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An Integrated Approach to Conserve Biodiversity Outside Protected Areas
Role of Ezemvelo’s Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) Team
Ezemvelo undertakes detailed reviews of all land-use change applications, provides advice and engages with relevant government departments, NGOs and the private sector (e.g. consultants and developers) on biodiversity issues and attends various inter-departmental forums that promote integrated decision making to safeguard biodiversity. This is one of the ways in which Ezemvelo contributes towards South Africa’s international obligation to meet biodiversity targets: provincially a minimum of 10%, which is an IUCN recommendation that has global applicability.
Major Threats to Biodiversity
- Land-use change (transformation and fragmentation), both lawful and unlawful, is one of the most serious threats to biodiversity and conservation is a competing land use.
- Poor Planning / Decision making
- Poor Land Management
- Alien plant invasion
- Insecticides / Herbicides and Pesticides
- Water, Land and Air Pollution (incl. fertilisers)
- Climate Change
Ezemvelo receives ± 800 applications per year:
- ± 42.5% of applications have significant biodiversity concerns.
- ± 14.5% of applications are located within areas of high biodiversity value.
- ± 75% of projects processed by Ezemvelo addresses biodiversity concerns either in full/part.
Towards Improved Service Delivery
Ezemvelo: IEM periodically undertakes critical assessments of the internal review process to improve efficiency and service delivery.
As such we:
- Produced internal documents to assist with the efficient review of applications, e.g.: Minimum Requirements Doc.
- Currently developing various external documents for stakeholders to assist in the appropriate consideration and protection of biodiversity, e.g.:
Training: Development Planners and Interns
One of the challenges facing the conservation of our natural heritage and furthering the mandate of Ezemvelo is predicting potential impacts of land-use change on biodiversity. This is a specialist field and there is little in the way of expertise in and outside of Ezemvelo. Staff that have gained experience in biodiversity planning and environmental impact assessments are highly sort after. Experience in this field is therefore desirable and as a means to serve Ezemvelo’s interests and to augment Ezemvelo’s social responsibility programme, “Development Planner” and “Internship” programmes were instituted. The early success of these programmes has indicated that the programmes and the candidates therein, will grow in the near future bringing greater opportunities to future candidates and Ezemvelo.
Ezemvelo IEM Team
The IEM Team is comprised of:
- Principal Conservation Planners (PCP) – focusing on high biodiversity impact projects within KwaZulu-Natal, as well as engaging with government and non-government stakeholders at various levels.
- Process Planner – administrates and facilitates the technical processing of applications, IEM products and supervises/trains Development Planners and Interns.
- Development Planners – assist PCPS.
- Interns – assist IEM Team and gain exposure to various facets of conservation within the organisation.
Contact the IEM team for EIA related enquiries: