Kruger to Canyons Biosphere
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The Kruger to Canyons Biosphere is a biosphere reserve. There are currently six biosphere reserves established within South Africa, of which the Kruger to Canyons is the largest (and currently the third largest in the world), encompassing savannahs, grasslands and forests that roughly cover over 4.8 million hectares of land in South Africa and Mozambique. After a lengthy 5-year period in which the application form was completed, the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere received UNESCO registration in October 2001.
It is situated in the North Eastern section of South Africa and includes two of South Africa’s key tourism sites – the Kruger National Park and the Blyde River Canyon, as well as one of the leading international floral hotspots, the Wolkberg Region. The current boundaries of the registered Biosphere extend from the Letaba River in the North to the Sabie River in the South and the Blyde Escarpment in the West to the Mozambique border in the East.
This give a total of 2,474,700 Ha of which the core zone is 898,300 Ha, the buffer zone 476,400 Ha and the Transition Zone is 1,100,000 Ha. Within this region, there are approximately 1,155 permanent residents in the core zones, 10,475 in the buffer zones and 1,488,684 in the transition zones. This extensive geographical area, together with the large number of residents within the region, all adds up to a very active and a very diverse area.
The reserve grew very slowly in the initial years but has been progressing faster in the last three years.[when?]
K2C has also formed a partnership with the Rhön Biosphere Reserve in Germany from whom they are learning and trading advice and information. This partnership was initiated through a trip by a K2C delegation of 12 representatives who visited the Rhön in June 2007 and will be followed up by a return visit from the Rhön delegation to the K2C Biosphere in Feb/ March 2008.
The initial visit by K2C delegates to the Rhön proved successful and the team returned with new ideas and a clearer vision as to the efficient implementation of the Biosphere process and concept.
The K2C has also come a long way in creating partnerships and unity with the various stakeholders within the region as well as in creating and encouraging a unified and shared vision for all land users and stakeholders within the reserve.[vague]
Projects currently being undertaken include detailed feasibility studies for the establishment of a small scale hydroelectricity station on the Blyde River, at the Swadini Dam; drawing up of Bio-cultural Protocols to help rural communities know their legal rights about Access and Benefit Sharing as provided by the ICB (International Convention on Biodiversity), together with the principle of bioprospecting and assisting these communities in implementation of these rights. An additional project looks at the feasibility of creating conservation and development corridors between Kruger National Park and the Escarpment regions of the Blyde Nature Reserve and the Lekgalametse/ Wolkberg Regions. It is situated in South Africa, along the boundary with Mozambique.
- "For a Joint Future". Merk-The Explorer Magazine. 2011-01-14. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
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