Marico has been listed as a biosphere by the United Nations Education and
Scientific Organisation (UNESCO).
The announcement of the listing was
made at the 30th International Coordinating Council (ICC) Session of the Man
and Biosphere (MAB) Programme sitting in Indonesia on Wednesday, 25 July
The announcement took place as part of the six-day sitting of UNESCOˇ¦s MAB
Programme to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of
relationships between people and their environments.
MAB combines the natural and social sciences, economics and education to
improve human livelihoods and the equitable sharing of benefits, and to
safeguard natural and managed ecosystems, thus promoting innovative
approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally
appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.
The North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development
has been on an intensive process application to ensure the listing.
Speaking during the acceptance session, Department Head, Dr Poncho Mokaila,
who was leading a South African delegation, said the road to secure the
honour was not easy.
ˇ§The public engagement process, the development of the management plan and
the compilation of the biosphere nomination dossier for the listing of the
unique freshwater system was commissioned three years ago, but we had to use
the lessons learnt from the Magaliesberg Biosphere nomination application to
our advantage and to ensure that we get our facts right away,ˇ¨ Dr Mokaila
Expressing her appreciation, Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development
MEC, Manketsi Tlhape, said the current administration had made strides in
rebranding and repositioning the province.
ˇ§This clearly reflects a society that has interpreted the vision of the
administration so well and has lived up to the expectation of the
communities,ˇ¨ Tlhape said.
Tlhape said the onus was now upon the Marico management body to ensure that
the biosphere would reach its goal of maximising conservation of the natural
environment, sustainable development, advancement of research programmes and
She also applauded and expressed gratitude to all stakeholders who supported
the listing process, including landowners and communities for their
ˇ§Initiatives within the Biosphere Reserve will be driven by the local
community and through a public participatory approach, using an integrated
management plan,ˇ¨ Tlhape indicated.
The biosphere reserve has a remarkable aquifer which is visible through the
clear, unpolluted mountain streams emanating from the area. A large majority
of dolomitic ˇ§eyesˇ¨ are located within the biosphere area.
These culminate in the formation of the Groot Marico River, which at its
source can be described as the southern-most distributary of the Limpopo
River, located on an international border.
Marico is an area of scenic beauty, unique natural features, rich natural
and cultural heritage value and significant biodiversity of interest. This
justified the need for its protection and sustainable utilisation, which led
to the listing with the MAB Programme.
ˇV Source: SAnews.gov.za