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new world heritage sites!

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Exciting news for Calitzdorp in 2015!

We have three  brand new World heritage Sites right on our doorstep!

On the 3rd of July 2015, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), at a meeting held in Bonn in Germany, approved the elevation of the existing Rooiberg, Gamkaberg and Groenefontein Protected Areas, to the status of World Heritage Sites.

World Heritage Sites are recognised internationally as being areas of Outstanding Universal Value, and are proclaimed in terms of the United Nations’, World Heritage Convention Act of 1999.

This is fantastic news for those of us concerned about the protection of the cultural heritage and natural assets of this area, which are increasingly coming under threat from a variety of sources.

The inclusion of the three areas mentioned (which are more or less immediately to the south of us here in Calitzdorp, plus the Swartberg Complex, immediately to our north – which was also granted World Heritage Status), confirms – as if we didn’t know it already – that we live in an area that is incredibly special in global environmental and conservation terms.     It also provides a unique opportunity for Calitzdorp to become THE centre of excellence for conservation-information and tourism in the Little Karoo!

As a matter of fact, Calitzdorp already sits right in the middle (at least from east to west), of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), that was established in 2011 with the aim of protecting and restoring the biodiversity of the Little Karoo, and especially its three internationally-recognised biodiversity hotspots – Fynbos, Succulent Karoo and Valley Thicket.

Our village is therefore surrounded by eco-regions that, between them, have about 4 500 species of plants that are found nowhere else on earth!

So, Calitzdorp warmly invites all serious botanists and naturalists from around the world to come and share our remarkable surroundings – in addition to the port connoisseurs, who come to sample and buy some of the best ports produced in South Africa, geologists who enjoy our spectacular fold rock mountains and the clued-up tourists who already come simply to enjoy our stunning landscapes and the peace and solitude they provide!

Welcome to our town.

Info courtesy of  Neil Curry
e-mail  eco-logic1@mweb.co.za