Strategy and framework
Second National Action Programme for South Africa to Combat Desertification, Land Degradation and the effects of Drought
Desertification, land degradation and the effects of drought (DLDD) are challenges of global dimensions. They contribute to, and worsen economic, social and environmental problems such as poverty, poor health, lack of food security, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, reduced resilience to climate change and migration, amongst other things. The purpose of the NAP is to identify factors contributing to desertification, land degradation and drought as well as to implement practical measures necessary to combat desertification and to mitigate the effects of drought. To this end, the NAP sets out the respective roles of government, local communities and land users and also provides an indication of the resources that will be needed for its implementation.
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Status of Biological Invasions and their Management in South Africa (SBIMSA) in 2019 report
The status report constitutes an independent assessment of the status of biological invasions and their management in South Africa. The report is intended to inform the development and ongoing adaptation of appropriate policies and control measures, both to reduce the negative impacts of alien species on ecosystems, the economy, and people, and to retain any benefits of invasive species where possible and desirable.
This status report, published by the South African National Biodiversity Insitute (SANBI) together with the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, and with the assistance from authors at institutions across the country, is a significant contribution to policy, management, and research in the field, especially when there are very few reports globally that give such a comprehensive coverage of this field at a national level.
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The High-Level Panel (HLP) of Experts for the Review of Policies, Legislation and Practices on Matters of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros Management, Breeding, Hunting, Trade and Handling
This report serves as a comprehensive account of the HLP’s context and work – with the content detailing the HLP’s functions, approach and the associated programme of work, alongside specifics relating to each phase of work undertaken. It provides a record of activities, areas of engagement, key deliberations and emerging issues of agreement, disagreement and partial agreement – and an associated set of recommendations. The report also serves as a ready-reference source of information – providing HLP members and the minister with information on the context and background information underpinning the emerging recommendations. It should be noted that not all views included here are consensus views. While the chair and members of the HLP have worked towards achieving consensus, all acknowledged that there would inevitably be cases in which this was not possible.
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National Protected Area Expansion Strategy of South Africa 2016 (NPAES 2016)
The National Protected Area Expansion Strategy, first published in 2008 (NPAES 2008)1, presents a 20-year strategy for the expansion of protected areas in South Africa. Provision is made for the review and updating of the NPAES every 5 years. This document (NPAES 2016) represents the first full revision of the NPAES 2008, and the updated strategy for the next 5-years (2016 – 2020). Each new revision of the NPAES refers to a rolling 20-year period, so this revision sets out a future 20-year strategy.
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The South African Strategy for the Biosphere Reserve Programme (2016 - 2020)
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Public participation guideline in terms of NEMA Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations
This guideline is a revised version of the PP guideline that was published in 2010. It provides information and guidance for proponents or applicants, RI&APs, competent authorities and EAPs on the PP requirements of the Act. It further provides information on the characteristics of a vigorous and inclusive PPP.
South Africa’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2015 – 2025
African rhino conservation plan
The plan has a similar structure to a number of existing national plans long term setting out a long term Continental Vision with a Life of Plan Goal Target, and then identifying the Key Components necessary to achieve the Goal target and in so doing make progress towards achieving the long term Vision. Associated Key Component Objectives, Actions and KPI’s are identified, specifically highlighting areas where range State cooperation and collaboration is needed. Some potential projects of continental importance were also identified.
The Environmental Offsetting Discussion Document Project
In the South African context, environmental offsets are a relatively new mechanism intended to enhance sustainable development outcomes. The purpose of this document is to stimulate discussion around the concepts and principles of environmental offsets amongst as wide a group of stakeholders as possible, in order to assess the need and content requirements for a national policy framework.
- Discussion Document on Environmental Offsets [PDF]
- Literature Review: Environmental Offsetting [PDF]
- PowerPoint presentation: Introduction to the Environmental Offsetting Discussion Document Project [PDF]
- Notes of Environmental Offsets Discussion Document Workshop [PDF]
South African Elephant Research Strategy (SAERS)
National Strategy for the Safety and Security of Rhinoceros Populations in South Africa
South Africa’s Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit-Sharing Regulatory Framework: Guidelines for Providers, Users and Regulators
The guidelines endeavour to assist different stakeholders to understand the legal requirements and their rights in terms of the law. It is therefore imperative that these guidelines are consulted when planning to engage in commercial bioprospecting. Doing so will enhance the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from bioprospecting projects which utilise indigenous biological resources and their associated traditional knowledge.
