Garden Route Biosphere 2022 AGM

30 November 2022

12:00 to 13:30


You are cordially invited to the Garden Route Biosphere Reserves Non-Profit Company’s 2022 Annual General Meeting. The meeting will take place virtually using the Microsoft Teams platform from 12h00 on the 30th of November 2022. The programme will include a statement made by the Garden Route Biosphere chair and chief executive providing feedback on their various activities over the past year and a presentation of the financial statement. The programme will further include the presentation of the proposed updates to the Garden Route Biosphere constitution.

Please RSVP before 28 November 2022 at to receive a link to join the meeting.

For any further information please feel free to email Ms Aneri Roos at


We look forward to your participation at the event.


Garden Route Biosphere Reserve

Facilitation team

Dear valued Stakeholder,

A reminder to RSVP for the 3rd Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSA) Network engagement, if you have not done so yet. The SWSA Network engagements are designed to be collective learning events that bring together stakeholders from across the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR), to share knowledge and information about key aspects of our SWSAs and related projects in the landscape. This is the first in-person network engagement in the Eastern Cape, and we encourage you to share this invitation widely with your networks.

The engagement will be a hybrid event that will take place from 10h00 to 15h00 on the 15th of November 2022. In person participants will be hosted at the Mentors Country Estate just off the N2, and close to Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape. Virtual participants will be hosted on the TEAMS virtual meeting platform. The programme for the event will include the following presentations.


Presentation Speaker
Water & human well-being:  The influence of water on the human psyche: Three scenarios, three psychological perspectives. Prof Hendri Coetzee (Nature’s Valley Trust)
Water & risk: Taking a look at what’s happening in our catchments, with a focus on the Kabeljous river. Dr Wentzel Coetzer (Conservation Outcomes)
Water & economy: “Whiskey is for the Drinking and Water for the Fighting” (Mark Twain): Managing Water Scarcity in the Gamtoos Valley. Rienette Colesky (Gamtoos Irrigation Board)
Water rights & responsibilities: Adaptive learning in environmental water management: experience implementing the Crocodile river’s ecological reserve in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Robin Petersen (SANParks)


Please register for the event by Tuesday 8 November 2022 by emailing Ms Aneri Roos at and let us know if you will be attending in person or virtually for booking and catering purposes.

We look forward to your participation at the event.

Garden Route Biosphere Reserve
Facilitation team


Garden Route Biosphere: an international partner honing students’ skills to tackle global sustainability issues

11 July 2022

Dr Bianca Currie, the Chief Executive of the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve is part of an international team of colleagues who are working towards transforming the mentorship of sustainability scholars and practitioners — the people who tackle issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, poverty, and water security.  Dr Currie has been involved in the development of the training program and will play an important teaching and mentorship role at the first offering of a pilot Transdisciplinary International Learning Laboratory taking place in Germany in August of this year.

The international program, TRANSdisciplinary Education Collaboration for Transformations in Sustainability (TRANSECTS), offers flexible and accessible pathways for training, professional development, mentorship, and networking for the next generation of sustainability change makers internationally. Presently, academic hubs are in Canada, Germany and South Africa, with partners from all three countries and Ghana and Ukraine.  Importantly, the training will engage a diversity of scholars and practitioners from the Global North and Global South to deepen understanding of sustainability challenges and build skills to tackle these challenges by learning from one another.

TRANSECTS will train about 250 highly qualified personnel across Canada, Germany, and South Africa. Partners in the project will include representatives from academia, Indigenous and rural communities, UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, governing agencies, international networks, and private and civil society organizations and foundations. Intercultural learning about how to reconcile relations with one another and with the natural world is important if we are to address the sustainability challenges before us.

Dr. Bianca Currie who is also a research associate with the Sustainability Research Unit at the Nelson Mandela University said that TRANSECTS will be training up the next cohort of biosphere leaders who will be able to work sensitively across, and with a diversity of shared responsibility holders, and to be able to tackle complex challenges in social ecological systems.

During the pilot Transdisciplinary International Learning Laboratory offering taking place in Germany in August, Dr Currie will be accompanied by a group of post graduate students from South Africa. One of the students is Mr Micheal Klaver who holds one of the youth portfolios on the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve’s board of directors. Mr Klaver said he is excited to be a part of this international gathering of students and is keen to meet with others from different parts of the world to share stories, knowledge, and experiences around sustainability science.

