Profile of Candice Mostert
- Name: Candice Mostert
- Country: South Africa
- representing this natural World Heritage Site: Cape Floral Region (2004)
- Occupation and educational background: I completed my National Diploma in Nature Conservation at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2003.
I volunteered with a NGO Stone Dragon Education intermittently between 2001-2005, focussing on environmental education.
In 2004 I worked for Coastcare Working for the Coast and Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve, in Hermanus.
I started with CapeNature in 2006 as a Conservation Services Officer in the Cape Town Metropolitan and acted for a period as a Conservation Manager in 2008/9.
I started my Ecological Coordinator position in January 2010 and feel just as inspired as ever.
- Group Affiliation:
Western Cape Nature Conservation Board t/a CapeNature
- Free-time activities:
I love being outdoors, especially hiking and cycling. But I also thoroughly enjoy cooking.
- Favourite Quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
By Marianne Williamson (from "A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles")
- My Personal relation to the World Heritage Site:
I am a member of a Regional Ecological Support Team within CapeNature, these teams aim to support biodiversity planning and review, effective data management, provide ecological decision support, maintain a scientifically sound biodiversity monitoring and evaluation system, facilitate staff development, and promote biodiversity coordination and networking, throughout the Western Cape and the Cape Floral Region (CFR). As the ecological coordinator for the Breede Berg area, I am personally involved with Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area, which is one of the eight sites, namely: Cape Peninsula National Park, Cederberg Wilderness Area, Boland Mountain Complex, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, Swartberg Complex and Baviaanskloof Protected Area, which make up the CFR cluster.
- Important to safeguard my natural World Heritage Site:
The CFR has been named one of the 18 world “biodiversity hot-spot’s” and is distinctive for plant diversity and endemism (6, 191 species @ 31.9%) and has been designated as one of the IUCN World Centres of Plant Diversity. It is recognised as a floral kingdom on its own (Cape Floristic Kingdom), smallest of the world’s six principal floristic regions and it is in a temperate zone; with a degree of species richness comparable with most tropical hotspots. The CFR has one fifth of all the plant species of Africa, despite occupying less than 0.5% of the continents area.
The CFR is vital in representing ongoing ecological and biological processes associated with the evolution of the unique Fynbos Biome. These processes are represented generally within the CFR and captured in the eight clusters. 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 CFR forms a centre of active speciation where interesting patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation are found in the flora.
- Specific problems and threats of my WHS:
Lack of financial resources for staff and operational budget, fire incidence, invasive alien species, climate change and tourism and infrastructure development.
Establishing a single management authority through a Joint Management Committee and extension of the property/site.
- Motivation for participating in the International Youth Forum 2010:
To be selected and invited as a representative to participate in a forum of this nature is an honor – for me, my organisation CapeNature and our country. It is a rare opportunity to give our biodiversity a voice and face at an international arena. It is also an indication that CapeNature has value to add with regards to our unique biodiversity, conservation management and planning approach.
This is a wonderful networking opportunity, an opportunity to not only to share our learning but to be exposed to other insights that have been developed in diverse areas of the world and bring these back to South Africa.
- Message to the world concerning WHS and biodiversity:
Biodiversity is the biological, ecological and genetic diversity of an area, which also supports ecosystem processes and services. World heritage sites are unique, authentic representations of these biodiversity rich areas. However, as the biodiversity affords humans material and non-material benefits – we must not be arrogant in thinking that we are not part of the interconnected web of life. World heritage sites are surrounded by communities and commercial enterprise and to ensure biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change and land use change it is vital to integrate people into the web and not keep ourselves separate. I believe the uniqueness and integrity of a world heritage site gives you a biological context, it can act as a stepping stone in protected area expansion, a benchmark of biodiversity within a landscape initiative, an enabling environment for spiritual renewal and affords benefit sharing opportunities. Biodiversity levels may vary from country to country and area to area, but we should be thankful to our home and what it affords us. The time to accept our role as stewards of the world and what has been entrusted to us in now. The balance is achievable, but we need to be more honest in our efforts and actions towards sustainable development if we wish to preserve our heritage.