The Nama Karoo Foundation works to:
- Protect the environment & restore ecology;
- Provide education & employment opportunities;
- Inspire, support & promote research and/or projects;
- Promote the conservation & sustainable use of natural capital.
South Africa is less than 2% of the world’s land. With 70% endemism, it houses 10% of the planet’s plants and 7% of the planet’s reptiles, birds, and mammals. It is the 3rd most biodiverse country in the world. Only Brazil and Indonesia support more varied forms of life.
25% of all land in South Africa has been transformed from it’s natural state. All Riverine habitats have been fundamentally changed, but can be restored. 50% of the indigenous forests are gone. Few naturally functioning freshwater systems remain. 50% of the wetlands have been lost to overstocking/grazing, commercial crops/agriculture and alien vegetation transformation.
The Nama Karoo Biome is characterized by its open spaces and healthy air, water and climate. It lies in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape Provinces. It is the largest and least researched of South Africa’s seven biomes (ecological regions) and the largest of its four desert biomes. It covers an area of 135,000 square miles. Less than 1% of the area is protected.
Elevation, temperature and rainfall separate it from the Succulent Karoo (to the south and west) and Fynbos Floral Kingdom (Cape Town) where over 20% of the world’s plants are exclusively found.
Grazing by domestic livestock has been the major cause of large-scale disturbance to the ecosystem. Fossil records dating back 3 billion years testify to the Nama Karoo being the world’s oldest land, the heart of Gwondanaland. Artefacts dating back over 1 million years indicate the antiquity of human habitation in the region.