Abstract:

Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in production landscapes: Achievements and lessons learnt from the Grasslands Programme

Aimee C Ginsburg1, Mahlodi S Tau1 & Anthea C Stephens1

1South African National Biodiversity Institute, Grasslands Programme
Private Bag X 101, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa

South Africa’s grasslands are critically threatened and many biodiversity priority areas lie in production landscapes. This is a challenge best addressed by a mainstreaming approach aimed at strengthening the enabling environment, and innovating, piloting and mainstreaming new models for biodiversity management into production sectors, namely agriculture, forestry, urban development and coal mining. The Grassland Programme (a 20-year partnership between government, conservation agencies, non-governmental organisations, and private sector) has implemented this approach to sustain and secure grassland biodiversity and ecosystem services for the benefit of current and future generations. In five years of implementation, notable successes have been achieved in shaping policies and regulations, improving existing institutional capacity, and implementing pilot projects demonstrating biodiversity gains across sectors. Notably in the mining sector, where deeper engagement has enabled development of integrated tools and products that ensure: biodiversity issues are consistently incorporated into decision-making processes for mining projects; high priority wetlands (of global importance) are avoided; residual impacts are offset; and proactive stewardship secures landscapes of high importance for biodiversity, energy and water provisioning. The sector demand for these tools and the leveraged finance raised from industry bodies is evidence of achievements earned in the face of lessons learnt as regards policy engagement, market-based incentives, and communicating the value offering of biodiversity using sector appropriate language. Technically proficient, cross-disciplinary teams able to develop integrated, accessible decision-support tools and guidelines in partnership with sector stakeholders, has been critical to the gains made in this multi-million dollar mainstreaming programme.

Presentation Topic

Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in production landscapes: Achievements and lessons learnt from the Grasslands Programme

 

Contact Mr Tau: South African National Biodiversity Institute, Grasslands Programme, Private Bag X 101, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa

 

Email Mr Tau