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ABOUT US

Background

On the 20th of September 2001 the Kruger to Canyons (K2C) Biosphere Reserve was registered in Paris by the UNESCO.

K2C is recognised under the UNESCO (United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organisation)  Man and the Biosphere Programme.

It became the 411th Biosphere Reserve site to be registered in 94 countries worldwide, acknowledging the global significance of Greater Kruger bioregion, the eastern savannahs and escarpment of South Africa.

Biosphere Reserves are designated regions throughout the world where internationally important ecosystems and protected areas lie adjacent to human settlements, and are established to promote solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable use.

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Our World Around Us

People living in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region (K2C BR) are fortunate to be custodians of one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth::

the Escarpment Mountains with its grasslands and afro-montane forests towers over the savannah bushveld of the Lowveld, where huge areas are designated as formal conservation lands.  The life giving waters that are captured and then released by the higher rainfall in the Escarpment Mountains links these three biomes and the people and their livelihoods through the rivers flowing towards the Indian Ocean.

This endowment described above offers unique opportunities and responsibilities to the custodians of the land. This led to the establishment of the K2C Biosphere Region ( ratified by UNESCO in 2001).

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Our History

History in the Kruger to Canyons Region is diverse and very colourful from early evidence of Stone Age people from around 1.5 million to 9 000 years ago, through to  more modern historical sequences such as the political development of South Africa.

Records indicate that the San were the first inhabitants of this area, however, they seemed to have been killed off by the early Black immigrants that moved down here from the North.   This seems to line up with the early Iron Age People (AD 200 - AD 1400).   Populations of these early immigrants were very small and were mainly metal workers, farmers, potters and herders.    

Large portions of the lower lying regions in the K2C region were uninhabitable on a permanent basis due to the presence of both Malaria and more so, the dreaded disease known as “sleeping sickness” transferred by the tsetse fly and affected both man and his cattle.

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The population of one-and-a-half million people living in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere area is predominantly black (97%), unskilled, and rurally based. Huge social and economic differences and inequalities exist.

The majority of the population lives under poor-rural conditions: a low percentage of functional literacy (around 50%), high levels of male absenteeism, low direct incomes and a high percentage of youths.

Ninety percent live outside urban areas compared with a national average of 35%. Twenty percent of the population is under the age of four, and half are under fifteen years old.

Population growth is significantly above that of South Africa as a whole with annual increases of 3.5% in total size (nationally the rate is 2.4% p.a.).

A high proportion of the population is not economically active, with households relying on subsistence farming, old age pensions and remittances from relatives working outside the area to survive.

Our Responsibilities

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