Biodiversity Programmes, Policy and Planning

[Threatened Species Programme]
[Biodiversity Planning] [Bioregional programmes][Links to other Biodiversity Sites]

The National Botanical Institute (precursor to SANBI) recognized the need to respond to the increasingly dynamic global and national policy environment on biodiversity and as a result the Directorate for Biodiversity Programmes, Policy and Planning was established in July 2001.

On the 31st of May 2004 President Thabo Mbeki signed the Biodiversity Bill. The Biodiversity Act provides for the management and conservation of South Africa's biodiversity, through biodiversity planning and monitoring, the protection of threatened ecosystems and species, the control and management of alien and invasive species, the regulation of bioprospecting, fair and equitable benefit-sharing and the regulation of permits. The Act allows for the establishment of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).


The purpose of the Biodiversity Programmes, Policy and Planning Directorate is to ensure that SANBI:

  • responds appropriately to biodiversity-related global policy and national priorities
  • makes systematic contributions to the development of national biodiversity priorities
  • demonstrates the value of conserving biodiversity and the relevance of biodiversity to the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans

Key Focus areas

The directorate has a number of key focus areas including:
  • identifying national and regional priorities at ecosystem and species level through biodiversity planning
  • providing institutional and strategic support to implementation of bioregional programmes and other biodiversity plans
  • mainstreaming biodiversity priorities in multiple sectors
  • supporting policy development on biodiversity conservation, management and sustainable use
  • promoting and contributing to a greater understanding of the value of biodiversity in South Africa
  • providing institutional strengthening for biodiversity planning and implementation
  • providing accessible biodiversity information for sound planning and decision-making


These focus areas are addressed through the various activities of the directorate, which fall under: biodiversity planning, bioregional planning, mainstreaming biodiversity and biodiversity data management.

Biodiversity Planning

Bioregional Progammes

Mainstreaming biodiversity priorities in multiple sectors

SANBI hosted a workshop in September 2004 on mainstreaming biodiversity in production landscapes. Tthe aim of this workshop is to reach a consensus on the definition and principles for mainstreaming. Mainstreaming involves the incorporation of explicit biodiversty priorities into the policies, decisions and actions of the organisations involved, to achieve conservation targets for living landscapes.

SANBI serves on the steering committee for the South African Mining and Biodiversity Dialogue and the IUCN's Working Group on Extractive Industries and Biodiversity. The aim of the South African Mining and Biodiversity Dialogue is to improve the performance of the mining sector in terms of biodiversity management.

Biodiversity Information Management

SANBI has started a process to develop a biodiversity information management system, which is required in terms of the Biodiversity Act. This will involve:

  • a review process to identify the needs and functions for co-ordination and management of biodiversity data in South Africa
  • the development of a strategy for the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) to fulfill this role.


Directorate: Biodiversity Programmes, Policy and Planning
Director: Kristal Maze
Bioregional Projects Officer: Tammy Smith
Administrator: Tsholo Jacobs

Threatened Species Programme
Programme Manager: Wendy Foden
Red Data List Officers: Janine Victor and Deshni Pillay

Bioregional Programmes Co-ordination Unit (Eastern Cape)
Bioregional Programmes Co-ordinator: Mandy Cadman
Bioregional Programmes Projects Officer: Abigail Kamineth

Conservation Planning Unit
GIS/Conservation Planning Manager: Mathieu Rouget
Assistant Conservation Planner :Zuziwe Jonas


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