28 October 2015
Magaliesberg Biosphere Celebration - globally acclaimed; locally cherished.
The Magaliesberg Biosphere celebrates international recognition at Aerial Cableway hosted by the Hartbeespoort Tourism Association. South Africa now has eight Biosphere Reserves. The World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which Magaliesberg now joins, counts 631 biosphere reserves in 119 countries. On the 9th of June UNESCO proclaimed the Magaliesberg a World Biosphere Reserve.
Iain Gunn, Chairman of the Harties Tourist Association welcomed over 200 guests including the press, active role-players, stakeholders and VIP’s to this day of celebration for this destination rich in biodiversity and rich heritage.
Well-known author of “The Magaliesberg, speaker, initiator of the Biosphere and past chair of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Not-for-Profit Company Vincent Carruthers passionately presented insight into the understanding of a biosphere for all who live, visit or work in the Magaliesberg Biosphere. “I’m most grateful there is now international recognition of this great mountain range that has witnessed the whole span of life, from its very origins,” he said. “The Magaliesberg is almost 100 times older than Mount Everest and half the age of the earth, a unique treasure for us in this part of Africa” said Carruthers.
“We are delighted with this final acknowledgement of the unique nature of the Magaliesberg and the powerful contribution it is making to our country, to the ecosystem services in Gauteng and the North West and the communities it nurtures over an extensive area,” said Paul Fatti, chair of the Magaliesberg Biosphere Initiative Group (MBIG. After nearly a decade of lobbying since 2007 and sustained efforts by a small committee of environmentalists, Fatti was present at UNESCO in Paris for the announcement in June 2009 where the Magaliesberg was declared a World Biosphere Reserve.
Professor Lee Rogers Berger our newest “rock star” paleoanthropologist, physical anthropologist and archaeologist, best known for his recent discovery of Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba spoke about the importance of his work and that of many scientists within The Cradle of Humankind explaining importance of exploration and sharing of information for future generations to build a sustainable world class tourist destination within the Magaliesberg Biosphere.
After all the most impressive presentations, proud guests were transported up the Aerial Cableway where they were entertained by the Ennis Thabong High School and a local Marimba band. Prof Lee Berger then unveiled a granite plaque on the summit of “Our Magaliesberg” mountain range to celebrate the international designation of the Magaliesberg Biosphere.
Local marketing and mapping specialists and producers of the of the Cradle of Humankind, Harties, Magalies, Muldersdrift & surrounds tourist map - Wanita Sparrow and Zelko Marinovic who celebrate their 21 years’ work with the Magaliesberg and Cradle of Humankind tourism community are proud to announce that the Magaliesberg Biosphere NPC confirmed that it fully endorses Magaliesberg Map with regard to the production and distribution of tourist and road maps covering the full extent of the Magaliesberg Biosphere including the Cradle of Humankind.
Zelko Marinovic - “We are looking forward to the synergy between all the role-players and stakeholders within this remarkable tourist destination, making it a world class tourism destination”.
Guests then enjoyed the spectacular scenery from the top of the Magalieberg Mountain and left with a feeling of great excitement to have been part of this historical event.