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South African National Biodiversity Institute PRESENTATION TO PARLIAMENT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE : Water & Environmental Affairs June 2009 Dr Tanya Abrahamse : CEO. Background….

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South African National Biodiversity Institute


PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE : Water & Environmental Affairs

June 2009

Dr Tanya Abrahamse : CEO



  • The National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) established SANBI in 2004 on the foundations of the National Botanical Institute (NBI), which had a history of more than a century of botanical exploration and research in South and Southern Africa
  • SANBI is tasked to:
  • Lead the Biodiversity research agenda
  • Provide Biodiversity knowledge & information
  • Give Biodiversity policy support and advice
  • Manage National Botanical Gardens (9 NBGs) as ‘windows’ to
  • South Africa’s biodiversity for tourism and education
  • Run ecosystem based restoration & rehabilitation programs
  • - Develop best-practice models to manage biodiversity better

South African National Biodiversity Institute ( SANBI )

Minister of Environment & Tourism





Biodiversity Research Portfolio Management

Biodiversity Knowledge, Policy & Network Management

Conservation Management & Corporate Services

Climate Change &


Biosysytematics &


Applied Biodiversity


Biodiversity Planning & Mainstreaming

Biodiversity Human Capital Development

Conservation Gardens &


Human resources &


Climate Change

Co-ordination & Policy

Managed Network Research

Scientific Authority

Biodiversity Policy

Information Management

International Liaison & research services

Biodiversity education & Empowerment

Kirstenbosch NBG

Marketing &Communications

Human Resources

Zoology Systematics

Plant Systematics

Biodiversity Mainstreaming





Succulent Karoo Programme



Information Technology

Finance Management

Millennium Seed Bank Mary Gunn library Greening of the Nation Pretoria NBG

Precis Data Management Ethnobotany Threatened Species Karoo Desert NBG

Compton Herbarium Vegetation Mapping Threatened Ecosystems Kwa-Zulu Natal NBG

Kwa-Zulu Natal Herbarium Invasive Species Molecular ecology Harold Porter NBG

BIOTA and SAEON - Fynbos Pollination & Ecosystems Molteno Library Free State NBG

Flowering Plants of Africa SABIF SANBI website Lowveld NBG

Bothalia, Strylizia Biodiversity Planning Working for Wetlands Walter Sisulu NBG

GMO Monitoring CREW Marine Programme Hantam NBG


Key Milestones In the Last Year

  • Key senior appointments made for integration and leadership
  • Funding secured for development of Human Capacity Development Strategy – an important priority of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP, 2005)
  • Income of R128.8 million from DEAT, R175.9 million from other grants, donations and sponsorships and over R34 million generated by SANBI’s scientific work and Gardens
  • SANBI managed over 100 local, national and international projects in the biodiversity field, as well as core business
  • Hantam NBG, the 9th NBG was formally gazetted by DEAT in the Government Gazette in December 2008
  • Over a million people visited the Gardens
  • Our Chelsea display scooped a gold medal and SANBI walked away with the President’s Most Creative Award

Strategic Objectives 2009 – 2012

  • Be the preferred national resource for knowledge
  • management and information
  • Be a centre of excellence for coordinated research
  • Establish a national network of bioregional programmes
  • Provide support to government on biodiversity related obligations and opportunities
  • Develop and manage a system of National Botanical Gardens representative of the South African flora

Strategic Objectives 2009 – 2012 (continued)

  • 6. Monitor and report on the status of biodiversity in South Africa
  • Implement rehabilitation programmes that systematically target threatened ecosystems
  • Inspire and empower people to take responsibility for conservation and sustainable use of our biodiversity
  • Be a vibrant organisation, building national professional capacity in biodiversity
  • Be financially sustainable with an expanding diversity and volume of income streams

Key Priorities Going Forward…

  • National Footprint – Gardens and other activities
  • Climate Change and Bio-adaptation Strategy
  • Protected Area Expansion Strategy obligations
  • Rural Development linked to our work
  • Invasive Alien Species Early Detection and Control of Emerging Invasions
  • National Events Strategy and Targeted Tourism
  • Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy