Biodiversity assessments are used to describe the state of the biodiversity of a certain area (which can range from hectares to millions of square kilometres) e.g. the number of species present and the patterns of biodiversity within the considered area, and, if repeated, should deliver precise estimates of trends in biodiversity.
Fire services offered by NCC include fire break creation and maintenance, fire risk assessments and the compilation of fire management plans. Fire break maintenance is done in accordance with the legal requirements stipulated in Sections 12 and 13 of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, 1998 (Act No. 101 of 1998), as well as relevant local by-laws. Fire risk assessments comprise the evaluation of premises in order to identify fire safety hazards to people, properties and the environment. Fire management plans are strategic plans detailing specific programmes to be used in the management of both wild and controlled fires.
Protected Area Planning
Protected area planning is a detailed process, including a public participation aspect, which culminates in the compilation of a protected area management plan that adheres to the requirements of Section 39 of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act No. 57 of 2003), according to which a specific protected area will be managed.
Stakeholder Engagement & Public Participation
Public participation/stakeholder engagement is the process by which an organisation consults with interested or affected individuals, organisations, and government entities before making a decision and is a legal requirement associated with a number of environmental processes in South Africa. NCC offers this service of two-way communication and collaborative problem solving with the goal of achieving better and more acceptable decisions with the aim to prevent or minimise disputes by creating a process for resolving issues before they become polarized.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integrate hardware, software and data. Through the use of GIS all forms of geographically referenced information can be captured, managed, analysed and displayed. This enables one to view, understand, interpret and visualise data to reveal relationships, patterns and trends. The relationships found in the data can then be displayed in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts. When it comes to biodiversity management GIS is a helpful tool that can be used to display data for environmentally related assessments such as Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s), Basic Assessments (BA’s), Environmental Management Plans (EMP’s), baseline assessments and avifaunal assessments.
NCC is exploring the implementation of biodiversity offsets as a way to secure measurable conservation outcomes from actions designed to compensate for significant residual adverse biodiversity impacts arising from project development, after appropriate prevention and mitigation measures have been taken.
Conservation Personnel Capacity Building & Training
Our conservation development professionals focus on delivering operational conservation and management skills training to ensure improved protected area management performance and to also ensure the long term sustainability of sites through skills development and capacity-building of reserve staff. These practical solutions-based training programmes take place in a live environment and are designed to see immediate benefits to the specific site and its operations. Examples of the training include: alien vegetation clearing, biodiversity monitoring, tree and flora identification, avifaunal surveys and identification, soil erosion and land rehabilitation and more. Additional mentoring and coaching also take place to ensure the required workplace-application of new skills for recently training staff members.
Conservation Stewardship & Protected Area Declaration
Good stewardship of our natural environments is vital - on private land as well as government and parastatal owned land. An important aspect of this is extending the footprint of protected areas and improving conservation practices within these areas. NCC is a partner with Conservation at Work who promotes and supports the conservation of private land in the Western Cape. This is primarily achieved by sharing information with landowners, formalising partnerships with stakeholders and mobilising resources for conservation initiatives.
Management Effectiveness Auditing
Monitoring of management effectiveness is vital for smart resource use and with regular auditing this can be achieved.
Post Natural Disaster Auditing
After a natural disaster event, an audit needs to be done to assess damage and to plan a way forward. This service may include mapping, costings, assessment of structural damage, rehabilitation plans, etc.
Conservation Consulting Track Record
- CapeNature (2014-2015): Facilitation and Lead Advisor role for the development of an Income generation strategy for protected areas in the Western Cape.
- TMF (2014-2015): Audit of project outcomes against the Table Mountain Fund's strategic objectives.
- Vergelegen Estate: Post-fire audit to establish an accurate area burnt by the fire, to audit their invasive non-indigenous plant clearing programme and to update it with respect to the fire damage.
- LEDET & ECPTA (2011-2012): Compilation of Protected Area Management Plans and Annual Plan of Operations for the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and for the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.
- Private Landowners: Preparation of maps for reserves and private land showing different land use, areas or points of special concern, roads and boundaries as well as 3-dimentional modelling and triangulation to calculate surface areas for various land owners.
- Eskom & LEDET: Stakeholder engagement and public participation workshops for Eskom and for the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.
- ECPTA: Management effectiveness auditing for the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency using their METTs system.
- Spier & Lourensford Estates: Biodiversity assessment and compilation of environmental management plans.
- TMF: Capacity building of contractors and their teams during the Pioneer Foods CSI project. (see also video)
- Snake identification training.
- Avifaunal bird monitoring and identification training.
- Environmental law and impact assessment skills training.
- Cape Nature: Coaching for junior protected area managers and staff.
- GreenMatter (2013-2014): NCC provided the GreenMatter programme with various workshop facilitation, planning, logistical and advisory support.
- ADU (2014): NCC provided facilitation of a strategic thinking and planning process for the Animal Demography Unit to assist leaders and managers in their medium-term strategic planning.
- Muizenberg Improvement District (MID): NCC provided strategic support and implementation to the MID programme.
- South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI): NCC provided research into the range extension for the endangered Western Leopard Toad.
- Various organisations and projects: NCC provided research into best methods for baiting birds for eradication purposes.