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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

Friday, 18 November 2016 11:24

Cactus Working Group meeting - 17 November

The Cactus Working Group was established in 2012 to address the issue of invasive cacti species in South Africa. Managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute’s Invasive Species Programme, the CWG meets biannually at the National Botanic Gardens in Pretoria.

The CWG is made up of scientists from SANBI, the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and various universities, as well as certain stakeholder groups.

Successful working group with top scientists

The CWG has been a huge success with the organizational skills of Haylee Kaplan from SANBI. Dr Ana Novoa, a post-doctoral researcher based at the Centre of Excellence in Invasion Biology (CIB) at Stellenbosch University, has contributed significantly to our understanding of invasive cacti and the extent of trade in the nursery industry.

South Africa’s top biocontrol scientists, like Hildegard Klein from the Agricultural Research Institute (ARC), lead the field in biocontrol of invasive cacti form part of the CWG. Other top scientists include Dr Helmuth Zimmermann and Lesley Henderson, who have been instrumental in the success of this working group.

The CWG was privileged to have Dr Roberto Kiesling, a taxonomist and top cactus expert from Argentina, presenting at the April 2016 meeting.

In October 2014, the CWG held a workshop in the heart of historical cacti invasions – Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape.

Members of the CWG, particularly Dr Ana Novoa, were instrumental in launching the International Cactus Working Group during a conference held in Hawaii earlier this year.

The latest meeting was held on Thursday 17 November, 2016.

  • Iain Patterson gave an overview of cactus biocontrol research at Rhodes University.
  • Madodomzi Mafanya spoke about using remote sensing techniques to detect Harrisia pomanensis.
  • Travor Xivuri chaired the session and also reported back on his trip to Australia where he attended the Australasian Weeds Conference in September 2016.

Invasive cacti

Invasive cacti are a concern in South Africa, particularly in arid regions where they are fast taking over productive agricultural land and game farms. Various species of Opuntia have become serious invaders, but fortunately effective biocontrol such as cochineal have produced fantastic results in the control and spread of these cacti. Teddy bear cactus (Opuntia microdasys) is still often traded despite being listed under NEMBA as a Category 1b invasive species.

Some cacti also thrive in sub-tropical regions with high rainfall, such as Barbados gooseberry (Pereskia aculeata) – Category 1b and the climbing dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus) – Category 2.

Wednesday, 09 November 2016 11:23

Invasive species training - Doonholm Nursery

INVASIVE SPECIES TRAINING - Last training sessions of the year...

A two-day training event will be be held in Midrand at Doonholm Nursery on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 November, 2016.

Module 1 (Day 1): Train to become an invasive species consultant

Subjects covered include: NEMBA legislation and Invasive Species Regulations; Landowners, estate agents & lawyers ‘duty of care’; Control plan guidelines for organs of state & protected areas; Permitting, compliance & directives; Invasive species

 

Module 2 (Day 2): Introduction to herbicides and control methods

Subjects covered include: Invasive species clearing using herbicides; Herbicides and the law; Selecting control methods for invasive species clearing; Professional herbicide training

Time: Registration and coffee - From 08h00
Training times: 09h00am to 16h00
Refreshments: Tea and a light lunch will be provided.

Booking: Booking is essential.
Email your fillable PDF booking form to Hazel at
We will then send you an invoice for payment prior to training.
Entry to training: No one will be admitted to the training without payment or prior arrangement.
Cost per module: R800 (Ex VAT) or R912 (including VAT)

SAGIC invasive species and herbicide training is an entirely self-funding project.

For further information: Contact Hazel at or Tel: 011-723-9000.
Or Kay on

To download a booking form individuals: 

.
To download a group booking form:

The training dates for 2017 will be released in December 2016.

Tuesday, 01 November 2016 09:44

Devastating tomato pest reaches South Africa

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has announced that the first sightings of the tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) has been detected in the eastern parts of the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. This pest is disastrous particularly for tomato production and food security in general.

After almost two years of surveillance by industry role players, Tuta absoluta was detected for the first time from the five surveillance traps in late August 2016, three of which were set in the Southern Kruger National Park, one on a tomato farm near Komatipoort and one at the Lebombo border post. The specimens collected from pheromone traps were sent to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) Plant Health Diagnostic laboratories and the identification was confirmed by a Lepidoptera specialist from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

From South America, to Europe and Africa

This pest spread from South America to Europe in 2006 and across to northern Africa. Since then, it has spread throughout the Middle East to India. It was reported in Kenya and Tanzania in 2014 and from September 2016 in Zambia. The DAFF has been closely monitoring the spread of this pest across the world and has proactively initiated emergency actions to register agrochemicals to prepare for a rapid response to any possible outbreak of this pest in South Africa.

