The recognition is for Grootbos' work in its Grootbos Green Futures Foundation, and list Grootbos as a finalist in the 'Engaging Communities' World Legacy Award. This award recognises direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods, including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care and education.
Lean Terblanche, Director of the Grootbos Green Futures Foundation, told Traveller24, "the award shines a much-needed light on the importance of conservation and sustainability initiatives in tourism around the world. Our actions today affect the world for centuries to come; no one will benefit from tourism [in the future] if we do not protect our people and our planet."
The Grootbos Green Futures Foundation, started in 2003, is non-profit arm of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve which focuses on community based training and capacity building to support poverty alleviation, provide upward job mobility and advance nature conservation in the high biodiversity region known as the Cape Floral Kingdom where Grootbos is located. To date, 143 local residents graduated from the Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College founded by Grootbos and all were successfully placed into jobs.