Blaauwberg Nature Reserve was awarded the country’s very first “Green Coast Status”, which recognises the reserve’s commitment to the preservation of the unique fauna and flora found on its seven-kilometre-long coastline.
The nature reserve is situated in approximately 2 000 hectares of pristine coastal landscape and is also home to critically-endangered vegetation.
“The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA), the national implementer for the Green Coast Program, presented the first official Green Coast Status flag to the City’s Environmental Management Department (EMD) and its implementing partner, the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservation Area, during a special ceremony in recognition of our commitment to preserving the unique flora and fauna along the reserve’s coastline,” said Brett Herron, City of Cape Town Mayco member.
Extensive studies conducted by the volunteers of the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) found that more than 200 plant species are currently living and thriving within the seven kilometres of the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve.
“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,” Herron added.
“‘Today we can proudly say that Blaauwberg Nature Reserve is the first coastline in the country to go “Green”. I am pleased that we have set the “Green” bar. It is an amazing honour to receive this achievement.”
“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.”
The Green Coast award was developed by WESSA to recognise rural coastal sites, and also protect at least one of three main coastal themes – namely sensitive habitats, sensitive species and cultural heritage.
Picture: City of Cape Town