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP)
The development and implementation of the NBSAP is an ongoing and iterative process. The NBSAP and the National Biodiversity Framework (NBF) must be seen as a continual cycle of implementation, monitoring, review and revision. The goal of the NBSAP is to conserve and manage biodiversity to ensure sustainable benefits to the people of South Africa, through co-operation and partnerships that build on strengths and opportunities.
Biodiversity management plan (BMP)
The BMP aims to provide for the long-term survival of a species in the wild and to provide a platform for an implementing organisation or responsible entity as appointed by the Minister to monitor and report on the progress regarding the implementation of the BMP. The draft BMP must be submitted to the Minister for approval for public comments or the implementation thereof in terms of the Biodiversity Act.
National climate change adaptation strategy
The National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (NCCAS) provides a common vision of climate change adaptation and climate resilience for the country, drawing from the National Development Plan, the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, the adaptation commitments included in its Nationally Determined Contributions, sector adaptation plans, provincial adaptation plans and municipality adaptation plans.
Actionable guidelines for the implementation of climate smart agriculture in South Africa. Volume 1
South Africa has adopted the principle of green economic growth, and has identified agriculture as one of the key sectors that will contribute towards the green economy (CSIR, 2014). Agriculture, and crop production in particular, can potentially contribute towards a low carbon, climate resilient and resource efficient growth path for South Africa. The realization of this potential is, however, threatened by changing climatic condi-tions caused by the global climate change.
Actionable guidelines for the implementation of climate smart agriculture in South Africa. Volume 2
Agriculture contributes only about 2% to the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of South Africa but it is considered an important engine for the growth of the rest of the economy because of its backward and forward linkages to the economy. It has thus been identified as one of the key sectors that could contribute towards the greening of the South African economy. The realization of this potential is, however, threatened by changing cli-matic conditions caused by the global climate change.
Actionable guidelines for the implementation of climate smart agriculture in South Africa. Volume 3
Agriculture has been identified as one of the key sectors that will contribute towards the greening of the South African economy (CSIR, 2014). Crop production and rangeland management in particular, have the greatest potential to contribute towards a green economy for South Africa, although, the realization of this potential is threatened by changing climatic conditions caused by the global climate change. Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) is now widely promoted as the best approach for ad-dressing the effects of climate change because it includes both mitigation and adaptation interventions.
National climate risk and vulnerability (CRV) assessment framework
There is growing demand among stakeholders across public and private institutions for spatially explicit information regarding vulnerability to climate change at the national and local scale and a call for a standardised approach on conducting risk and vulnerability assessment. In South Africa, there is no standard approach and there is also lack of consensus regarding the appropriate frameworks and best methodologies for assessing vulnerability. This framework, therefore, provides a holistic focus on the full spectrum of adaptation measures, plans and strategies thus constituting a new approach to vulnerability assessments. The framework is aimed at any actor in South Africa setting out to assess CRV. It provides a flexible yet structured sequence of steps and set of options that ensures that, whichever CRV assessment context, scale or focus, a standard set of concepts and questions have been taken into consideration.
Green economy policy review of South Africa’s industrial policy framework
This report reviews South Africa’s industrial policy, from an inclusive green economy lens. It investigates the extent to which South Africa’s industrial policy is responding to, if not driving, the country’s transition. The underpinning rationale and indeed long-term objectives of South Africa’s industrial and green economy policy frameworks are well aligned and emerge as an opportunity for cooperation and mutual benefits.
Generic Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) for the development and expansion of infrastructure for the overhead transmission and distribution of electricity
This generic EMPr applies to activities requiring environmental authorization, mainly activity 11 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations Listing Notice 1 of 2014 and activity 9 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations Listing Notice 2 of 2014, and all associated listed or specified activities necessary for the realization and expansion of such infrastructure.
Strategy toward gender mainstreaming in the environment sector 2016 - 2021
National Strategy for Sustainable Development and Action Plan (NSSD 1)
The NSSD 1 presents an understanding of sustainable development and explains the route that is being taken. It presents an action plan and indicators for the implementation of the strategy. It is not prescriptive, but is enabling in orientation and will be used to review sustainability programmes. The strategy calls for an interdependency approach across sectors and action on sustainability.
National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS)
The National Waste Management Strategy (NWMS) is a legislative requirement of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, 2008 (Act No. 59 of 2008), the “Waste Act”. The purpose of the NWMS is to achieve the objects of the Waste Act. Organs of state and affected persons are obliged to give effect to the NWMS.
