Grootbos Foundation Mission Statement
The conservation of biodiversity of Grootbos and its surrounds and development of sustainable nature based livelihoods through ecotourism, research, management and education.
The Grootbos Foundation, which is a registered Section-21 Company (not for profit), was established during 2005 in order to run the non-profit activities of Grootbos Nature Reserve, a unique destination world-renowned for its eco tourism near Cape Town, South Africa. Grootbos Nature Reserve is situated on the Agulhas Plain in the heart of the Cape fynbos lowlands, a region of unprecedented biodiversity value, under extreme human pressures. Effective conservation of this, and our other unique natural areas, will only be possible if they can earn their keep. By this we mean that ways need to be found to deliver better financial returns from natural fynbos and marine landscapes rather than farmed or developed landscapes. Natural resources also need to be made more accessible to the poor so that all people can be educated about their uniqueness and inherent value. The story of Grootbos and its Foundation is a good news story that is tackling these very issues of responsible tourism and social upliftment from a beautiful nature reserve in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
The Objectives of the Foundation are:
1. Engaging in conservation, rehabilitation and protection of the natural environment, including flora and fauna on Grootbos and in the Cape floristic region;
2. The promotion of, and education and training programs relating to, environmental awareness, greening, clean-up and sustainable development projects;
3. The provision of education by an adult education “college” aligned with the Agricultural Seta, including horticulture, conservation, ecotourism and life skills education;
4. Training unemployed women in sustainable agriculture and life skills development with the purpose of enabling graduates to grow and sell their own food;
5. Research including ecological, educational, social, scientific and technological research on conservation, rehabilitation or protection of the natural environment, including flora, fauna or the biosphere;
6. The development of sports facilities as a tool to integrate society, provide a healthy lifestyle for the youth and promote environmental awareness amongst all communities;
7. The utilization of income received from donors to pursue the above activities;
8. The development of an indigenous plant nursery that will generate income for the above activities.
It is vitally important to us to conserve this Cape region of South Africa, which has been called the hottest of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, the crown jewel amongst the world’s flora. With over 9000 species of plants, some 70% of which are restricted to the region, there is no other flora comparable on Earth. Our marine environment is also home to a staggering diversity of life. The Foundations implementation strategy is based on three pillars: Conservation, Research and Development of Sustainable nature-based livelihoods through social responsibility projects. Projects are presently being implemented within each of these categories.
Funds generated by the eco tourism business are invested through the Foundation into project implementation. In this way our guests are directly supporting biodiversity conservation and social upliftment on the Agulhas Plain. The Foundation also generates its own income through the sale of indigenous plants and landscaping services provided by the Green Futures horticultural and Life Skills College. The Foundation has also been supported by the DEG (German investment bank), the Eden Project in Cornwall as well as through donations from corporations and individuals visiting Grootbos. If you are interested in funding the Grootbos Foundation, please Contact us.
We are a separate Section 21 Company (not for profit) with ten high profile, independent board members that form an advisory board.
"The best example of conservation of biodiversity I have ever seen, Grootbos says it with flowers" - David Bellamy (British Conservationist)
Michael Lutzeyer, the owner of Grootbos, is the proud holder of the 2009 “Green Palm” Award from GEO Saison for rendering outstanding services to environmental protection and nature conservation as well as in the area of social responsibility and the development of sustainable livelihoods!