It’s not only the environment that is negatively affected by poor land-use practices and unsustainable and harmful practices that affect our natural world. We as humans also suffer. Healthy natural areas are essential if people are to live healthy lives. As humans, we benefit when our ecosystems work as they should.
At the Kogelberg Biosphere, we realise that by showcasing nature’s value, we can encourage healthy natural areas that can support wellbeing.
That’s why we focus on nature education, especially reaching the youth, by running environmental education programmes, and why we work with many members and partners who run their own programmes. By working with young people, we help to play a role in instilling a love of nature in our future leaders. Our programme seeks to educate this vital audience on protecting nature by focusing on biological health benefits and ecologically sustainable practices as well as opportunities for job creation through eco-tourism.
YOUTH | OUR GOAL
To inspire a love for nature while bringing across the message of conservation.
The nature education programme for the youth works with the youth across the biosphere, including the towns and farming communities around these towns. And the activities are carried out throughout the year.
- We work with our youth in our Source-to-Sea programme, where we showcase the dangers of pollution to our ocean environment.
- We take young people from Grabouw and Elgin on regular hikes in our natural areas, where they learn about fynbos and animals that live in the fynbos, and threats to fynbos, including invasive alien trees, human encroachment and inhumane practices such as illegal wire snaring.
- We introduce children to the diversity of our rivers, teaching them about river and water quality, how pollution affects not only critical ecosystems, but also human health.
- We host tree planting events in towns in the biosphere.
- We take young people on outings to areas of natural significance, such as the African Penguin colony as Stony Point.
- We continue to introduce young people to iNaturalist through training.
- And a Lego project is underway in Kleinmond, with boxes of Lego donated by the Lego Group to 4 welfare schools under the management of Child Welfare Kleinmond. The teachers from the 4 schools also received educational training in Cape Town.
Our UNESCO Youth Network
UNESCO recognised the lack of youth participation in UNESCO programmes – and this set the scene for the UNESCO Youth Forum. Biospheres around the country were offered support to establish their own network structures to function in tandem with the South African Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Youth Network structure. The MAB Youth Network is made up of young people who are committed to improving the world and their communities.
The Kogelberg Biosphere Youth Network was established in July 2023, partnering with local schools and community to groups to assist with environmental education classes and outings, to teach children about the biosphere. The project will benefit all the communities within the biosphere boundaries and focus on the youth.
Our environmental education programme is not only about teaching young people. We also include a monitoring and evaluation leg – which guides our awareness programmes and allows us to answer the most pressing questions. For example, a survey with 250 people in 3 informal areas in Grabouw gave the Kogelberg Biosphere an excellent impression of how people view the natural environment, fynbos, fire and invasive alien trees.
We can already see that participants are enjoying the benefits of the programme. We see a mindset change regarding the way these participants view wildlife and understand biodiversity concepts.
It shows us that effective and ongoing awareness programmes are necessary to bring about positive change. It’s also essential that these environmental benefits need to correlate with lifestyle benefits to those affected by the socio-economic challenges.
Our Source-to-Sea Eco Rangers
In 2023, we ran a Source-to-Sea Kleinmond Estuary Project. This project was led by Kogelberg Biosphere stalwarts, Jackie and Courtney Jakobs. It’s a partnership project with the Overstrand Municipality and WWF Small Scale Fisheries Marine Programme.
Fifteen children between the ages of 13 and 18 from Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay joined the project.
Over the course of the year, they undertook:
Training on Source-to-Sea methodology
A Source-to-Sea race for local youth
Identifying pollution sources
And measuring water flow, rainfall temperature etc. during the season.
This Source-to-Sea approach looks to showcase the strong connection between what happens on land, along waterways and in the sea. Source-to-sea management is an important approach for both climate mitigation and adaptation.
We are a not-for-profit company and a public benefit organisation. All funds raised therefore go to meeting our motto: Nature for Life.
We can provide 18A tax exemption certificates to donors.
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Our Kogelberg Biosphere water systems are a delicate web of wetlands, rivers, dams and aquifers. These components are constantly in flux, and interact with one another in complicated ways. If the 2018 drought taught us anything, it’s that fresh and clean water
Invasive alien clearing in the Kogelberg Biosphere is gaining momentum. Currently we have two teams working for the Kogelberg Biosphere, removing invasive plants off some of our Critically Endangered vegetation.
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