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.

“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 Robert Slater, WESSA’s National Coastal Coordinator.
“The Blaauwberg Hill at the nature reserve is also one of the few viewpoints in the world from where you can see two proclaimed World Heritage Sites, Table Mountain and Robben Island.”The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve coastal strip is unique as it contains some of the most diverse fauna and flora. It also embraces the values and aims of a Green Coast site which include cultural heritage value, environmental education and awareness programmes as well as the promotion of sustainable ecotourism,” Herron said.”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.”

Picture: City of Cape Town

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.