A Conservation Code

With more and more people depending on Earth’s resources everyday, it is no longer only a matter of nature conservation by those inclined and dedicated to it. Conservation should be the guiding principle of everybody’s very outlook on life.
Once we learn to look after the land it will produce what is needed. But it is only if we know and really appreciate that we depend on it for sustenance that we will understand that we have to learn how to nurture it! On the other hand, if we abuse it, it will of necessity disown us in return.
Land is finite, the human population unfortunately not! 7 billion people is fast becoming 8 billion at a rate of 4 million per day. A conservation approach to our natural resources with a view to a sustainable livelihood is no longer only an option; it has now become an imperative.

Into action!
This challenge no longer only demands our attention but should spur us into prompt action!

In order to sustain life on this planet as we know it, we should accept that life is only possible as long as the intricate balance of all living organisms amongst themselves and in relation to inanimate matter, is maintained.

Air is inanimate. So also is water. Both are moreover a prerequisite for us to stay alive.

All over the world food security is considered to be the primary element required to maintain any long term social equilibrium. This is a valid consideration as long as clean air and potable water is freely available. Should clean air and clean water however become so scarce that healthy plant life in abundant quantities is no longer possible the quality of human life will also be at risk or even in jeopardy.


Highly industrialised areas like Gauteng are already experiencing the negative impact of overly polluted air. It obviously has directly negative consequences on humans by just having to breath it. The untoward impact of acidified rain and acid mine water on the environment and consequently the livelihood of plants and animals, not to say of man, regularly hit the headlines.

Conservation is a bottom-up process

It is not only about the much talked about threatened species, about the "big five" and rare breeds like the roan and sable antelopes or even about cycads and over-exploited herbs used by the indigenous medicine culture. Conservation is much more than only about that which is normally seen to grow on the ground or what live from it in turn.

Honest, all-encompassing conservation starts with the sub-surface habitat and well-being of those very small and rarely seen creatures. If you cater for their needs they will surely cater for the rest, including us. To really be big in conservation, you will need to humble yourself to the level where you will be able to understand and take notice of their needs and then follow through on the process, upwards.

Conservation is a head-on and hands-on process

Armchair conservationists used to ruminate on conservation of the environment as a great ideal – as something far off.
Serious and well-intentioned contemplation and research by scientist-conservationists on the other hand, rarely direct remedial or pro-emptive attention in a hands-on way. Unfortunately they also only rarely succeed in sufficiently  inspiring policy makers and the powers that be towards a definite program of action. Even more sadly, considerations about conservation of the environment regularly take second place when money-driven exploits like mining, property development and industrial installations are contemplated.
Conservation minded stakeholders in the Waterberg are fortunately much better positioned. Once alerted and enlightened to the once in a lifetime opportunity to practise conservation through dedicated management strategies, they and their supporters will be on their way to achieve the rare distinction off contributing to mankinds well-being far beyond their immediate personal interests.
A conservation code serves to galvanise attention to critical issues, demands solutions to challenges and inspire action.
A code leaves you no other option than to address the imperatives head-on.
The only comfort zone a conservation code allows you is when you know that you have pulled out all the stops!

True conservasionists do not sit on their hands. The great strides the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve has given in the past 10 years prove that authorities agree that we are moving in the right direction. Application for expansion is already under way.


WATERBERG BIOSPHERE RESERVE 2001 - 2012 APPLICATION FOR EXPANSION OF RESERVE TO UNESCO MAB COMMISSION EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - click here to read this document

Conservation Code

We love our beautiful land as God has created it and honour Him for the rich diversity it manifests in our region.
We thank God that we are privileged to have been entrusted for our lifetime with custodianship over this small part of his magnificent creation.

Therefore we shall:

  • do our utmost to protect and maintain the indigenous biodiversity;
  • protect and secure river banks and streams, vleis and wetlands;
  • strive towards optimal use and conservation of the soil by judicious management practices;
  • combat pollution of whatever nature and rehabilitate the environment where necessary;
  • protect species that are threatened by injudicious use or overexploitation and endeavour to contain the spread of invasive species like sickle bush, bancrupt bush, sand olive and eradicate exotic species like jakaranda, seringa, queen of the night, lantana, pom-pom weed (Campuloclinium macrocephalum), grey poplar and eucalyptus;

  • support and promote study of, and research on our flora, fauna and the ground;
  • when we cultivate the land or use it for grazing, improve the potential of it and prevent loss of it through erosion;
  • create a conservation ethos — as far as possible by example, persuasion and moral pressure — and if deemed necessary by enforcement of the law where the law supports us;
  • while building up the land through respect for the soil, also strive for sustainable symbiosis between landowners and other stakeholders and industries that support this ethos;
  • oppose or combat any Governmental or private sector actions in conflict with the values contained in this Code and ensure continued conservation education amongst landowners, personnel, visitors and other inhabitants.

Gen 2:15: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden to work it and care for it.”

Please click here to download this document in Afrikaans or English

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Conservation Laws:

Conservation of Agriculture Resources Act (43 of 1983)

National Veld and Forest Act (101 of 1998)

Environment Conservation Act (73 of 1989)

National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998)

National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10 of 2004)

National Forest Act (84 of 1998)

National Water Act (36 of 1098)

Nasional Veld and Forest Fire Act - Chapter 4 ( Veldfire prevention through firebreaks)

Nasional Veld and Forest Fire Act - Defnition of owners of land

Nasional Veld and Forest Fire Act - Fire Readiness

National Veld and Forest Fire Act - How prepared are you for a wildfire?

National Veld and Forest Fire Act - Preparing for fire breaks

National Veld and Forest Fire Act - Protecting your property from veldfires

National Veld and Forest Fire Act - Reducing veldfire risk

National Veld and Forest Fire Act - Responsibilities of people in control of land

National Veld and Forest Fire Act - Amendment No.12

National Veld & Forest Fire Act 101 1998 - Afrikaans

National Veld and Forest Fire Act 101 1998 - Regulations