activities. (Endemics are plants which grow in one region, and nowhere else in the world.)According to Wikipedia, “Around the world, 25 areas qualify under this definition, with nine other possible candidates.

These sites support nearly 60% of the world’s plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species, with a very high share of endemic species.”In the documentary, we’re told that the Western Cape is home to three biodiversity hotspots – fynbos, succulent Karoo, and subtropical thicket – and that the primary aim of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve is to save them from further damage by promoting economic development opportunities on a sustainable basis.“South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region, as it’s known, has around 9,500 recorded plant species spread over the three hotspots.

“Botanists call this the world’s hottest hotspot.”Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve board member Fred Orban, who also serves on the board of Mossel Bay Tourism, pointed out that the various towns and villages of the region form important components of the biosphere reserve. “Human beings are very much a part of the chain and the cycle of nature, and one of the important aims of the biosphere reserve concept is to examine and learn how we can conserve natural systems by co-existing with them. “To put it simply: it is possible to develop our communities and improve people’s lives while still treating our natural resources with care and respect,” he said.“We’ve initiated discussions with the Municipality of Mossel Bay in the hope that the town will take a lead in this regard – especially since it’s the largest human settlement in the region.” Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm said that her organisation fully supports the initiative. 

“The natural environment is the biggest draw-card for tourism in the area, and we’re fully committed to protecting it both because of its intrinsic value, and because it is the figurative goose that lays our industry’s golden egg,” she said. 


Citation :

COPYRIGHT | | Klein Karoo | South Africa

Animalia, phylum Arthropoda
class Insecta
order Lepidoptera
Heterocera Rhopalocera
Hesperioidea Hedyloidea Papilionoidea
Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae
Author : James Smith
Photography : Dean Jones
Video : Malcolm Johnson
Copyright John Smith


ingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and order Lepidoptera. Generally, the order Lepidoptera is broken down into two sub-orders: Heterocera (the “varied-antennaed” moths) and the “club-antennaed” Rhopalocera, the sub-order to which the butterflies belong. The Rhopalocera sub-order includes 3 superfamilies: The true butterfly superfamily contains 5 families of butterflies: Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae.

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