jump to the content

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

Cape Floral Region Protected Areas

A serial site – in Cape Province, South Africa – made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000 ha, the Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. The site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes associated with the Fynbos vegetation, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region. The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Unique plant reproductive strategies, adaptive to fire, patterns of seed dispersal by insects, as well as patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation found in the flora, are of outstanding value to science.

Aires protégées de la Région florale du Cap

Ce site sériel situé dans la province du Cap, Afrique du Sud, est composé de huit aires protégées couvrant un total de 553 000 ha. La région florale du Cap est l’une des zones les plus riches de la planète du point de vue végétal. Bien que représentant moins de 0,5 % de la superficie de l’Afrique, elle abrite presque 20 % de la flore du continent. Le site présente des processus écologiques et biologiques extraordinaires associés à la végétation du fynbos (brousse fine), végétation propre à la région florale du Cap. La densité et l’endémisme de la flore, ainsi que sa remarquable diversité, sont parmi les plus élevés de la planète. Des phénomènes uniques au monde notamment en matière de stratégie de reproduction végétale, de réaction des plantes au feu, de pollinisation des plantes par les insectes, ainsi que des structures intéressantes d’endémisme et de rayonnement adaptatif confèrent à la région une valeur exceptionnelle pour la science.

محمية الزهور في الكاب

يتألف هذا الموقع المتسلسل الواقع في إقليم الكاب في جنوب إفريقيا من ثمانية مساحات محمية تغطي حوالى 553000 هكتار. إن منطقة الزهور هي إحدى المناطق الأغنى في العالم لجهة النبات. على الرغم من أن هذه المساحة تمثّل أقلّ من 0.5% من مساحة أفريقيا، فإنها تأوي حوالى 20% من النبات في القارة. ويضمّ الموقع ظواهر بيئية وبيولوجية خارقة ترافق نمو نبات الفينبوس (الدغل الناعم)، وهو نبات خاص بمنطقة الزهور في الكاب. إن كثافة النباتات فيها واستيطانها، بالإضافة إلى تنوعها المذهل، يعدّ من الأهم على الكرة الأرضية. وتمنح ظواهر فريدة من نوعها في العالم، لا سيما لجهة استراتيجبة التكاثر النباتي وردة فعل النبات على النار وتلقيح النبات بالحشرات بالإضافة إلى الهيكليات المثيرة للاهتمام لجهة الاستيطان والإشعاع التكييفي، هذه المنطقة قيمة استثناية للعلوم.

source: UNESCO/ERI

弗洛勒尔角

弗洛勒尔角是南非开普省的一处系列遗址,由8个保护区组成,占地553 000公顷,是世界上植物最茂密的地方之一。这个不到非洲面积0.5%的地方却是全非洲将近20%的植物种植区。展现了弗洛勒尔角地区与高山硬叶灌木有关的生态和生物进化进程。其突出的植被多样性、密度和地方特殊性在全世界范围内都是独一无二的。植物独特的自我再生复制功能、适应火险、由昆虫来传播种子,以及当地植物种类和适应性放射,这些都具有独特的科学价值。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Охраняемые территории Капской флористической области

Этот кластерный объект состоит из восьми различных охраняемых территорий, располагающихся в южной части страны, и покрывающих в сумме площадь 553 тыс. га. Занимающая не более 0,5% площади Африки Капская флористическая область, одна из богатейших в мире по видовому составу растений, представляет 20% флористического разнообразия материка. Здесь можно наблюдать важные природные процессы, связанные с формированием уникального, отмеченного только здесь, типа субтропической растительности, который получил название финбош. Исключительное разнообразие и высочайший эндемизм этой флоры делает ее уникальной в глобальном масштабе. Особый научный интерес представляет изучение механизма размножения местных растений.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Zonas protegidas de la región floral de El Cabo

La región floral de la provincia de El Cabo (Sudáfrica) es un sitio en serie integrado por ocho áreas protegidas que abarcan 553.000 hectáreas y constituye una de las zonas más ricas en vegetación del planeta. Aunque esta región representa menos del 0,5% de la superficie total del continente africano, posee casi el 20% de toda su flora. Aquí tienen lugar procesos ecológicos y biológicos de excepcional importancia relacionados con un tipo de vegetación arbustiva específica denominada fynbos. El grado de diversidad, densidad y endemismo de la flora es uno de los más altos del mundo. En las áreas del sitio se observan fenómenos únicos en el mundo en lo referente a la reacción de la flora al fuego, las estrategias de reproducción vegetal y la polinización de las plantas por parte de los insectos. También es posible observar estructuras de endemismo y expansión adaptativa de los vegetales sumamente interesantes. Todo ello confiere a esta región un valor excepcional en el plano científico.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ケープ植物区保護地域群

source: NFUAJ

Beschermde gebieden van de regio Cape Floral

De gebieden van de regio Cape Floral bestaan uit acht beschermde gebieden, die 553.000 hectare omvatten. De regio is een van de vruchtbaarste gebieden voor planten ter wereld. Het vertegenwoordigt minder dan 0,5% van de oppervlakte van Afrika, maar is de thuisbasis van bijna 20% van de flora van het continent. De omgeving toont ecologische en biologische processen die samenhangen met de Fynbos vegetatie, die uniek is voor de Cape Floral regio. Verder komen er unieke manieren van plantreproductieve voor in het gebied. De diversiteit, dichtheid en endemie van de flora in de regio behoren tot de hoogste ter wereld.

