BioRegional South Africa


At the World Summit on Sustainable Development In 2002, BioRegional supported Johannesburg EcoCity Trust to create a demonstration of eco-houses and community centre at Ivory Park Township. In 2005, BioRegional held the first One Planet workshop in Johannesburg, and a number of subsequent workshops were held for the City of Cape Town, Tongaat Hulett Developments in Durban, The Natural Step, South African Cities Network and Joburg Property Company.

BioRegional South Africa has more recently been working with Tongaat Hulett Developments, their consultants and eThekwini municipality to apply the 10 One Planet Principles to the proposed Sibaya development north of Umhlanga in Durban, creating an overarching ‘one planet’ strategy for the entire 850 hectare site including 6,000 residential units, six hotels and commercial space by 2027.

For the United Nations COP17-CMP7 in November/December 2011, BioRegional had an exhibition for two weeks in the UN accredited exhibition area, where we talked to delegates about one planet living to help them see how to play a part in building sustainability. Together with the World Green Building Council we also hosted a side event on ‘Voices from South Africa: Energy Efficient Buildings and Communities for Sustainable Development’.

In 2012, we worked with housing developer Stedone Homes, their project team and East Coast Architects to construct a One Planet demonstration home and exhibition centre at Izinga, on Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, but disappointingly the home did not reach build out. In September of that same year a workshop was hosted by the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) School of Civil Engineering, with BioRegional as a partner, using the One Planet framework to influence the theme of infrastructure development. Dialogue continues with the municipal Department of Housing and others, for an affordable demonstration project in Durban, the mandate still being to establish a One Planet Community and exemplar in South Africa. Our overseas office and particularly Pooran Desai as Technical Head of the One Planet Communities Programme, continues to seek potential investment partners with overseas funders who may be willing to look at partnering on this.

The Waterloo Entrepreneurial Development Programme, or WEDP (part of the Sibaya Precinct Action Plan ‘Equity and Local Economy’ principle), is to complete in 2014 with a partnership formed with the UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and three young researchers who are to be Business Coach interns. 30 entrepreneurs have currently benefitted, with an end goal of 50 new or expanded local businesses. 

BioRegional South Africa is an environmental Trust (Reg. No: IT1413/2008). It is registered as a Non-Profit organisation with the NPO Directorate of the Department of Social Development (Reg. No: 096-221) and also as a Public Benefit Organisation with the Tax Exemption Unit of SARS (Reg. No: 930029973).

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Updated 06.02.2012


Mailing address:
BioRegional South Africa
South Africa

telephone +27 (0)31 266 8939 


Registered SA Trust no: IT 1413/2008/PMB


John Cook
John is an architect by profession having practiced in UK, Malawi and SA and has spent the bulk of his working life in development with both Anglo American and Tongaat Hulett Developments (THDev).

At end of 2008, he retired from THDev as Development Executive responsible for Sibaya, which will be the flagship sustainable initiative for Tongaat Hulett Developments. One project over more recent years includes the Zimbali Coastal Resort - an internationally recognized resort development that established development and preservation of critical coastal dune forest adjacent to the Indian Ocean.

His passion has been to see the One Planet Living principles being incorporated into every aspect of a major development in KZN South Africa, in particular Sibaya.

Michelle Wilson
Michele Wilson is an American citizen who moved to South Africa in 1991. Prior to this, Michelle obtained her law degree in America, and was a partner at the law firm of Shearman and Waters in Danbury, Connecticut. In 1990  She changed careers and joined Dick Young Productions (New York City) to make documentary films covering a broad range of international social issues, filming from Japan to Timbuktu. 
Michelle is married to Rick Wilson and they have one child.   She served as an ambassador to WWF South Africa from 2005 and was elected to the board of directors of the same in 2007.  Michelle is also bee keeper.

Pooran Desai OBE
Pooran studied physiological sciences at Oxford University. He founded the BioRegional Charcoal Company and has worked to revive London’s lavender industry. With architect Bill Dunster he initiated the BedZED eco-village. Pooran has been a sustainability consultant to government and industry, in the UK and overseas and chaired the Homes and Environment group of the UK Defra Advisory Committee on Consumer Products and the Environment. In 2005, Pooran helped found sustainable community development company BioRegional Quintain Ltd (BQL), where he is Sustainability Director. He is Technical Director of the international “One Planet Living” initiative. In 2004, Pooran was awarded an OBE for services to sustainable development.

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