Cape Winelands Biosphere

Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve

The Cape Town area has a unique and diverse fauna, flora and marine life found nowhere else on earth. In 2007 UNESCO declared large parts of it as a World Heritage Site that requires protection. There are enormous social, economic and ecological pressures on the Cape. It houses a huge and expanding population from very rich to very poor. Each city and town now has slums attached to it that are as big as the formal settlements. Illegal immigrants crowd into squatter camps and compete with local people for jobs. While there is much economic activity and tourism, there are also problems with unemployment, crime, social inequality, corruption, water shortages, power outages, raw sewerage draining into rivers, unauthorised building on nature reserves, environmental degradation etc. If one can find a good balance between People, Planet and Profit here, it can serve as a blueprint for sustainable development as defined in the 1987 UN Bruntland Report “Our Common Future.”

One of the non-governmental organisations trying to find a sustainable balance between nature and people, is the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve (CWBR) http://capewinelandsbiosphere.co.za This Reserve of 330.000 hectares has valuable ecosystems that require sustainable conservation and usage solutions. It was nominated by national government as a ‘living laboratory’ for testing and demonstrating the integrated use of land and water while remaining flexible and creative, involving as many stakeholders as possible. The CWBR guides and reinforces projects to enhance people’s livelihoods to build awareness, upliftment and sustainable opportunities for all who live here. This is the only way to preserve the natural resources and biodiversity of this wonderful area.

For this reason, One Planet Foundation is working with CWBR to recruit knowledge-partners, students and funding from Europe, who can help with sustainable development projects on this UNESCO site, including tree-planting, sewage prevention and treatment and environmental awareness programs. This helps CWBR gain access to solutions and financing that are not available locally. A modest amount of expertise, technology and money in European terms, can be translated into large results in the socially, economically and ecologically stressed areas of the Cape. CWBR offers opportunities for European students to help out with sustainability projects ‘on the ground’ in local communities. An overview of their activities and projects van be seen in the website link above and in this report CWDM Report

One Planet – Cape Winelands Biosphere Fund

One Planet is a tax-exempt Foundation in The Netherlands whose mission is to promote sustainability. For the Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve, we act as a pipeline for European partners to participate and invest in specific sustainability projects of the CWBR and have established a separate bank account for this purpose. All funds collected in this account go to CWBR, when CWBR calls for them. CWBR is responsible for the usage of these funds, for transparency and for reporting on spending and results achieved. The CWBR project reports will be available to partners and investors via the CWBR and One Planet websites. They can see where their money has been spent and what it has achieved.

How to participate and/or invest in a CWBR-project

    • Read up on the project and browse through CWBR  http://capewinelandsbiosphere.co.za
    • Contact CWBR markheistein@gmail.com Tel:+27-79 747 4632 to discuss your interest in becoming a student volunteer worker, expertise partner, or sponsor in time/equipment/education/money to meet the needs of specific projects.
    • You can also donate money to projects and this may be tax-deductible since One Planet Foundation and CWBR are registered tax-exempt organizations.