Terrestrial Biodiversity

Posted on 13 May 2021

Biodiversity Assessments are of particular importance as it directly investigates the current biodiversity value and existing impacts on site and contribute to the sustainability of developments within the receiving environment.


During a terrestrial biodiversity assessment, local and national legislation and up to date literature are to be reviewed to ensure that all compliance aspects, as well as Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) are considered. These include, but are not limited to:


  1. National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) [as amended] (NEMA);
  2. National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) [as amended] (NEMBA);
  3. Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, 1983 (Act No. 43 of 1983) [as amended] (CARA);
  4. General Notice (GN) 864: NEMBA: Alien and Invasive Species Regulations, 2014;
  5. Government Gazette No. 43726: NEMBA: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) Alien and Invasive Species Lists, 2020;
  6. DAFF List of Protected Tree Species under the National Forest Act (Act No. 84 if 1998);
  7. Species Environmental Assessment Guideline: Terrestrial Flora and Fauna Assessment (SANBI, 2020); and
  8. The applicable provincial legislation.


A desktop study prior to undergoing the site survey is paramount as it would form the theoretical reference state for the project study area. Specific focus should be placed on possible Species of Conservation Concern (SCC) and Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) that could occur within the area, typical species composition, relevant conservation planning units and land uses on and around the site. This information must then be ground-truthed and compared against data recorded on site to accurately assess the current species composition and state of the terrestrial biodiversity within the study area. These comparisons will aid in determining the extent of natural vegetation cover vs Alien and Invasive Plant Species (AIPS) infested sections, as well as identification of sensitive areas that will aid in informed decision making and conservation of priority areas.


During a terrestrial biodiversity assessment it is important to note any SCC as well as the locally or regionally protected species. Once identified onsite, the exact location should be marked to ensure that the species can be relocated or preserved if required. Additionally, AIPS should be noted to aid in the management of the area and preservation of the indigenous species through correct and site-specific rehabilitation.


Environmental Assurance (ENVASS) (Pty) Ltd. would like to take this opportunity to introduce our environmental services that we offer our clients throughout Southern Africa for your consideration as we offer cost-effective quality services to our clients through highly qualified and competent staff. We are always willing to accept new challenges and compose competitive quotes for environmental specialist work required.


ENVASS is more than capable of conducting terrestrial impact assessments, pre-development risk screenings, pre-construction SCC surveys, AIPS management plans, listing confirmation and compilation of control and management programmes for specific properties to ensure compliance to the latest laws and regulations.


Feel free to contact us for quotes on any environmentally related services!