+27 71 448 3496
leon@whyafrica.co.za

Mapping Africa’s biodiversity will make planning easy

Share Article
Mapping the occurrence and status of species and ecosystems in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, and Malawi will produce information that assists in the development of national strategies and action plans to ensure biodiversity is integrated into the planning and decision-making processes. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

Mapping Africa’s biodiversity will make planning easy

Biodiversity is one of Africa’s greatest natural resources and should be integrated into national planning and all decision-making processes.

The more information we collect about Africa’s biodiversity, and the more we educate decisionmakers in the private and public sectors about its value, the better we will be able to plan for future development.

In June this year, in the presence of the French Ambassador to South Africa, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) signed a financial agreement with Agence Française de Développement to implement a spatial biodiversity assessment, prioritisation and planning project (SBAPP).

Mapping the occurrence and status of species and ecosystems in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, and Malawi will produce information that assists in the development of national strategies and action plans to ensure biodiversity is integrated into the planning and decision-making processes.

The project will run for five years and will terminate in June 2027. Project objectives include in-country assessments of a wide range of different species and ecosystem types that are facing pressure from infrastructure and agricultural development, the over-utilisation of natural resources, pollution, biological invasions, and climate change.

The information collected as part of the SBAPP project will be managed by the participating countries and made available to the public.

SANBI, a pioneer in this work, is the project’s lead implementing agency, with country coordination by the Namibian Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism; the Wildlife Conservation Society country office in Mozambique in coordination with the Mozambique National Directorate of Environment; and the Malawi University of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Malawian Environmental Affairs Department.

Sound decisions about land use needed


According to Shonisani Munzhedzi, CEO of SANBI, it is vital for countries to know what biodiversity they have, where it is, and what state it is in.

“This basic information has multiple applications – including for planning how and where conservation action could be prioritised and for policies and cross-sectoral frameworks to support sustainable development.

“This intervention is timely as it comes at the time when nations of the world are framing the new deal for nature and people in the form of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It further entrenches sound decision-making on appropriate land use, conservation, and sustainable utilisation of natural resources,” says Munzhedzi.

Working regionally with the involvement of stakeholders is key to the project’s success as the four countries share cross-border ecosystem types, are home to similar species communities and face similar environmental pressures. A diverse network of more than 15 partner institutions (government research institutes, non-profit organisations and universities) is involved and is contributing substantial skills and resources.

The project also creates a prime opportunity for expertise and capacity exchange between biodiversity institutes in France, and Southern African countries of Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, and South Africa.

About the project partners

Besides the main country coordination partners mentioned above, this project involves the following institutions:

  1. Birdlife South Africa
  2. Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT)
  3. University of Cape Town (UCT)
  4. Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST)
  5. National Museum of Namibia
  6. National Botanical Research Institute (BRI Namibia)
  7. University of Namibia (UNAM)
  8. Museums of Malawi
  9. National Herbarium and Botanical Gardens
  10. Biology department (University of Malawi)
  11. Mzuzu University
  12. Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

WhyAfrica does research and writes and reports about natural resources within the primary sectors of African economies, and the infrastructure, equipment and engineering methods needed to extract and utilise these resources in an efficient, responsible, sustainable, ethic and environmentally friendly way, so that it will benefit the people of Africa.

Furthermore, WhyAfrica promotes Africa as an investment and travel destination, analyses the continent’s business environment and investment opportunities, and reports on how the political economy of African countries affects its development.         

WhyAfrica provides you with business intelligence that matters. Africa is our business, and we want it to be yours too. To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletter or digital magazine, and for more news on Africa, visit the website at www.whyafrica.co.za or send a direct message. WhyAfrica launched its first ever digital magazine in November 2021.

The company will undertake its annual road trip through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, the DRC, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya in 2023. If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities, please contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za. We have a wide range of different packages and combo deals to give your company the greatest exposure to a rapidly growing, African readership.  

The 2022 Southern Africa Road trip issue of WhyAfrica’s magazine is now available in print. The magazine was distributed in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana during WhyAfrica’s 2022 Southern Africa Overland Road Trip, the company’s new and innovative platform. WhyAfrica has expanded its product range and now offers its readers, followers, advertisers, subscribers and partners the following:

  • Daily 24/7 online articles on WhyAfrica’s website (FREE)
  • Daily updates on WhyAfrica’s social media platforms (FREE)
  • Newsletters delivered to a handpicked audience every two weeks (FREE)
  • Two printed magazine per year distributed at large events and during our road trips across Africa featuring original, in-depth articles (FREE) with great, on-site photographs by the WhyAfrica team (FOR SALE UPON REQUEST)
  • Four digital magazines per year (FREE)
  • Live updates, video clips, articles, and podcasts during and after WhyAfrica’s annual road trips (Southern Africa in 2022, East Africa in 2023 and West Africa in 2024) (FREE)
  • Sponsorship and advertising opportunities for the annual WhyAfrica Overland Road Trips (PAID FOR)
  • A library where companies doing business in Africa can display scientific or research papers (PAID FOR)
  • A product section where companies doing business in Africa can display new offerings or services (PAID FOR)
  • Media partnerships with, and a presence at, most of the major conferences and exhibitions in the African mining, energy, agriculture, infrastructure, water management, ESG, environmental management, tourism, development, and conservation sectors (FREE)
  • WhyAfrica connects potential investors with new ventures in Africa and suppliers and service providers with existing companies in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • WhyAfrica assists companies in generating content focused on the wider African business community (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies doing business in Africa (PAID FOR)
  • Partnerships with companies thinking about expanding into Africa (PAID FOR)
  • In 2023 subscribers will have access to our in-depth articles about the African political economy, research, and country reports about the countries we visit on our road trips, and trends in the sectors that we cover (PAID FOR)
  • A WhyAfrica book is in the pipeline and if all goes according to plan, should be published towards the end of 2023 (PAID FOR)
  • The WhyAfrica consultancy arm assists and advises companies doing business in Africa through utilising our extensive global business network (PAID FOR)

Become part of the WhyAfrica community. Tell us your story. Expand your footprint across Africa and partner with us to make the most of your African experience.    

Share Article

Sectors

AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management