The Waterberg is an escarpment of massive sandstone buttresses and outcrops, incorporating many rivers, streams and wetlands, stretching for 150 km in a long arc from Thabazimbi in the West, past Modimolle to Mokopane in the east. It encompasses some 14,500 sq km of mountain ranges and undulating plateau’s and is an area of magnificent landscape, with breath-taking scenery. The Waterberg contains pristine habitats, abundant bird and wildlife and has a natural unspoilt beauty.
UNESCO MAB Status
The Waterberg has many special and unique characteristics which is why UNESCO approved the area for biosphere reserve status in 2001. This status gives creditability and marketability, and elevates biosphere reserves to an international level of importance. It also highlights the area for taking action against environmental and social problems.
THE WATERBERG – WHY IT IS A BIOSPHERE
MAIN IMPACTS AFFECTING THE AREA
• Conflicting land uses, with the most sensitive areas being under greatest threat
• Fragmented conservation efforts leading to the potential for further fragmentation
• Impoverished rural communities with limited skills and resources
• High levels of unemployment, particularly among the youth
• Development pressures
• Illegal prospecting and mining
• The presence of a high proportion of leisure properties with limited employment provision
• Alien invasive species
• Vulnerability of riverine systems, loss of wetlands and illegal sand mining
• Wildlife poaching (rhino, pangolin, lion and elephants)
• Air pollution from power stations
• Land use planning guidelines that are not enforced
• Limited legal protection and a need for biosphere planning to be integrated into other spatial plans
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Office: +27 71 160 6446
Mobile: +27 78 7960699
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209 Corner Sandrift Road and Waterberg Street, Vaalwater, 0530
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The Waterberg is an escarpment of massive sandstone buttresses and outcrops, incorporating many rivers, streams and wetlands, stretching for 150 km in a long arc from Thabazimbi in the West, past Modimolle to Mokopane in the east.
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