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Greening And Environment

Blaauwberg Nature Reserve’s coastline flies Green Coast flag again

 The City of Cape Town’s Blaauwberg Nature Reserve has been awarded Green Flag status again at this year’s Green Coast Awards held in George on Friday, 20 October 2023. The award recognises the City’s commitment to preserving the unique flora and fauna along its coastline.

The City of Cape Town’s Blaauwberg Nature Reserve was the first to receive Green Coast Status awarded to a coastal site in South Africa in 2017 and has maintained status in subsequent seasons. The nature reserve is situated in an area that includes approximately 2 000 hectares of pristine coastal landscape, is home to critically endangered vegetation, and boasts a  seven km coastline.

 

The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), the national implementer for the Green Coast Programme, presented the City again with Green Coast Status and a flag, during a special ceremony on Friday, 20 October 2023, in George in recognition of the City’s commitment to preserving the unique flora and fauna along the reserve’s coastline.

   

‘We are proud to say that Blaauwberg Nature Reserve was the first coastline in the country to go Green, and also sustainably working towards getting this status again. It is an amazing honour to receive this achievement. We want to thank WESSA for recognising the hard work, effort and passion of people in our Environmental Management Department.

 

‘As the most biodiverse city in the world, we have a responsibility to conserve and protect this unique biodiversity. But we cannot do it alone. Valuable partnerships with local communities and organisations enable us to sustainably manage our precious fauna and flora while also providing opportunities for environmental education, sustainable tourism, and the empowerment of local communities,’ said Alderman Eddie Andrews, the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment.

 

The Green Coast Zone focuses on conservation, sustainable tourism, and environmental education along the seven km of the coastline. It also includes the dune field along the R27, which already has an established  four km hiking trail.

 

More than 200 plant species have been identified and located in this seven km section during extensive studies undertaken by volunteers from Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW). The Coastal Walk Flower Guide contains photographs and descriptions of the various flowers that visitors can see when walking the Coastal Dune Trail, depending on the season. The guide is for sale to the public but is available for free to schools for educational purposes.

 

WESSA developed the Green Coast award to recognise rural coastal sites that are managed according to standardised criteria and are able to maintain a consistent improvement of conditions at the site. Green Coast sites aim to protect at least one of three main coastal themes, namely: sensitive habitats, sensitive species, and cultural heritage.

 

‘The WESSA Green Coast Programme aims to empower local communities through incentivising effective conservation and environmental education initiatives. The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve has shown ongoing commitment to conserving and monitoring its sensitive coastal areas and has maintained the high standard set out by the WESSA Green Coast criteria,’ said WESSA’s CEO, Helena Atkinson.

 

‘WESSA reviews the status annually. This award has certainly put our beautiful coastline on the tourism map and we are looking forward to welcoming more visitors to our nature reserve who are looking for experiences in adventure, outdoor living, and ecotourism along our coastline,’ concluded Alderman Eddie Andrews.

 

The Blaauwberg Hill at the nature reserve is one of the few viewpoints in the world from where you can see the two proclaimed World Heritage Sites of Table Mountain and Robben Island.

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