Chairman’s Report

 1 APRIL 2020 TO 31 MARCH 2021 

 18 August 2021 

To: The Members of The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve 

Dear Friends 

On behalf of the GCBR Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to introduce our Operations Report for the above period which is available at 

2021 marks the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This is a very welcome initiative that highlights the vital role of the ecosystems that we rely on to exist on this fragile, beautiful Earth. 

Reversing the decline of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is fundamental to the health and well-being of future generations. The continued protection of healthy ecosystems, and the restoration of degraded ecosystems are among the most important activities humans can be involved in. 

Given this background, the GCBR has chosen to focus on ecological restoration and related activities. 

Since early 2020, the GCBR, along with the rest of the world, took strain under the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic. However, our operations, project staff and service providers have conducted themselves admirably and continue to implement on the ground projects at the highest levels of quality. 

Albeit disruptive and extremely challenging, the onset of the Covid-19 crisis resulted in a lot of learning and adaptation throughout the organisation, and it also provided room for the GCBR projects and staff to extend kindness and support to their communities. The Jobs for Carbon project started a soup kitchen in order to feed the children from the local crèche, and other local community members who had been left destitute as a result of the pandemic. The Goukou Resilient River project teams, through being able to continue paying their contractors during lockdown, supported a host of families and community members who depend on the clearing team members for survival. 

Please enjoy reading our Operations Report and we look forward to a time when we can again sit in the same room, sharing our stories and ideas. 

Registered members can approach the Chairman or Chief Executive to access the GCBR’s audited Annual Financial Statements (AFS) via the Board Secretary at 

Looking ahead… 

The focus of future GCBR operations will be on ecological restoration of some of our most vulnerable, bio-diverse regions. We now have the ability to field experienced, skilled, motivated teams to do restoration, alien clearing, erosion control, nursery management and similar work. We also have people with the skills to navigate amongst landowners, providing advice and support under a neutral banner. 

We plan to: 

  • • Tighten our programmatic focus on ecological corridors, ecosystem restoration and green business development. 
  • • Improve integration across programme activities and outcomes towards long term resilience goals. 
  • • Accelerate scale of direct and indirect impact without becoming too big or being too thinly spread/ heterogeneous. 
  • • Invest more in learning and leverage as a cross-cutting programme approach. 
  • • Maintain the current systems of delegated authority and responsibility while improving internal information flows and paying more attention to overall performance. 

Please continue to actively support the GCBR through your valuable time and financial resources. 


Kenneth Coetzee 

GCBR Director and Chairman