What we do

Natural resources and functioning ecosystems are the basis of life, economic activity and human well-being. South Africa has a vast wealth of biodiversity that supports the production of ecosystem services that are essential for economic growth and social development. The integration between biodiversity, sustainable development and human communities is most relevant at the scale of local government. Municipalities are directly responsible for the provision of services to communities, including social and economic development and a safe, healthy living environment. Municipalities are also the foremost level of government responsible for land-use planning and decision-making. Legislation requires that municipalities develop Spatial Development Frameworks that enable them to make land-use decisions based on desired patterns of economic growth and sustainable development.

Municipalities however face multiple challenges relating to poverty, unemployment and service delivery. Limited capacity and co-ordination also results in ineffective environmental governance. In addition, provincial and national government departments have a mandate to regulate land-use and enforce environmental management legislation. Improved collaboration between these departments and municipalities will achieve better outcomes for biodiversity at the municipal level. By supporting municipalities to address these challenges, they will be better able to perform their mandate for service delivery and biodiversity conservation. 

Last updated on 29 June 2017
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