Biosphere History

The community of the Lowveld region selected UNESCO’s MaB Programme and the biosphere framework for the following reasons:

The region has 2 of South Africa’s flagship conservation areas (Kruger national Park and the Blyde River Canyon), exceptional biodiversity and endemism, a diverse human population and diversity of land use practices (agriculture, forestry, mining etc).

Taking these factors, as well as the increased pressure on resources into cognizance, it was believed a framework was required to help ensure the sustainable conservation of the natural resources for all members of the broader community.   This framework has to take the people of the natural environment into consideration.

Once all of the above characterises were listed, investigations began by all involved to find a suitable pre-designed framework, that could assist in the promotion of sustainable development in the region.  It was UNESCO’s MaB Program that was found to be the most suitable framework for all the above listed reasons as it allows for focus on both the conservation of biodiversity together with Sustainable Development, thus allowing for Economic Growth and Development while still performing the vital functions of conservation.