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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Celebrate International Day of Forests Featured

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International Day of Forests (March 21) celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of forests. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, observed for the first time in 2013.

The objective of this day is to encourage international, national and local communities to organise activities involving forests and trees.


In South Africa, indigenous forests are the smallest biome covering 0.1 percent of the country (1 062km2).  All of South Africa’s indigenous forests are threatened by alien invasive species including gum trees (Eucalyptus spp.) pine (Pinus spp.) and black wattles. Lantana, bugweed and morning glory creepers are among the smaller species that are invading forest zones.

The forestry industry in South Africa is committed to sustainable stewardship of their plantations of eucalyptus and pine trees which are grown in demarcated zones as per the legislation for all Category 2 invasive alien species.

The new National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act of 2004 (NEMBA) Draft Regulations released on the 12 February 2014 outline in detail the proposed regulations for  eucalyptus and pine trees.

Eucalyptus species

The gum or eucalypt species are best known for their commercial use as timber trees and windbreaks. They are also cultivated for shade, firewood, ornamental purposes, and honey products.

Listed gum species include the Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), Sugar Gum (Eucalyptus cladocalyx), Karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), Saligna Gum (Eucalyptus grandis), Spider Gum (Eucalyptus lehmannii), and Forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis).

They originate from Australia and are declared Category 1b when found invading watercourses, forest margins, riparian areas, protected conservation areas, ecosystems identified for conservation, fynbos, grassland, savanna, Albany thicket, forest and Indian coastal biome. All Category 1b species must be contained and in many cases they already fall under government sponsored management programmes.

Gum trees grown in forest plantations are listed as Category 2 in areas demarcated by permit for plantations, woodlots, bee-forage areas, wind-rows and the lining avenues. Category 2 species need a permit to keep them and you need to make sure they do not spread.

In the NEMBA Draft Regulations (12 February 2014), Eucalyptus species are not listed within the Nama-karoo, Succulent Karoo and Desert biomes. Moreover, very large gums 50m or more away from rivers or riparian areas in large urban areas are exempt from all invasive species legislation.

Pine species

Pine wood is widely used in high value carpentry items such as furniture, window frames, panelling, floors and roofing. There nine pine alien invasive pine species listed on NEMBA, four of the species are Category 2, two are Category 3 and three are both Category 1b and 2.

Category 3 species require a permit in order to import, posses, grow, breed, move, sell, buy or accept as gift. A permit will not be issued for Category 3 plants to exist in riparian zones.

To ensure environmental sustainability, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has established Working for Forests which aims to promote the conservation of indigenous forests and the sustainable use of the resources and ecosystem services provided by these forests. Working for Forests also assists in converting abandoned forest plantations into woodlots for local communities.

For more information:

Report by:  Vhudzisani Maedza, Florence Moasa and Siyanda Sishuba – Interns, Biosecurity Unit, Environmental Programmes, Department of Environmental Affairs.

International day of forests 2 Otto  International day of forests 3 LO   International day of forest 4 Otto

Read 7397 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 October 2015 13:16

General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more