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Strategic documents


Biodiversity and Conservation 



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.

This document therefore does not represent government’s perspective on any of the issues involved – it cannot, because as yet the Department of Environmental Affairs does not have a policy on offsets.
Follow the links below to access the discussion document and other related/supporting documents:

Environmental Offsetting discussion project



 South African Elephant Research Strategy (SAERS)

The main objective of this Elephant Research Strategy is to provide a framework that enhances implementation of the Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in South Africa. The document also aligns the norms and standards with needs defined by the Elephant Assessment as well as the African Elephant Action developed under the auspices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). 

South African Elephant Research Strategy (SAERS)



National Strategy for the Safety and Security of Rhinoceros Populations in South Africa 

This strategy has been necessitated by a drastic increase in the number of incidents of rhino (rhino) poaching in the country and the continued leakage of certain horn stocks into the international illegal trade. This has raised concern with conservation bodies, private landowners and attracted international attention including media coverage worldwide, and increased the focus on South Africa at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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.



Sustainable development / climate change / greening initiatives 



Strategy toward gender mainstreaming in the environment sector 2016 - 2021


The purpose of this strategy is to: ensure that initiatives in the sector are aimed to support the creation of policies that support gender mainstreaming; ensure gender analyses and mainstreaming during the development of new projects and including gender perspective into the whole project cycle management. The objectives are to: provide strategic guidance for gender mainstreaming in the environment sector; provide direction on how gender mainstreaming for the environment sector can be put into practice; provide a framework for gender mainstreaming and outlining funding opportunities.




Strategic Plan -  Measurement, Reporting and Verification: AFOLU Sector 2016 to 2020


This strategic plan sets out the proposed approach and actions required to develop a Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) approach for the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector. The MRV of AFOLU is intended to consistently track, quantify and report both the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and impacts, and non-GHG impacts of emission reduction responses over a long-term period. 





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.



Chemicals and Waste 


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.




Oceans and Coasts


Durban Bay Estuarine Management Plan

It is an exciting time to present the Durban Bay (Port of Durban) Estuarine Management Plan 2016, as required by the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act, 2008 and the National Estuarine Management Protocol, 2013. This estuarine bay is an exceptional estuary. It is the leading estuarine port in terms of it support of not only the nation's economy, but the southern hemisphere at large.



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

The objective of this Guide is therefore to make the ICM Act accessible and applicable 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. This Guide is 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.



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.




Draft Orange River Mouth Ramsar Site Strategic Estuarine Management Plan

The Orange River Mouth Ramsar site is situated between the towns of Oranjemund and Alexander Bay and forms the border between South Africa and Namibia. The estuary has an area of approximately 2,500 ha. It is a delta type river mouth, comprising a channel system between sand banks, a tidal basin, the river mouth and the salt marsh on the south bank. The extent of tidal exchange extends as far as the Ernest Oppenheimer Bridge, approximately 13 km upstream. 



Draft Durban Bay Estuarine Management Plan

Durban Bay is situated on the east coast of South Africa and has formed the focal point for development of the city of Durban. The region has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures ranging between an average minimum of 16°C and average maximum of 27°C. The catchment area is generally wet receiving an average annual rainfall of 1 010 mm mostly in summer between November and March.




National Coastal Management Programme of South Africa (NCMPSA)

A CMP is a policy directive for the management of the coastal zone, inclusive of strategies and plans for the effective implementation of the ICM Act that will enable organs of state to plan accordingly, to set a course for the environmental future of a nation by addressing the resolution of current management problems and user-conflicts (due to the wide variety of activities and uses of the coast), as well as the long-term development and management of the coastline. 



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.


National Strategy for the Safety and Security of Rhinoceros Populations in South Africa


Legal /law Enforcement


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. 



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Corporate Affairs



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.  

read more... [7,17 mb]




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.  

read more... [8,61 mb]




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.

read more... [870 kb]



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.

read more... [949.35 kb]



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) .   read more... read more




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.



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