Biodiversity & Terrestrial

Biodiversity & Terrestrial

The ENVASS Group has established Biodiversity & Terrestrial divisions, serviced by highly qualified and experienced Environmental Scientists and Consultants. This division has been providing Biodiversity & Terrestrial services to various industries since 2004.

ENVASS provides the following Biodiversity & Terrestrial services:

Alien Invasive Species Management

The increasing terrestrial biodiversity is a key focus for the sustainable management of ecosystems on a global scale. A primary action to encourage the natural improvement of biodiversity is the removal and/or control of Alien and Invasive Species (AIS). “Alien invasive species are plants or animals that are introduced by man, accidentally or intentionally, outside of their natural geographic range into an area where they are not naturally present. They are often introduced as a result of the globalisation of economies, for instance by ships, shipment of wood products infested with insects, or the transport of ornamental plants that then establish themselves into the wild and spread in a manner that modifies ecosystems, habitats or species and is difficult to control e.g. Lantana camara. Not all introduced alien species are invasive and not all invasive species are necessarily alien” (SANBI, 2020).

It is a legal requirement under Chapter 5 (73(2)) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM: BA) (Act no. 10 of 2004) for all landowners to control and eradicate listed AIS situated on their property in line within the NEMBA: Alien and Invasive Species Regulations (2020). The 567 listed AIS are stipulated within the NEMBA: Alien Species Lists (2020), each of which is allocated a Category based on their risk to the receiving environment. These Categories include:
  • Category 1a: Invasive species that must be controlled and eradicated immediately.
  • Category 1b: Invasive species that must be controlled (i.e. their current footprint may not increase on the property).
  • Category 2: Invasive species that require a permit to carry out a restricted activity within an area specified in Notices published under NEM: BA, or within the specific permit.Unless stated in a Notice, any Category 2 species which occurs outside of the specified area must be considered a Category 1b species and must be controlled.
  • Category 3: Invasive species which are prohibited from being subject to restricted activities, aside from exercising physical control over the species (i.e. maintaining their current footprint on the relevant property). If identified in a riparian zone it must be considered a Category 1b species and controlled accordingly.
ENVASS has considerable experience in identifying AIS on properties, defining their Categories, and assisting with the permit application process to the relevant Competent Authorities should it be required. This includes experience with Risk Assessments and AIS Management Programmes, which the ENVASS specialist will compile to assist in controlling the applicable AIS.

Ecological Studies

The ENVASS Group of Companies has an in-house Ecology Unit that serves to conduct ecological assessments and other specialist studies pertaining to biodiversity impact assessments and ecosystem disturbances.

The study of environmental systems or the economy of nature (ecology) is used to connote some sort of normative or evaluative issues regarding the environmental status. As part of ecology, biodiversity measures the health of the ecosystem. Analysing how the environment functions is an empirical tool used to understand the biodiversity that sustains the ecosystem that drives the ecology of the area.

Rapid environmental changes and human impact have caused a significant environmental impact that affects species on many levels. Therefore, ecology can be very useful to help understand what these impacts are, their implications on various ecosystems, and interventions that might influence socio-economic or nature and to try to mitigate or otherwise alter these changes/impacts.
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