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South Africa - Overview

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The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on maps, graphics and publications do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

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Please note that this country profile has been prepared by the Secretariat on the basis of information provided in the NBSAP and national reports, but has not been reviewed by the Party concerned.

Main References

National Website

Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

The diversity of topography, climate, geology and people in South Africa presents a wide variety of natural and cultural resources. It is notably considered one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world due to its species diversity, rate of endemism and diverse ecosystems... More »

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

One of the major threats to biodiversity is habitat loss and degradation, resulting from alternative land uses for urban, industrial and mining development, agriculture, biofuel production, canalization (aquatic) and trawling (marine)... More »

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

South Africa published its National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) in 2005 and intends to complete a revised and updated NBSAP by 2014... More »

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

South Africa is currently behind target in regard to protected areas coverage and representativity of ecosystems and habitats. Protected areas now comprise 6.5% of the terrestrial surface area, however are targeted to increase to 8.8% by 2013 and to 12% in the next twenty years... More »

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

South Africa has a well developed and progressive policy framework for biodiversity management. Policies are given effect through various pieces of legislation, with the basis laid in the White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biological Diversity (1997)... More »

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

The content of this biodiversity profile is still draft. The text below has been prepared by SCBD and remains subject to final approval by the Party concerned.

The recently completed National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA) (2011) provides an assessment of South Africa’s biodiversity and ecosystems, including headline indicators and national maps for the terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and marine environments... More »

National Contacts

Full details of national contacts »

Convention on Biological Diversity

Ms. Judie Combrink
CBD Primary NFP
Ms. Malta Qwathekana
CBD Primary NFP, CHM NFP, SBSTTA NFP, GTI NFP, GSPC NFP
Mr. Jones Muleso Kharika
ICNP ABS NFP
Mr. Karl Naude
Protected Areas NFP

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Ms. Malta Qwathekana
Cartagena Protocol Primary NFP
Ms. Nompumelelo Mkhonza
BCH NFP

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  • United Nations Environment Programme