Source: unesco.nl

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas © Western Cape Nature Conservation Board
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Cape Floral Region has been recognised as one of the most special places for plants—in terms of diversity, density and number of endemic species—in the world. Covering less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora, this extraordinary assemblage of plant life and its associated fauna is represented by a series of eight protected areas covering an area of 553,000 ha. These protected areas also conserve the outstanding ecological, biological and evolutionary processes associated with the beautiful and distinctive Fynbos vegetation, unique to the Cape Floral Region.

Criterion (ix): The property is considered of outstanding universal value for representing ongoing ecological and biological processes associated with the evolution of the unique Fynbos biome. These processes are represented generally within the Cape Floral Region and captured in the eight protected areas. Of particular scientific interest are the plant reproductive strategies including the adaptive responses to fire of the flora and the patterns of seed dispersal by insects. The pollination biology and nutrient cycling are other distinctive ecological processes found in the site. The Cape Floral Region forms a centre of active speciation where interesting patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation are found in the flora.

Criterion (x): The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants than for any similar sized area in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora. The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Some 69% of the estimated 9,000 plant species in the region are endemic, with some 1,435 species identified as threatened. The Cape Floral Region has been identified as one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hot spots.

Integrity

The Cape Floral Region Protected Areas currently comprises a serial property of eight protected areas covering a total area of 553,000 ha, and includes a buffer zone of 1,315,000 ha designed to facilitate functional connectivity and mitigate the effects of global climate change and other anthropogenic influences. At the time of inscription six of the protected areas were surrounded by other conservation lands, while the Boland Mountain Complex was surrounded by mostly rural land uses. The area facing the greatest external pressures is the Cape Peninsula National Park, and progress for increased protection through public awareness and social programmes to combat poverty, mountain catchment areas and stewardship programmes is being made. The collection of eight protected areas, all of which have management plans, adds up in a synergistic manner to present the biological richness and evolutionary story of the Cape Floral Region.

Protection and management requirements

The property is legally protected and managed by three authorities (South African National Parks, Western Cape Nature Conservation Board and Eastern Cape Parks Board), which, with the national Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, make up the “Cape Floral Region Protected Areas World Heritage Property Joint Management Committee”. Knowledge management systems are being expanded to better advise planning and management decision-making, thereby facilitating the efficient use of limited, but increasing resources related to the management of fire and alien invasive plants in particular.

There is currently a process underway to achieve the proclamation of the serial property as a World Heritage Site in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act (Act No. 49 of 1999). Once the serial property is proclaimed as a World Heritage Site its status will automatically be recognized as a protected area and thus enjoy protection in terms of the following key environmental laws:  National Environmental Management Act (Act No. 107 of 1998), the Physical Planning Act (Act No. 88 of 1967), National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (Act No 10 of 2004) and National Environmental Management: Protected Areas (Act 57 of 2003). In terms of these pieces of legislation, mining or prospecting is completely prohibited in a World Heritage Site and all developments are subjected to environmental impact assessments. 

The greatest challenges facing the property at this time are invasive species and fire. Longer-term threats include climate change and development pressures caused by a growing population, particularly in the Cape Peninsula. Invasive species are being dealt with through manual control programmes that have been used as a reference for other parts of the world, and all of the sites are managed in accordance with agreed management plans.

Long Description

The Cape Floral Region is located in the south-west corner of South Africa in the Cape Province. The site's eight clusters form a representative sample of the eight phytogeographical centres of the region. Elevations range from 2,077 m in the Groot Winterhoek to sea level in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. A great part of the area is characterized by rugged mountain passes, rivers, rapids, cascades and pools.

The area has been called the world's 'hottest hot-spot' for plant diversity and endemism and has been designated as one of the World Centres of Plant Diversity. It has some 44% of the subcontinental flora of 20,367 species (vascular plant species), including endemic and subendemic families and threatened species. The Cape Peninsula contains almost half of these species, with 25% of the flora of the whole region. The richness is due to the wide variety of macrohabitats and microhabitat mosaics resulting from the range of elevations, soils and climatic conditions, including the co-existence of winter-rainfall species with summer-rainfall species from further east. The flora is also characterized by concentrations of relict endemics and massive ongoing speciation due to its isolation in an area of very long established climatic stability. The flora of each area is sufficiently distinct to justify representation of the region by several sites, each of which is large enough to preserve the genetic viability of its types of diversity and to accommodate large-scale natural processes such as fire and drought. Eight phytogeographical centres of endemism have been distinguished in the Cape Floral Region.

The distinctive flora of the region, comprising 80% of its richness, is the fynbos (fine bush), fine-leaved vegetation adapted to both the Mediterranean type of climate and to periodic fires, and defined by the location or dominant species. Plant variety is based on soil types which vary from predominantly coarse, sandy, acidic nutrient-poor soils, to alkaline marine sands and slightly richer alluvials. There are pockets of evergreen forest in fire-protected gorges and on deeper soils; in the east are valley thickets and succulent thickets, which are less fire-dependent, and in the drier north, low succulent Karoo shrubland.

Four other characteristics of the Cape Floral Region of global scientific interest are:

  • the responses of the plants to fire;
  • seed dispersal by ants and termites;
  • the high level (83%) of plant pollination by insects, mainly beetles and flies;
  • its linkages to Gondwanaland allowing reconstruction of the flora's ancient connections.

Adaptation to fire include geophytes that sprout from underground and seed storage both underground and in the canopy, some species requiring fire for germination. Ants take the seeds to eat the lipid deposits; about 28% of the region's flora, including over half of the Proteaceae, is dispersed by them. Most of the shrubs so dispersed are both endemic and threatened species but the latter lack a way of regenerating after fire. Pollination and nutrient-cycling by termites, and termite-mound communities are notable and the region has very high levels of bird- and mammal-pollinated plants.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC