The final report for the Strategic Planning Workshop:

“Identifying and addressing drivers of urbanisation, land use and land use change and capacity building in the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve” is now available. 

DOWNLOAD / VIEW HERE

This report comes to you in the light of COVID-19 and as the Country remains in lockdown as a result of efforts to stem the impact of the virus on the healthcare system, and inevitably, on the population. In reviewing the report, please also note the following two quotes, the one from our President, Cyril Ramaphosa and the other from Arundhti Roy, author of the book ‘The God of small things’ (1997).

For billions across the world, and for us here in South Africa, the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything.  We can no longer work in the way we have before…as South Africans we will need to adapt to a new reality.  As we emerge from this crisis, our country will need to undergo a process of fundamental reconstruction.

~ President Ramaphosa, April 2020, second address to the nation regarding COVID-19 impacts.

…coronavirus had made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worst than a return to normality…. Pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice…our dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.

~ Arundhti Roy, April 2020 (Author of the book ‘The God of small things’ (1997)).

We thank you for post workshop comments which we have hopefully captured successfully in this final report.

We ask that you re-read it in the light of COVID-19. We cannot resume the process of looking at the Garden Route without thinking of a new reality and how we must contribute to it. Please consider how we can prepare to engage the process of land use and land use change and capacity building in the terribly unequal world we are now leaving as we step through the portal Arundhti Roy talks of.

Kind Regards
Robert Fincham
Project Leader

Invitation to address water quality issues in the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve

Date: Tuesday 24th March 2020
Venue: Knysna Log-Inn Hotel, 16 Gray St, Knysna Central, South Africa
Link to venue: https://goo.gl/maps/gs7x3REvce29wWdr5 

Workshop Overview
The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) is undergoing a collaborative strategy development process, and as part of this process interested individuals and organisation are cordially invited to attend the first of two workshops to identify and contribute to tackling water quality issues within the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve. We hope that our approach will lead to a strong sense of action required at the landscape level, while learning from and working with specific project level work already underway. We are looking for tangible actions that can be taken to conserve our valuable water resources.

The purpose of the first workshop is to:
1. Identify and discuss major threats to water quality in the GRBR domain,
2. Identify existing water quality initiatives, where we invite participants with existing initiatives to give a short (5 minutes) introduction.
3. Ask how we as a community can come together to tackle some of the identified threats and to support existing successful initiatives.

The key outcomes of both workshops are to establish a working group to develop a programme to tackle Water Pollution, which the GRBR will ratify into a proposal document by June 2020.  The proposal will be used to leverage the GRBR as an overarching mechanism to raise funds for coordinated actions by stakeholders in the landscape which are aligned with the vision and mission of the GRBR.

Participants are encouraged to commit to and attend both workshops to ensure continuity and consistency in the development of ideas, knowledge and outcomes.  The workshops will be held on Tuesday 24th of March in Knysna and Friday 8th of May in George.

Registration for the Workshops
Please express your interest in attending as soon as possible, but not later than 19th of March 2020.

 RSVP email to Luzanne Visagie at admin@gardenroutebiosphere.org.za  (or Luzanne.visagie@mandela.ac.za)

Contact Person: Dr Louw Claassens
Email Address: kyss.louw@gmail.com

Please let us know if you would like to occupy a 5-minute slot to introduce your initiative.

Project Team: Bianca Currie, Louw Claassens and Ntombi Vundla

Topic: 2nd Environmental Education Workshop (as part of Strategy Planning for the GRBR)

Date: Wednesday 18th March, 2020
Venue: Garden Route Environmental Education Centre, Garden Route Botanical Garden, George

Workshop Overview
The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) cordially invites the participation of all individuals and organisations that are involved in environmental education programs in the Garden Route to collaborate in developing a coordinated approach to youth environmental education within the GRBR. The biosphere reserve seeks to work together with stakeholders and actors in the landscape to collaboratively develop a programme for youth environmental education in the biosphere reserve.