This pest cannot be completely eradicated; however it can be contained and suppressed to lower population levels. The DAFF has already engaged with the tomato and potato production industries and the ARC and underscored an urgent need for development of a detailed plan of action. Such an action plan will be shared with all the relevant role players in due course.

For further information, visit the Tuta absoluta Information Network: http://www.tutaabsoluta.com/

Damage to tomatoes

Under poor control measures, Tuta absoluta can cause up to 100% loss of tomatoes and could also, to a lesser extent, affect potatoes. This poses a serious threat to food security, because tomatoes and potatoes are prominently part of the daily diet for many people in South Africa.

This pest can effectively be controlled through the application of good agricultural practices and/ or integrated pest management. To date, several agrochemicals are already registered by the DAFF to control this pest; however, they must be applied judiciously. The biggest challenge with this pest is that it can develop resistance to chemicals within a single season. Therefore, agrochemicals with different active ingredients should be used in rotation and in accordance with the application requirements. A list of agrochemicals registered for Tuta absoluta and information regarding surveillance is available on the DAFF website.

Tomato and potato producers are encouraged to apply good agricultural practices and/ or integrated pest management, i.e. to do field sanitation, use detection traps, scout for this pest and apply relevant registered agrochemicals when necessary, such as when this pest has been detected in a field trap. Please alert the DAFF Early Warning Systems division in case you suspect occurrence of this pest in your area.

International travellers are advised to avoid illegal importation of agricultural commodities into South Africa because this may lead to the introduction of new pests and diseases which are expensive and difficult to manage.

For further technical information, contact Mr Jan Hendrik Venter, Manager: Early Warning Systems. Email:  Tel: (021)-319-6384/6138. 

 

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo launches the National Invasive Species Week in Roodeport on 11 October, 2016.

National Invasive Species Week is an awareness and action programme that aims to protect the environment, agriculture and other industries from the threats of invasive plants.

The City Park’s key message for this year’s Invasive Species Week celebration says “Don’t lose water or natural resources to alien invasive species!”

The public is encouraged to remove any invasive plants that grow on or near watercourses as they take up a lot of water.

Some of the water invaders in South Africa were introduced as ornamentals. They have now successively spread to the environment causing a negative transformation on our water bodies.

Aquatic invasive alien plants invade wetlands, rivers, dams and estuaries, causing problems such as oxygen deficiencies in the water, dense biomass that block pump inlets, restrictions to the use of boats for fishing and recreation and reduced flow of water in canals.

On 11 October, a joint operation will be conducted at Helderkruin in Region C to fight the spread of alien plants growing in the area, specifically black wattle trees (Acacia mearnsii) and bugweed (Solanum mauritianum).

Some examples of invasive plants found near rivers, dams and streams include:

  • Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) – Category 1b
  • Yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) – Category 1a
  • Giant reed (Arundo donax) – Category 1b
  • Indian shot (Canna indica) – Category 1b
Monday, 03 October 2016 15:34

Invasive Species Training – KZN & Gauteng

Two more dates are set for 2016 invasive species and herbicide training:

18 and 19 October, 2016 – Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - Dante Hall, DA Language Institute (Società Dante Alighieri), 21 Alice Grange Rd, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg

15 and 16 November, 2016 – Gauteng – venue details to be confirmed.

Download your individual booking form:

Download your group booking form:

What does the training entail?

Module 1: Train to become an invasive species consultant
• NEMBA legislation and Invasive Species Regulations
• Landowners, estate agents & lawyers ‘duty of care’
• Control plan guidelines for organs of state & protected areas
• Permitting, compliance & directives
• Invasive species

Module 2: Introduction to herbicides and control methods
• Invasive species clearing using herbicides
• Herbicides and the law
• Selecting control methods for invasive species clearing
• Professional herbicide training

Join the network of invasive species consultants
All trained professionals will be listed in a SAGIC database of invasive species consultants (www.sagic.co.za & www.invasives.org.za) and will receive a certificate to indicate that they have attended the workshops.

People who attend the module on Invasive Species Control Plans will get an insight into the invasive species control plans that every organ of state (eg. municipalities) need to have drawn up by October 2016.

Did you know?

• Invasive species are defined as a liability under NEMBA. Any person who owns land in South Africa now has a ‘legal duty of care’ to control the invasive species on their land and anyone selling land, must inform the buyer of their land, of any invasive species on the property.

• That under the NEMBA AIS Regulations... all organs of state - which includes municipalities, metros, parastatals (Eskom, Transnet, SANRAL), protected areas (SANParks, all Nature Reserves), military bases, ministry’s, provinces and all state educational facilities - are required to submit control plans, which outline how they will deal with the invasive species on land under their control, to the Biosecurity Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs by 1 October 2016.

