Kogelberg biosphere reserve gears up for a green facelift, 23 April 2009
Nature lovers who favour Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve - hailed as the jewel in the Cape Floral Kingdom crown, can now look forward to a continuation of the splendour of nature, following the proposed upgrades to five of the old chalets and building of 10 new ones – set to be complete by the end of this year.
Any development of tourism accommodation in nature reserves requires authorization by the Department of Environment and Tourism based on a Basic Environmental Assessment compiled by the applicant. Currently the public participation phase of this process is underway and this is an opportunity for anyone to get more information and have their concerns or support for the project heard. Anyone wishing to become involved in the Environmental Impact Assessment should phone 021 712 5060 or email email@example.com
“The location, access, scenery and proximity to Cape Town and existing tourist routes were among the reasons for CapeNature’s selection of Kogelberg as a priority site for developing and upgrading of tourist infrastructure” says Sheraaz Ismail, CapeNature’s Director of Business Development.
“At the same time we’ve been careful to upgrade this product to maintain the current well-loved sense of place and visitor experience and it will stay within the environmental carrying capacity of the reserve” Ismail went on to say.
The development is in line with international best practices for green buildings as also confirmed by an independent financial feasibility study that supports the likely high viability of the type and number of units planned.
Building materials include wood framed structures, largely prefabricated off-site to reduce: on-site impacts, carbon content as well as to avoid the use of permanent foundations and heavy conventional structures. Materials are also re-used from existing buildings or sourced locally as far as possible.
As many labour intensive components as possible are used in line with CapeNature’s goal to embark on appropriate tourism developments. A number of benefits are derived from this development including direct and indirect job and wealth creation in local communities, greater public access to and use of our nature reserves as well as sustainable income streams to CapeNature to support our conservation mandate.
Phase 1 consisted of replacing the existing 6 forestry huts currently used for tourist accommodation with 5 two-bedroom units plus a communal gathering building that could also be used for small functions. The landscaping will include a naturally filtered green pool.
Phase 2 will consist of up to 10 accommodation units with another general use building that could double up as a small function or conference facility located closer to the existing office buildings. (All located in old farmed fields and borrow pit areas)
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