About the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Our Domain

The GCBR is located in the southern part of South Africa, across parts of the Western, Southern and Eastern Cape. It is an incredibly unique place in that it is the only area in the world where three global biodiversity hotspots converge: the Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Maputoland-Tongoland-Albany hotspots.

On the 9th June 2015 UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) approved the designation of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) as South Africa’s 7th, and largest biosphere reserve – at 3 187 893 hectares!

Furthermore, UNESCO approved the serial extension of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (CFRPA) World Heritage Site  within the domain, which added to formally protected areas as part of the CFRPA World Heritage Site.

The GCBR is characterised by high endemism of plant species, which means they occur nowhere else on earth. At least 670 of the approximately 5,000 plant species present are endemic to the Biosphere Reserve. Even the arid inland portion of the region is rich in endemic species, with at least 400 of the 3,200 plant species restricted to the Biosphere Reserve. They are, in other words, irreplaceable: if we lose them they are gone, forever. It is simply impossible to overestimate the importance of our region’s biodiversity – for us and for the rest of the world. It is one of the key reasons why UNESCO has declared this area as an international Biosphere Reserve.

Who we are

The GCBR is a non-profit company registered in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973) as an association incorporated not for gain to manage the Biosphere Reserve in terms of the requirements of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.

The GCBR is a membership organisation governed by an elected non-executive board of directors. A lean management team is responsible for direction, strategy implementation and day to day operations. Project leaders are appointed on a project-by-project basis, coupled with partnerships as a preferred way of delivering on the ground.

How we work

The GCBR’s organisational culture and methods of working are characterised by the principle of enabling and informing others:

  • Partnerships and networks with champions across the domain: inter alia local action and youth groups, innovative farmers and associations, non-governmental organisations, faiths such as church groups;
  • Active mobilisation, hosting and facilitating multiple stakeholders to work together for ecological sustainability: stakeholders include business, government, communities, educational establishments, foundations, farmers, para-statals, corporates, associations; and
  • Influencing public opinion, perceptions and behaviours with special attention to the youth and tomorrow’s leaders.

The GCBR is a membership organisation governed by an elected non-executive board of directors. A lean management team is responsible for direction, strategy implementation and day to day operations. Project leaders are appointed on a project-by-project basis, coupled with partnerships as a preferred way of delivering on the ground.

How we are funded

At present, the GCBR largely depends on donor financing for its operations. Much thought has gone into the organisation’s long-term sustainability, and a core principle of our strategy is to become financially self-reliant in terms of our core costs. Gouritz Enterprises Pty Ltd, a for-profit company, was registered in 2016 with the GCBR as its sole shareholder. The intention of this vehicle is to develop business opportunities from which surplus can be derived. Profits will be paid to the GCBR to build up an unrestricted fund to further support delivering on the GCBR’s mandate.

In this way, we envision the GCBR’s evolution as a social enterprise with two connected hubs. One, the GCBR non-profit, delivers on the ground, actively learning, sharing and functioning as a node in wider, multiple networks. The other – Gouritz Enterprises Pty Ltd – will operate on commercial lines generating profits to be reinvested and deployed towards meeting the GCBR’s core costs.

Our Board & Supporting Team

Meet our awesome team.  Get in touch.

Ken Coetzee - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve Chairman

Ken Coetzee
Chairman

Chris Horsley - Vice Chairman - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Chris Horsley
Vice Chairman

Hendrik Visser - Director - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Hendrik Visser
Director

Louis H Jordaan - Director - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Louis Jordaan
Director

Clement Cupido - Director - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Clement Cupido
Director

Chris Henshilwood - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Chris Henshilwood
Ambassador for Archaeology

Steve Du Toit - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Steve Du Toit
Chief
Executive

Wendy Crane - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Wendy Crane
Program
Development

Andre Britz - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

André Britz
Project Manager:
Jobs 4 Carbon & Enviromental Clubs

Ina Scholtz - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Ina Scholtz
Support Staff for Jobs 4 Carbon Landowner Engagement

Mike Zondagh - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Mike Zondagh
Local Authorities Project Manager

Rita Liebenberg - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Rita Liebenberg
Project Manager: Goukou Resilient River

Kezia Botes - Board - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Kezia Botes
Restoration
Specialist

Marinda van As - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Marinda van As
General
Administrator

Karin Coetzee - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Karin Coetzee
Financial
Administrator

Luami Zondagh - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Luami Zondagh
Learning &
Evaluation

Alyson Horsley - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Alyson Horsley
Media, Marketing & Communications

Renic Du Toit - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Nikki Du Toit
Social Media Marketing & Multimedia Design

Riette van der Walt - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Riette Error
Web Development & Multimedia Design

Susan Botha - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Susan Botha
Implementing Partner:
WaterWise Ways

Myles Mander - Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve

Myles Mander
Implementing Partner: Eden Resilience Initiative; Gouritz Ecological Corridors Project

GCBR Domain Maps & Facts

GCBR Location in South Africa

GCBR Location in South Africa

Total terrestrial and marine surface area (ha)

GCBR Clusters

GCBR Clusters

Plant Species (Approximately)

of which

are endemic

GCBR Domain Details

GCBR Domain Details

Core Zone (ha)

Buffer Area (ha)

Transition Area (ha)