The work of the department is also supported by the following statutory bodies: the Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA), South African Weather Service (SAWS), iSimangaliso Wetland Park , South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), and the South African National Parks (SANParks).
Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (EAPASA)
EAPASA was established in 2012. It exists to promote, on a non-profit basis, the advancement of the practice and quality of environmental assessment in South Africa in the public interest, in the interest of the environment and in terms of relevant legislation. EAPASA is a registration authority which registers environmental assessment practitioners (EAPs) based on the set of core competencies under the section 24H Registration Authority Regulations of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), Act 107 of 1998, as amended. The vision and mission of EAPASA is to promote public interest through the improvement of the quality of environmental assessment practice in South Africa. This is undertaken by establishing, promoting, and maintaining the registration of EAPs in South Africa in terms of section 24H of NEMA.
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
SANBI was established on 1 September 2004 in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act No 10 of 2004). The mandate of SANBI is to play a leading role in South Africa’s national commitment to biodiversity management, now and into the future. In partnership with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the biodiversity sector, SANBI is tasked with leading the biodiversity research agenda. This entails providing knowledge and information, giving policy support and advice, managing gardens as windows to our biodiversity for leisure, enjoyment, spiritual upliftment and education, and engaging in ecosystem restoration and rehabilitation programmes and best practice models to manage biodiversity better.
South African Weather Service (SAWS)
SAWS aims to provide useful and innovative weather, climate and related products and services by enhancing observational data and communications networks, effectively developing and managing talent in the sector, enhancing collaborative partnerships and effectively disseminating weather services products to the users, utilising cutting-edge technology to convert data into meaningful products and services for risk mitigation, advancing the science of meteorology, research and relevant applications, and enhancing fiscal discipline and resource mobilisation to ensure sustainability.
South African National Parks (SANParks)
SANParks was established in terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No 57 of 2003). In terms of this act, the primary mandate of SANParks is to oversee the conservation of South Africa’s biodiversity, landscapes and associated heritage assets through a system of national parks. The core areas that provide a fundamental basis of SANParks’ mandate are conservation management through the national parks system, constituency building and people-focused ecotourism management, and corporate governance and sound business and operational management.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park (iSimangaliso)
In December 1999 the iSimangaliso Wetland Park was inscribed as South Africa’s first world heritage site as an area of exceptional and outstanding universal heritage significance. The natural values in terms of which the iSimangaliso Wetland Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List include outstanding examples of ecological processes, superlative natural phenomena and scenic beauty, and exceptional biodiversity and threatened species. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has thus received recognition under three of four natural criteria recognised by the World Heritage Convention.
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