Circular Economy Guideline
This guideline focuses on the transition to a circular economy (CE) in the waste sector in South Africa. The guideline places emphasis on materials flow and the materials value chain, which is just one aspect of a wider circular economy. A circular economy approach, in turn, is just one of several ways to achieve a green economy through sustain-able consumption and production.
The Updated User Friendly Guide to South Africa’s Integrated Coastal Management Act
The objective of this Guide was therefore to make the ICM Act accessible to coastal practitioners and interested parties concerned with specific details and applications of the Act to such an extent that it becomes standard reference material for information on coastal management in South Africa. The Guide was a ‘translation’ of the ICM Act into everyday language while, at the same time, presenting the contents in such a way as to assist the reader to find and understand the appropriate information.
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Status of the South African marine fishery resources
The status of South African marine resources reports produced by the department are recognised as an important contribution to our understanding of South Africa’s exploited marine resources. The information is presented in a way that is of use to both scientists, fisheries managers; fishing industry stakeholders and the public. The maintenance of the high standard of research on our exploited marine resources is essential especially given the many challenges that face the sector including the imminent implementation of the Small Scale Fisheries Policy. The report presents the most up-to-date information and analyses of the status of marine fishery resources in South Africa at the time of compilation.
- download the 2020 report [PDF - 2.81 mb]
- download the 2016 report. [PDF - 2.55 mb]
- download the 2014 report. [PDF - 2.09 mb]
- download the 2012 report. [PDF - 4.84 mb]
- download the 2010 report. [PDF - 1.63 mb]
Durban Bay Estuarine Management Plan
A summary guide to South Africa’s Integrated Coastal Management Act
The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to the ICM Act’s objectives and its relevance to various coastal stakeholders. This guide also explains the purpose of each chapter and provides a summary of the content of each chapter of the Act. This guide is the first in a series of informative Guidelines that are being developed to complement the ICM Act.
A User-friendly Guide to the Intgrated Coastal Management Act of South Africa
Coastal Oil Spill Contingency Plan: No. 1: West Coast Zone
This Coastal Oil Spill Contingency Plan covers the area for the West Coast Zone, in the Northern Cape and Western Cape Provinces. This Zone extends from the Orange River in the north, southwards along the Atlantic seaboard to just north of Elandsbaai. The Orange River forms the boundary with Namibia in the north.read more...
Draft Orange River Mouth Ramsar Site Strategic Estuarine Management Plan
National Coastal Management Programme of South Africa (NCMPSA)
A manual for rural freshwater agriculture
"If water is available to grow fish, aquaculture offers more choice than farming on land. This is because there is almost always a suitable species of fish that can be cultured in the available conditions. However, it is important that only species with requirements compatible with the region’s environmental conditions are cultured. For example, trying to grow a coldwater species such as trout in warm water will not work; however, tilapia or catfish would do well in warm water".
This project was formulated to address a number of issues, such as developing provincial aquaculture strategic plans, revitalising state hatcheries, training of extension officers, and the development of a manual to complement the training. The manual is not only intended for the training of extension officers, but is also resource material to be used in the field when interacting with farmers.
Prince Edward Islands Management Plan
The purpose of this management plan is to ensure the ongoing protection and conservation of the Prince Edward Islands by providing a comprehensive set of provisions for management. The management plan provides both background information and detailed guidance on environmental practice on the islands and should therefore be read by every visitor to the islands.
Guideline on the administration of appeals
The National Appeals Regulations, 2014 has repealed the various appeal regulations currently in effect in terms of NEMA and the SEMAs, and provides for a single appeal process under section 43 of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 against a decision taken by any person acting under a power delegated by the Minister or MEC.
Annexure A: SIP 19 Initial Component Descriptions
Detailed decriptions of the initial set of SIP 19 components/ projects reflected in the Minister's approved SIP 19 Description.
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SIP 19: Ecological Infrastructure for Water Security
An overview of a proposed Strategic Integrated Project (SIP) aimed at improving South Africa's water resources and other environmental goods and services through the conservation, protection, restoration, rehibilitation and/or maintenance of key ecological infrastructure.
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Human Capital Development Strategy Environmental Sector
A systems approach to skills development to support the Environmental Sector Strategic Plan
This Human Capital Development Strategy (HCDS) arises out of the constitutional imperative for a clean, healthy environment that benefits current and future generations, and the impetus to strengthen opportunities associated with a green economy for South Africa. Its time frame is 2009-2014, which is aligned with the MTSF of 2009-2014. The MTSF prioritises skills development in South Africa, and emphasises the importance of quality in the education, training and skills development process.
