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Sean is a dynamic conservationist of 'fynbos', the Cape Floral Kingdom
Sean is a leading light in a remarkable generation of botanists dedicated to the survival of 'fynbos', the unique, beautiful and highly diverse flora found at the south-western tip of Africa. On Table Mountain alone there are more species of plants than in the British Isles or in New Zealand. By some measures of diversity, fynbos contains the greatest floral diversity on earth and includes many unique species of protea, erica, reeds and bulbs. However, 'fynbos' is highly specific to its landscape and is under threat from agriculture, development and climate change. The variety of the Cape Floral Kingdom can only be saved through broad conservation efforts, and Sean is at the forefront of these.
Sean is conservation manager at the 2,500 hectare Grootbos Nature Reserve near Stanford on the Aghulas Plain. Under his management the reserve has become the best documented in the country. He has identified 754 species on the reserve, including the discovery of six previously unknown species, and established a herbarium.
Located on the reserve is the well-known 5* Grootbos Lodge, where Sean often works as a private guide. The Lodge supports the reserve through eco-tourism, and in 2005 established the Grootbos Foundation under Sean's leadership.
|The aim of the Foundation is to go beyond simply fencing off areas for floral reserves; it recognises that the long-term survival of habitat depends upon local communities recognising the value of conservation and seeing that it also has economic value. |
The Foundation has therefore been instrumental in the creation of impressive social and nature-based projects. These empower local communities through education and the creation of nature-based livelihoods.
The Grootbos Foundation creates employment and conservation awareness
Author: Roddy Bray
Published Date: 02 Feb 2010
Location: Southern Africa
Themes: natural world, travel | flora, conservation