Appointing a biodiversity specialist

As a general rule, it is advisable to appoint a biodiversity specialist sufficiently early in a project planning process so that biodiversity issues can timeously be identified and ‘ironed out’ through positive planning.

The proactive role of biodiversity specialists in pre-application biodiversity screening was covered in the previous section – Contextualisation.

Recommended resources

  • BROWNLIE, S. 2005. Guideline for involving biodiversity specialists in EIA processes: Edition 1. CSIR Report No ENV-S-C 2005 053 C. Republic of South Africa, Provincial Government of the Western Cape, Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning, Cape Town.
    • For triggers for specialist involvement, see pp. 19-22
    • For drafting specialist terms of reference, see pp. 22-23
  • RALSTON, S., DE VILLIERS, C., MANUEL, J., TE ROLLER, K. & PENCE, G. 2009. Where are we going? Fine Scale Systematic Conservation Plans and their Contribution to Environmental Assessment. In IAIAsa 2009 National Conference Proceedings, 23-26 August 2009, Wilderness.
  • BROWNLIE, S., WALMSLEY, B. and TARRET, P. 2009. Guidance Document on Biodiversity, Impact Assessment and Decision making in Southern Africa. As part of IAIA’s Capacity Building in Biodiversity and Impact Assessment project.
  • RETIEF, E. (2012). Guide to Access Avian Data for Environmental Impact Assessment Reports. BirdLife South Africa.
  • SANBI. 2013. Grasslands Ecosystem Guidelines: landscape interpretation for planners and managers. Compiled by Cadman, M., de Villiers, C., Lechmere-Oertel, R. and D. McCulloch. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. 139 pages.

For an international best practice perspective on biodiversity in EIA and strategic environmental assessment:

  • International Association for Impact Assessment. 2005. Biodiversity in impact assessment. Special Publications No. 3
  • SLOOTWEG, R., KOLHOFF, A., VERHEEM, R. and HOFT, R. 2006. Background document to CBD decision VIII/28: Voluntary guidelines on biodiversity-inclusive impact assessment.  The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment.

There are also a number of biodiversity-related guidelines produced by provincial biodiversity conservation agencies in South  Africa.

  • Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment. 2009. Requirements for biodiversity assessments version 2.