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Environment Sector Research, Development and Evidence Framework
An approach to enhance science-policy interface and evidence-based policy making
This document addresses the need for a common framework for the collection of solid evidence that can be used in support of environment sector policy decisions and for the achievement of sector priorities. In response to the pressing environmental issues of our times the framework is seeking to develop a more rigorous approach that gathers, critically appraises and uses high quality research evidence to inform policy-making and professional practice.
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National Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Strategy (EIMS)
The purpose of the EIAMS process is to facilitate a participatory process in order to compile a strategy that gives effect to the objectives of integrated environmental management as contained in Section 23 of NEMA within the context of the principles of sustainable development (Section 2 of NEMA) .
Environmental Sector Skills Plan (ESKP)
The Environmental Sector Skills Plan(ESSP) describes the current status quo with regard to demand and supply of environmental skills, and provides the best available information on scarce and critical skills in the sector at present from a supply and demand perspective.
South African Manual for Outoor Advertising Control (SAMOAC)
The main aim of SAMOAC is to initiate and co-ordinate the control of outdoor advertising. It is aimed at minimising the impacts of outdoor advertising while maximising the benefits of this advertising medium at the same time. This first document was developed by the then Deaprtment of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) in 1998 in cooperation with the National Department of Transport. Up till now it was expected of the various controlling authorities to provide legal status to SAMOAC by means of appropriate legislation.
National Protected Areas Expansion Strategy (NPAES)
The NPAES highlights ways in which we can become more efficient and effective in allocating the scarce human and financial resources available for protected area expansion. It sets targets for protected area expansion, provides maps of the most important areas for protected area expansion, and makes recommendations on mechanisms for protected area expansion.
National Framework for Sustainable Development in South Africa (NFSDSA)
The national framework for sustainable development seeks to build on existing programmes and strategies that have emerged in the first 14 years of democracy. It aims to identify key, short, medium and long–term challenges in our sustainable development efforts, sets the framework for a common understanding and vision of sustainable development; and defines strategic focus areas for intervention.
Integrated Environmental Management Information Series (IEM)
The aim of this document series is to provide general information on techniques, tools and processes for environmental assessment and management. The material in this document draws upon experience and knowledge from South African practitioners and authorities, and published literature on international best practice.
Woodlands and indigenous forest management
Urban greening strategy: a guideline for community forestry staff and discussion document for external stakeholders
Urban greening is an integrated approach to the planting, care and management of all vegetation in cities, towns, townships and informal settlements in urban and peri-urban areas. Urban greening in South Africa includes townships and informal settlements specifically because in the past these areas were disadvantaged in terms of planning for parks as well as tree planting in streets and open spaces.
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A woodland strategy framework
The role of the Department in terms of woodlands have long been discussed and questioned. The National Forest Act and the White Paper on Sustainable Forest Development clearly indicate that woodlands are included in the national forestry policy. This document takes one step further in outlining what practically should be done to implement the policy in terms of woodlands. It provides broad outlines of programmes and functions that would be required and point out where woodlands should be incorporated into existing functions and programmes of the Department as well as where new functions should be established.
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Systematic conservation planning for the forest biome of South Africa: Approach, methods and results of the selection of priority forests for conservation action.
This document has two broad goals: firstly, to present the principles, approach and results of a systematic conservation plan for the forest biome, and secondly, to provide the computer based information systems developed for indigenous forest conservation planning. This work has been commissioned by the UK Department for International Development on behalf of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The target audience include forest scientists, managers, conservationists, regulators, and administrators involved with indigenous forests in South Africa. The aim of conservation planning is the selection of priority planning units for conservation action. In the narrow sense, this implies inclusion of those areas, identified by systematic planning as being highly irreplaceable, and essential for inclusion within a protected area network for achieving targets. In the broader sense, conservation action may include a range of different activities, both inside and out side of protected areas.
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Forest management (FMU) level principles, criteria, indicators and standards
Natural forests must not be destroyed save in exceptional circumstances, where in the opinion of the Minister, a proposed new land use is preferable in terms of its economic, social or environmental benefits [NFA 3(3)(a)]. The participation of all interested and affected parties in environmental governance must be promoted and all people must have the opportunity to develop the understanding, skills and capacity necessary for achieving equitable and effective participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged persons must be ensured [NEMA 2(f)].