Dr. Maureen Reed, a researcher from the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability and UNESCO Co-Chair in Biocultural Diversity, Sustainability, Reconciliation and Renewal, is one of the leaders of the project. She said the novel approaches to learning and sharing knowledge among students, academics, and partners will set them up to become sustainability change makers.

Reed said employers can teach workers the technical skills required for employment, but employers are now looking for people with demonstrated professional and relational skills such as effective and compassionate communication, critical thinking, teamwork involving diverse groups, complex problem solving, and continuous learning and adaptation. The new program aims to provide those skills to graduates. Additionally, TRANSECTS will work with universities to help them develop new policies that welcome this kind of scholarship and practice.

The team hopes that the benefits of TRANSECTS reach beyond students and program participants. They believe academia and funding institutions need to find new ways to support novel forms of research and training.



Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route Developer

Closing date 15 July 2022

The Garden Route and Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserves are seeking an individual with strong communication and stakeholder engagement skills who can take the first steps to initiate the development of the Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route, a walking trail focused on delivering human wellness benefits.


Responsibilities and key activities:

  • Formulate the Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route by identifying and nurturing relationships through meetings and workshops with key stakeholders for the purposes of facilitating the public-private-citizen partnership.
  •  Map a viable route and sites of interest along the route which crosses both the Gouritz Cluster and Garden Route Biosphere Reserves.
  •  Pursue funding for the future development of the Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route in collaboration with the Chief Executive and Chair of the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve.
  • Introduce the language of nature allied wellbeing by assisting with the generation of content for digital media.

Key outcomes

Through the appointment of a route developer the following outcomes are expected:

  • A mapped, proposed Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route indicating sites of interest.
  • Established relationships and the foundations for public-private-citizen partnerships with communities associated with the route.
  •  Project reports.
  • A digital presence for nature-allied well-being and the Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route.
  • Contributions to a funding proposal for future development of the Karoo to Coast Biosphere Route.


The following skills would be an advantage for successful applicants:

  • Good communication and collaboration skills for stakeholder engagement.
  • Project management skills.
  • Good writing skills.
  • Mapping skills.

Forward your application with a motivational letter, CV, relevant copies of qualification and identification to Ms Aneri Roos – by the 15th of July 2022.

Employment equity is important to the biosphere reserves and preference will be given to equity candidates. If you have not been responded to within 21 days after the closing date, do note that your application has been unsuccessful.



11 May 2022
10:00 to 15:00

Dear valued Stakeholder,

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 2nd Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSA) Network engagement. The SWSA Network engagements are designed to be collective learning events that bring together stakeholders from across the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR), to share knowledge and information about key aspects of our SWSAs and related projects in the landscape.

In the first network engagement a strong call for information related to the SWSAs in the Garden Route was made.  The biosphere reserve and WWF have responded to the call and established a State of Knowledge project for the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma SWSAs, which will be introduced at the engagement. Furthermore, we will present feedback from the SWSA Network stakeholder analysis, where we hope to get your input on who else we should be engaging with. We will also provide feedback about the establishment of the SWSA Working Group, which is designed to be a higher level landscape decision-making and co-management platform for the GRBR.

The engagement will take place virtually using Microsoft Teams from 10h00 to 15h00 on the 11th of May 2022. The programme for the event will further include presentations and discussions around four key topics: 1) Water and human well-being, 2) Water and risk, 3) Water and economy, and 4) Water rights and responsibilities. Click here for the detailed programme.

Please register your interest here by 9 May 2022.

We look forward to your participation at the event.

Garden Route Biosphere Reserve
Facilitation team


Our AGM was held online 1st December during which the current GRBR Chair – Prof. Robert Fincham – and the GRBR Chief Executive  – Dr. Bianca Currie – presented their annual statements and annual reports respectively.

These can downloaded here and read at your leisure:

Chairperson’s Statement AGM 2021

Chief Executive’s Annual Report 2021

We welcome feedback and comments can be emailed to

Thank you and best wishes for the season.

The GRBR established a Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSAs) Network and hosted the first social learning network engagement on the 15th of September 2021 to introduce the project and to bring together the diversity of stakeholders in the GRBR to learn from one another through conversations around water, the economy, risk and human wellbeing.

This report documents this engagement, providing a participant analysis of who attended the virtual meeting, the conversations that took place, as well as a description of the engagement process and methods used.

The report also provides insight into the next steps the SWSA project will be taking.

Views expressed in the document do not necessarily constitute those of the GRBR or WWF but merely documents the conversations had by participants during the event.

Download the Full SWSAs Report here