The GRBR has already hosted the first of three workshops, which identified current successes and strengths which can be leveraged as well as gaps and needs in the education landscape that the GRBR youth programme can fill.

The second workshop will consolidate a workable program for the youth based on the success, gaps and needs analysis. The third workshop will be dedicated to finalising a programme and informing a budget as well as identify potential funders the GRBR can target a proposal submission to.

The key outcomes of the workshop series are to establish a working group to develop a Youth Environmental Education Programme which the GRBR will ratify into a proposal document by June 2020.  The proposal will be used to leverage the GRBR to raise funds for coordinated actions by stakeholders in the landscape which are aligned with the vision and mission of the GRBR.

Participants are encouraged to commit to and attend all the workshops to ensure continuity and consistency in the development of ideas, knowledge and outcomes.  The second workshop will be held on Wednesday 18th of March and the third on Wednesday the 8th of April in George at the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre.

Registration for the Workshops
Please express your interest in attending as soon as possible, but not later than 15 March 2020, by sending an rsvp email to Luzanne Visagie at admin@gardenroutebiosphere.org.za or Luzanne.visagie@mandela.ac.za

Contact Person: Monica Vaccaro
Email address: monica@landmarkfoundation.org.za
Project Team: Bianca Currie, Monica Vaccaro

The GRBR Strategic Planning Workshop ‘Identifying and addressing drivers of urbanisation, land use and land use change and capacity building in the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve’
was successfully hosted on 14th February 2020, with various governmental and non-governmental sectors represented.

A draft report has been prepared to capture the event’s proceedings and the outcomes of the discussions held. Please view here.

We would like to thank all who attended and contributed to the days conversations. Additionally, we would be glad if workshop participants can review this draft outcomes document and send their comments to admin@gardenroutebiosphere.org.za.

If there are any suggested changes, please communicate these by Friday, 20th March, 2020.

If no comments are received, the report will be shared on various platforms as the final product. Thank you.

Further enquires: admin@gardenroutebiosphere.org.za.

Topic: Strategy Planning for Environmental Education in the Biosphere Reserve
Venue: Garden Route Environmental Education Centre, George
Dates: Wednesday 26th of February, Wednesday 18th of March and Wednesday 8th of April, 2020.
Draft Program: Click to view here: DRAFT Program for Environmental Education workshop 26 Feb 2010

Workshop Overview
The Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR) cordially invites the participation of all individuals and organisations that are involved in environmental education programs in the Garden Route to collaborate in developing a coordinated approach to youth environmental education within the GRBR. The biosphere reserve seeks to work together with stakeholders and actors in the landscape to collaboratively develop a programme for youth environmental education in the biosphere reserve.

The GRBR will be hosting a series of 3 workshops. The first workshop aims at identifying current successes and strengths which can be leveraged as well as gaps and needs in the education landscape that the GRBR youth programme can fill. The second workshop will consolidate a workable program for the youth based on the success, gaps and needs analysis. The third workshop will be dedicated to finalising a programme and informing a budget as well as identify potential funders the GRBR can target a proposal submission to.
The key outcomes of the workshop series are to establish a working group to develop a Youth Environmental Education Programme which the GRBR will ratify into a proposal document by June 2020. The proposal will be used to leverage the GRBR to raise funds for coordinated actions by stakeholders in the landscape which are aligned with the vision and mission of the GRBR.

Participants are encouraged to commit to and attend all three workshops to ensure continuity and consistency in the development of ideas, knowledge and outcomes. The workshops will be held on Wednesday the 26th of February, Wednesday the 18th of March and Wednesday the 8th of April in George at the Garden Route Environmental Education Centre.

Registration for the Workshops
Please express your interest in attending as soon as possible: send an RSVP email to Luzanne Visagie (admin@gardenroutebiosphere.org.za) before 23rd February 2020.

Draft Program (Click here): DRAFT Program for Environmental Education workshop 26 Feb 2010

Contact Person: Monica Vaccaro
Email Address: monica@landmarkfoundation.org.za
Project Team: Bianca Currie, Monica Vaccaro (Coordinator)

As part of the 2020 Strategy Planning for the Garden Route Biosphere Reserve, several workshops are being planned across the region.