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National level: Forest management (FMU) level principles, criteria, indicators and standards
Natural forests must not be destroyed save in exceptional circumstances, where in the opinion of the Minister, a proposed new land use is referable in terms of its economic, social or environmental benefits [NFA 3(3)(a)]. Forests must be developed and managed so as to promote the fair distribution of their economic, social, health and environmental benefits [NFA3 (3) c (iii)]. Forests must be developed and managed so as to advance persons or categories of persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination [NFA 3 (3) c (vii)].
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Small scale forestry
Agroforestry strategy framework for South Africa.
This strategy framework provides a summary of the literature review and policy review, followed by a summary of the key issues paper, highlighting key challenges for agroforestry development. The strategy framework provides a vision for agroforestry proposes a working definition of agroforestry for South Africa and defines key principles that should inform thinking when implementing the strategy. The strategy itself, which is made up of three themes: Creating the Enabling Environment, Knowledge Development and Putting Agroforestry into Practice. For each strategic theme there are a number of goals and for each goal, a set of objectives that are necessary for each goal to be achieved. Associated with the strategy is the implementation plan which provides detail on key actions and outputs from the strategy. Included in the implementation plan are indicators against which progress with implementing the strategy can be monitored.
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Companion to the draft forest sector transformation charter: first draft for presentation to stakeholders
The Forest Sector makes a major contribution to the South African economy. The commercial plantation resource of some 1.33 million hectares forms the basis for a well-developed, highly integrated and diversified forest products industry in South Africa. The fibre sub-sector is dominated by a small number of large, corporate enterprises that are involved in the capital-intensive pulp, paper and composite board industries. These industries are characterised by their backward linkages into plantation forestry, motivated by the need to secure reliable roundwood supply. These, together with a small number involved in saw milling, own 58.8% of the plantation forest resource. A larger number of medium and emerging enterprises is located in the sub-sectors of growers, forestry contractors, sawmilling, pole treatment, charcoal manufacturing and paper processing.
Draft strategy: Framework for forestry enterprise development
The purpose of this paper is to present a draft FED strategy framework that sets out broad guidelines for FED support and identifies priority strategy themes to be developed further as a separate strategy initiatives. FED requires the active support of a number of role-players, ranging from land holding communities and small-scale entrepreneurs to private sector companies and different government agencies. Therefore the draft strategy presented in this paper is not intended to be a departmental strategy, but as a sector strategy in which the department plays a leading role. Obviously, such a strategy would need to be developed in consultation with the various role-players. This draft strategy framework, together with the companion Key Issues Paper on Forest Enterprise Development is presented as a first step by the department in developing an FED strategy.
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Eastern Cape biodiversity conservation plan (ECBCP)
This Handbook contains a short description of how the ECBCP biodiversity priorities were identified, an explanation of the land use guidelines in the ECBCP, and userfriendly guidelines for using the electronic decision support system of the ECBCP. More information is available from the ECBCP Technical Report (Berliner, D. & Desmet, P. 2007). The ECBCP addresses the urgent need to identify and map critical biodiversity areas and priorities for conservation in the Province. It also provides land use planning guidelines, recommending biodiversity-friendly activities in priority areas. The ECBCP is intended for use by technical users and decision-makers in the spheres of planning, development and environment. Mapped information can be used both reactively and strategically to guide future development away from sensitive and priority biodiversity areas.
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Forestry regulation and oversight
Methods and procedures for the selection of champion trees in South Africa for protection in terms of the National Forests Act of 1998 (Act 84 of 1998)
This report deals with assigning special status to extraordinary single trees and groups of trees in South Africa, here referred to as ‘Champion’ trees. The report proposes an objective methodology for determining champion status. Biological attributes, age of tree and heritage significance are the key parameters for evaluating champion status. Legal provisions elsewhere are also a key consideration in the methodology. The report also spells out a process by which stakeholders can suggest certain trees that should be on the champion tree list (application process), as well as evaluation procedures for the technical review of the champion tree list.
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State of forests report
The purpose of this report is: to provide the public with information with which to assess progress in achieving SFM; to provide policy makers with a report as required under the NFA, Part 2, section 6(3); to report on forestry progress in translating the Manifesto, a solemn declaration by the government of its intentions and medium term strategic framework (MTSF), a framework to guide government’s programme in the electoral mandate period into outcomes and; to recommend to policy makers certain proposals to create an enabling environment to help the Forestry branch to meet relevant outcomes as enshrined in government’s policy of a developmental state.