In the 2008 National Position Paper for Biosphere Reserves, the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve concept is identified as a valuable land management tool to integrate people and the environment in such a manner which supports the country's natural and cultural conservation and sustainable development objectives while improving human well-being. Therefore the vision for biosphere reserves in South Africa is stated as:
“ South African Biospheres are special landscapes where social-ecological land management is practiced towards a more sustainable future for all. ”
Biosphere reserves provide a framework for integrated development and management of all land uses in a manner that builds upon and provides the comparative economic advantages of both local and district municipalities. While biosphere reserve zonation principles can assist municipalities in the development of land use models, such principles are often not aligned with municipal Spatial Development Frameworks and Integrated Development Plans. Accordingly the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve has identified the need for a Framework Plan to facilitate coherent planning and land use management in terms of the principles of sustainable development and to optimize the implementation of the three global functions of biosphere reserves.
The KBR Framework Plan demonstrates how sustainable development can be achieved through reconciling biodiversity and development imperatives. Within a diverse range of land-use planning and management systems employed by numerous land-use decision-makers within the KBR, the Framework Plan serves as a common platform to guide land-use decision-making and has consequently been adopted by relevant municipalities.