The first workshop is this Friday 14th February titled:

 “Identifying and addressing drivers of rapid urbanisation, land use and land use change in the GRBR” 

Venue: Nelson Mandela University, George Campus, Conference Room 

The Draft Program is below (and available as pdf here):

 Time 

Event 

Persons involved 

09h00-09h30  Arrival and registration; refreshments  Project Team 
09h30-09h45  Welcome and introduction  Bianca Currie 

Chair, Garden Route Biosphere Reserve 

09h45-10h00  Purpose of the workshop & agreement on the agenda 

. 

Robert Fincham 

Project coordinator 

10h00-11h30  Identifying the drivers: Debate 1: All Participants  Facilitators: Project Team 
11h30-12h00  Refreshments & snacks 
12h00-13h00  Addressing the drivers: Debate 2: All participants  Facilitators: Project Team 
13h00-13h30  Outcomes and way forward 

Finger lunch 

Robert Fincham 
Departure

We cordially invite interested individuals and organisations to a series of 3 workshops to identify and contribute to tackling key drivers of rapid urbanisation, land use and land use change in the GRBR. The purpose of these workshops is to develop a framework to understand, and a strategy to address, these key drivers and the challenges they pose for government and other institutions of civil society.

In pursuit of the purpose and framework of the workshops, a bottom up, collaborative approach is envisaged. This approach should lead to a strong sense of actions required at the landscape level, while learning from specific project level work already underway. 

The outcome of the workshops is to establish a working group for the GRBR to address these challenges and their resolution in the medium and long term.

The workshops will be held on:

Friday 14th February in George;

Friday 3rd April in Knysna and

Friday 15th May in Jefferey’s Bay.

A key output of the workshop series will be a strategy ratified in a proposal by June 2020. The proposal will be used to raise funds for coordinated actions by stakeholders in the landscape, aligned with the vision and mission of the GRBR. 

Participants are encouraged to commit to and attend all three workshops to ensure continuity and consistency in the development of ideas, knowledge and outcomes. 

Registration for the Workshops 

Please express your interest in attending as soon as possible, but not later than Monday 10th February 2020, by contacting Luzanne Visagie [luzannev@mandela.ac.za] 

 

The Western Cape Biosphere Reserve Research Workshop Report 2019 can be viewed here.

This workshop took place on 19th June 2019 and was hosted by the Sustainability Research Unit at Nelson Mandela University, George Campus.

Responding to the challenges brought to light in the 2018 workshop, the SRU hosted a second one-day workshop aimed at developing an inter and transdisciplinary network of working groups for research in the Western Cape biosphere reserves. The 2019 workshop provided a space and process for the coordinated organisation of research working groups, based on, but not limited to the themes that emerged last year. The workshop also provided an opportunity for stakeholders at multiple levels, sectors, and disciplines to engage and communicate with one another and to overcome communication challenges across levels, sectors and fields.

In an attempt to build on the results of the 2018 workshop the desired outcomes of the 2019 workshop were to fertilise a collaborative research network for the biosphere reserves in the Western Cape. Primarily the workshop sets out to 1) encourage the formulation of a network of research working groups by bringing together interested and affected parties to form working groups for each theme; 2) elect co-chairs / champions for each working group; 3) facilitate working group dialogues to determine the scope of each working group; 4) provide a space for the development of Terms of Reference (ToR) for the working group and; 5) Nurture a biosphere-based collaborative research network that will be able to source new funding in the years to come.

Participants in the 2019 workshop reflected on the 2018 themes and pointed out that the themes did not include a space for marine and coastal research. Participants also felt that it was a bit premature to establish formalized working groups. Instead participants engaged around what research working groups could contribute to biosphere reserves and what steps need to take place to establish them.

This report provides a record of the 2019 workshop process and outcomes. It seeks to capture and document the small group dialogue feedback sessions and the participants’ contribution to the outputs of the workshops.

View WCBR Research Workshop Report (19 June 2019)