Draft Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem Environment Guideline

Posted on 4 Aug 2021

Environmental Assurance (Pty) Ltd. (ENVASS) representatives recently attended a webinar hosted by International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), in conjunction with South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to discuss the Draft Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem Environment Guideline.

 

According to Regulation 16(1)(v) of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, 2014 (recently amended in April 2017 and again in June 2021) an applicant is required to submit an environmental sensitivity screening report (SANBI, 2021). ENVASS utilises the National Environmental Screening Tool to advise on project-specific specialist study requirements. The National Web based Environmental Screening Tool is a geographically based web-enabled application which allows a proponent intending to submit an application for Environmental Authorisation (EA) in terms of the EIA Regulations (2014) (as amended) to screen their proposed site for the sensitivity of various environmental themes.

 

In addition, on the 20th of March 2020, the Minister gazetted a set of Protocols, specifically the Aquatic and Terrestrial Biodiversity Protocols, which aim to standardise specialist assessments of ecosystem-level aspects of EIAs (SANBI, 2021). The Draft Ecosystem Environmental Assessment Guideline provides background and context to the minimum assessment and reporting criteria contained within Terrestrial and Aquatic Biodiversity Protocols which were gazetted on the 20th of March 2020 (Government Notice no. 320). The purpose of the guideline is to:

 

  • offer guidance on how the minimum information requirements should be implemented with room of flexibility;
  • offer assistance through identifying other resources that can be utilised to implement the protocol criteria;
  • provide background and context to the assessment and minimum reporting criteria contained within the Aquatic and Terrestrial Biodiversity Protocols;
  • ensure that good practice is applied and consistent in Aquatic and Terrestrial specialist assessments in South Africa; and
  • ensure that the Screening Tool data and Protocols are interpreted correctly.

           (SANBI, 2021)

 

The ENVASS team consists of registered and accredited Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAP), Professional Natural Scientists and qualified specialists who ensure that each environmental process complies with the relevant screening report and protocols that the applicant needs to adhere to. Feel free to contact us for quotes or any environmental query via info@envass.co.za or on 012 460 9768.

 

Reference:

Collaboration with International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA), South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)  and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Workshop conducted on 09 July 2021.