Minister Creecy launches the Thohoyandou National Botanical Garden on International Day for Biological Diversity in Limpopo

19 May 2022

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy in partnership with South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Chairperson, Professor Edward Nesamvuni, will mark the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) by launching the Thohoyandou National Botanical Garden, on Sunday, 22 May 2022, in Thohoyandou, Vhembe District Municipality, Limpopo.

Each year IBD has a specific theme that encourages the protection and conservation of biological diversity and this year’s theme is “Building a Shared Future for all Life”. Therefore, launching the country’s eleventh national botanical garden is a fitting action to celebrate the International Day of Biological Biodiversity. South Africa is considered one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world due to its species diversity and diverse ecosystems. While it occupies only 2% of the world’s land surface area, South Africa is home to 10% of the world’s plant species and 7% of its reptile, bird and mammal species. Furthermore, it harbours around 15% of the world’s marine species.

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), an entity of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) is mandated by the Minister to manage, control and maintain all national botanical gardens. SANBI manages the network of National Botanical Gardens (NBGs) spread across the seven provinces in South Africa. 

The declaration of the Thohoyandou Botanical Garden (TBG) as an NBG in Limpopo will be the first in the province and will supplement the national network of botanical gardens in the country. The site is located in the major urban centre of Thohoyandou, under Vhembe Biosphere Reserve within the Vhembe District Municipality and the Thulamela Local Municipality. It includes a representative portion of the Soutpansberg Mountain Bushveld, a Vulnerable vegetation type with only 2.2% under protection.

The Thohoyandou National Botanical Garden (TNBG) will serve as a biodiversity centre for the province showcasing traditional botanical garden infrastructure and, biodiversity research facilities, which will be of benefit to the province. Serving as an additional nature-based, cultural and scientific tourism attraction, the garden will contribute to the area’s socio-economic development, and enhance tourism by linking with local and regional tourism initiatives. The developments to the garden are expected to increase its educational value, financial viability and the interest and support of visitors, tourists and the local community.

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the launch of the TNBG as follows:

Date: 22 May 2022

Venue: Thohoyandou National Botanical Garden, Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province

Time: 10:00

To RSVP, contact:
Noma Bolani
Cell: 072 927 0636
E-mail: nbolani@dffe.gov.za or

Peter Mbelengwa
Cell: 082 611 8197
E-mail: pmbelengwa@dffe.gov.za

For media enquiries please contact:
Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2879