Governance in UNESCO Biosphere Reserves Project Activities

Governance evolutions in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve

Located in Limpopo province, the Waterberg is over 650 000ha and a landscape of remarkable scenic beauty and cultural heritage. Over 90% of the area is under conservation land-use management or is untransformed in near intact state.

As one of South Africa’s oldest biosphere reserves, the WBR has evolved as the Man & Biosphere Programme has similarly evolved, with a timeline of governance learnings over the last 2 decades. In this respect “Governance & administration” is a major priority area of the WBR, with key focus areas of Stakeholder engagement, WBR governance model, WBR operations plan, Project fundraising and UNESCO periodic reviews as part of the institution’s growth and development through time. Most recently the biosphere reserve has had a strong focus on water governance.

The WBR board was interviewed as one of SA’s participating sites. All participating sites are in progress, and once written up, will contribute to the ‘Lessons from South Africa: Biosphere Reserve governance and implementation’ that will be an output of this broader project.