The Magaliesberg Biosphere Initiative sets out to ensure that viable ecosystems are retained - ecosystems in which natural processes and species populations thrive and continue to serve mankind. The project also pursues the safeguarding of places of historic, cultural and heritage significance.
The Magaliesberg Biosphere therefore has three very broad functions:
Research and learning
The Magaliesberg region is virtually without equal in the world. The region is characterised by unique geology, topography, habitats and heritage. Despite being hundreds of kilometres inland, straddling two landlocked provinces - Gauteng and North West - the rocks of the Magaliesberg bear the ripples of tides which lapped the shore more than 2 000 million years ago. The ocean then met a land surface devoid of life and an atmosphere that was unbreathable.
The three core functions of Biosphere Reserves should be included through an appropriate zonation that recognises:
(a) “a legally constituted core area devoted to long term protection, according to the conservation objectives of the Biosphere Reserve, and of sufficient size to meet these objectives;
(b) a buffer zone or zones clearly identified and surrounding or contiguous to the core areas, where only activities compatible with the conservation objectives can take place;
(c) an outer transition area where sustainable resource management practices are promoted and developed”.
This generation – as many before it – seeks solace from the mountains. We grow, extract, consume, enjoy and manipulate their resources to meet our needs. And we press up against the Magaliesberg Mountains, inevitably leaving our mark. The solid quartzite ridge of the Magaliesberg can endure for centuries without us. But, the ecosystems draped over, into and around the mountains do require protection against inappropriate exploitation and encroachment.
A joint interim management committee was established for the Magaliesberg Biosphere project. This committee was tasked to steer the process towards the listing, which objective was achieved in June 2015. The final task of the Steering Committee is to assist with the election of the Board of the Magaliesberg Biosphere NPC.
The following “Guiding principles” for projects on biosphere reserves and were endorsed by the MAB International Council in 2002.
MAB National Committees are encouraged to use these “guiding principles” in planning and designing projects for biosphere reserves.