Non-detriment findings under the Biodiversity Act: Management picture bleak for 5 listed species

11 September 2015
By Danjelle Midgley, Candidate Attorney

Interim non-detrimental findings under section 62(3) NEMBA were published on 10 September 2015 (GG No 39185) for 5 species. The public has 30 days to submit information relating to the findings to SANBI.

These findings relate to trade in specimens of listed threatened or protected species under CITES.

Generally, the following shortcomings in the management of the listed species can be observed in the interim findings for all 5 species (Bontebok, Fan Aloes, Cape Mountain Zebra, African Lion and Leopard):

  • inadequate, or lack of,  a monitoring programme for the species;
  • absence of meta-population management for subpopulations;
  • absence of hunting quotas (Bontebok);
  • Hybridisation, lack of genetic diversity (Zebra, Bontebok and re-introduced lions);
  • absence of national approved national plan aimed at managing genetic integrity,
  • informal national management systems;
  • lack of capacity and budget for the monitoring of exports and effects of harvesting on  species populations;
  • absence of restrictions on harvesting to prevent overuse (aloes, Bontebok, leopard)
  • low incentives for habitat conservation (Zebras, Leopard);
  • no specific figures on illegal trade (Lions);
  • no National or provincial adaptive framework for quota allocation (Lion);
  • inconsistent management practices between provinces (Leopards);
  • poor recording of both legal and illegal off-takes (Leopards);
  • errors in reporting (aloes);


Whilst recommendations for the management of trade in respect of each specific species are made, the common recommendations for the sustainable management of the species include: 

  • development of guidelines for the allocation of trophy quotas;
  • development of norms and Standards for the management and monitoring;

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A Zimbabwean, born and bred, Tendai has been admitted to the High Courts of both South Africa and Zimbabwe, and has experience practicing law in both countries.

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