Journey to where it all began

Preserving the Magaliesberg Biosphere and developing its community for the benefit of humanity

A SPECIAL PLACE

WHAT IS THE MAGALIESBERG BIOSPHERE?

The Magaliesberg Biosphere was proclaimed an international Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO on 9 June 2015, having been recognised for its exceptional natural, cultural and human characteristics. The Magaliesberg Biosphere is owned and managed by the people who live within it, and by their elected representatives. Biospheres are demonstration sites that harness the natural and cultural assets of the area to promote socio-economic improvement for the community, and enjoyment for visitors, through the sustainable use of the natural resource.

Cedarberg Kloof, Magalliesberg
A SPECIAL SPACE

WHY THE MAGALIESBERG BIOSPHERE?

The Magaliesberg Biosphere lies at the interface of two great African biomes – the central grassland plateaux and the sub-Saharan savanna – with remnants of a third, Afromontane forest. The landscape contains species from each of these biomes and the result is an exceptionally diverse fauna and flora that has drawn naturalists and explorers to the region for the past two centuries. The biodiversity is matched by its unique human history encompassing a million-year time line from early hominids through Stone and Iron Age cultures, pre-colonial Tswana tradition and the South African Wars. In short, it is a priceless encapsulation of South African heritage and landscape and serves as a focal point for national unity and pride, that should be protected and utilised sustainably for the benefit of the biosphere community and for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

Magaliesberg Biosphere field guides enjoying a hike in the mountains
STRIKING THE BALANCE

MAN AND THE BIOSPHERE PROGRAMME

A key goal of the Magaliesberg Biosphere is the harmonious development of man and the conservation of nature. Biosphere reserves represent a global network of model regions in which sustainable forms of land-use and options for adaptation to changing ecological, economic and social conditions can be tested. The involvement and contribution of all communities whose activities, resources and wellbeing are already linked to the region, is central to the establishment and functioning of the biosphere.

All biosphere reserves are classified into three biosphere zones which show the gradation of human-environment interaction within them. The Magaliesberg Biosphere has two core zones, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and the Magaliesberg Protected Environment. These areas are mostly conservation areas, protected by legislation within the environmental legal framework of the country.

The biosphere buffer zone surrounds the core zones and also comprises informally protected areas such as nature reserves, conservancies and other areas that demonstrate biodiversity stewardship or have endorsed the biosphere concept. All other areas within the biosphere make up the transition zone, mostly the built up areas with a diversity of economic activity.

In all three zones, various strategies and guidelines are developed to manage the complexity of people, development and nature sustainably.

The biosphere buffer zone surrounds the core zones and also comprises informally protected areas such as nature reserves, conservancies and other areas that demonstrate biodiversity stewardship or have endorsed the biosphere concept. All other areas within the biosphere make up the transition zone, mostly the built up areas with a diversity of economic activity.

In all three zones, various strategies and guidelines are developed to manage the complexity of people, development and nature sustainably.

Developed and natural areas exist together within the Magaliesberg Biosphere

WHERE IS THE MAGALIESBERG BIOSPHERE?

The Magaliesberg Biosphere is 360 000 hectares, and extends approximately 120 km west to east across the boundary of the North West and Gauteng Provinces of South Africa, spanning the Magaliesberg Mountains between the cities of Rustenburg in the west and Pretoria in the east. The north-south extent is approximately 40km and is marked by the N4 Platinum Highway to the north, and the N14 Pretoria-Krugersdorp Highway to the south, which coincides with the north western boundary of Johannesburg city.             

Map of the Magaliesberg Biosphere
Play Video

IMPLEMENTING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

PROUD TO SHARE VIDEO

Watch our Magaliesberg Biosphere “Proud to Share” video to find out how our community is tackling poaching and biodiversity loss. This story demonstrates how people and nature can thrive together in the Magaliesberg Biosphere.

Conservation & Care

Developing the mechanisms of culture-based biodiversity conservation & assessing the impact of change in a quest to protect our natural sacred mountain biosphere sites.

Learning & Research

Giving effect to UNESCO’s mandate in education, science and culture, and to the MAB approach, promoting the integration of the natural and the social sciences.

Sustainable Development

Promoting the harmonious integration of people and nature for sustainable development through participatory dialogue and strategic community programmes.

IT'S ALL ABOUT PARTNERSHIP

KEY GOVERNMENT STAKEHOLDERS

DIVERSITY IN PICTURES
THE MAGIC LINGERS ON

LATEST NEWS & VIEWS

Close Menu