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State of Biodiversity Report 2012

CapeNature has compiled State of Biodiversity reports every five years since 2002 and this is the third report. These reports aim to give some indication of the state of the ecosystems of the Western Cape Province (WCP) and their constituents which are the many species that occur in this province.

Biodiversity is a broad concept that incorporates all the variation that is present in life, from the genetic differences between individuals to the differences between biomes such as forest and succulent Karoo. The intrinsic value of this biodiversity is substantial but there is much more value apart from the intrinsic value. This variation houses and facilitates a multitude of ecosystem services such as the provision of clean water, pollination, flood attenuation, provision of oxygen and many others that sustain life on this planet. Healthy ecosystems underpin many aspects of human well-being (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). It is important for this understanding, that the natural environment is critical for human survival and well-being, to gain greater awareness. This is required to move away from the erroneous but persistent view that conservation and human well-being are alternative choices.