These additions bring the total number of sites on the list to 553 sites in 107 countries, UNESCO, whose International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB-ICC) is meeting on the Island of Jeju in the Republic of Korea (ROK), announced.
Ten of the sites are in Asia, with Europe getting six and the rest divided among Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
Biosphere reserves are areas designated to serve as places to test different approaches to integrated management of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine resources and biodiversity. As a result, they are sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development.
South Africa Bisphere count has been increased to six. The new addition is Vhembe, South Africa. The reserve includes the northern part of the Kruger National Park, the Makuleke Wetlands Ramsar Site, the Soutpansberg and Blouberg biodiversity hot spots, as well as the Mapungube Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site and the Makgabeng Plateau with more than 1000 rock art sites.
Human activities in the site are agricultural, including production of subtropical fruits and vegetables, cattle and game farming and hunting. The local Venda, Shangaan and Sepedi people practice age-old indigenous skills ranging from wood carving and drum making to traditional healing.
Vhemba joins Cape West Coast,Cape Winelands, Kogelberg, Waterberg, and Kruger to Canyons.
Also visit the Magaliesberg Biosphere Project - an initiative supported by Paul Fatti, Vincent Carruthers and others to gain Biosphere status for the Magaliesberg.