• Applications can now also be made to have a directive sent to any landowner who is not controlling listed invasive species on their property. Under these circumstances, large landowners will need the assistance of environment-trained professionals to identify species, develop and submit control plans to the government - to avoid prosecution.

SAGIC invasive species and herbicide training is an entirely self-funding project.
Booking: Booking is essential.
Email your fillable PDF booking form to Hazel at

You will receive an invoice for payment prior to training.

Entry to training: No one will be admitted to the training without payment or prior arrangement.
Cost per module: R800 (Ex VAT)

For further information: Contact Hazel or Kay at
or Tel: 011-723-9000

Sunday, 22 May 2016 14:36

Invasive Species Training

Invasive Species Training Booking Forms:

Dates have been set for Invasive Species and Herbicide Training in all provinces around the country. The training is targeted at horticulturists, landscapers, landscape architects, conservationists, invasive species professionals, biocontrol officers, municipal parks department officials, botanists, zoologists and passionate gardeners with a superb knowledge and interest in flora and fauna.

Join our two-day training courses on invasive species legislation and herbicides.

Location & date of training for the 2 x one-day modules:
• Pretoria, Gauteng - 29 & 30 June
• Potchefstroom, North West - 5 & 6 July
• Bloemfontein, Free State - 12 & 13 July
• Kimberley, Northern Cape - 19 & 20 July
• Johannesburg, Gauteng - 25 & 26 July
• Mbombela, Mpumalanga - 24 & 25 August
• Polokwane, Limpopo - 30 & 31 August
• East London, Eastern Cape - 14 & 15 September
• George, Western Cape - 21 & 22 September
• Cape Town, Western Cape - 28 & 29 September
• Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - 18 & 19 October

Download Booking form for INDIVIDUALS here.


Download Booking form for GROUPS here.

Module 1: Train to become an invasive species consultant
• NEMBA legislation and Invasive Species Regulations
• Landowners, estate agents & lawyers ‘duty of care’
• Control plan guidelines for organs of state & protected areas
• Permitting, compliance & directives
• Invasive species

Module 2: Introduction to herbicides and control methods
• Invasive species clearing using herbicides
• Herbicides and the law
• Selecting control methods for invasive species clearing
• Professional herbicide training

Join the network of invasive species consultants
All trained professionals will be listed in a SAGIC database of invasive species consultants (www.sagic.co.za & www.invasives.org.za) and will receive a certificate to indicate that they have attended the workshops.

People who attend the module on Invasive Species Control Plans will get an insight into the invasive species control plans that every organ of state (eg. municipalities) need to have drawn up by October 2016.

Did you know?
• Invasive species are defined as a liability under NEMBA. Any person who owns land in South Africa now has a ‘legal duty of care’ to control the invasive species on their land and anyone selling land, must inform the buyer of their land, of any invasive species on the property.

• That under the NEMBA AIS Regulations... all organs of state - which includes municipalities, metros, parastatals (Eskom, Transnet, SANRAL), protected areas (SANParks, all Nature Reserves), military bases, ministry’s, provinces and all state educational facilities - are required to submit control plans, which outline how they will deal with the invasive species on land under their control, to the Biosecurity Unit, Department of Environmental Affairs by 1 October 2016.

• Applications can now also be made to have a directive sent to any landowner who is not controlling listed invasive species on their property. Under these circumstances, large landowners will need the assistance of environment-trained professionals to identify species, develop and submit control plans to the government - to avoid prosecution.

SAGIC invasive species and herbicide training is an entirely self-funding project.
Booking: Booking is essential.
Email your fillable PDF booking form to Hazel at

You will receive an invoice for payment prior to training.
Entry to training: No one will be admitted to the training without payment or prior arrangement.
Cost per module: R800 (Ex VAT)

For further information: Contact Hazel or Kay at
or Tel: 011-723-9000

Monday, 07 March 2016 14:52

Invasive iguana position statement

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s Iguana Specialist Group has released a position statement on invasive green iguanas (Iguana iguana). The green iguana is a popular pet reptile species across the world, including South Africa, but has become highly invasive in several tropical and sub-tropical countries.

Monday, 08 February 2016 12:36

Symposium on biological invasions

The 43rd Annual Research Symposium on the Management of Biological Invasions in South Africa will be taking place at Goudini Spar near Worcester in the Western Cape, from 18-20 May, 2016. 

A second call and invitation for abstract submissions has been released by the organisers. This symposium invites academic researchers and invasion biologists to present their research and gain further insight from their colleagues involved in the management of biological invasions.

The themes for this year’s symposium include:

  • Status of invasions (taxa, protected areas, biomes, catchments)
  • Status of impacts (magnitude and trends)
  • Efficacy of interventions.

See a full programme of the proceedings of the symposium, click here.

A full set of abstracts for the symposium is available here.

For further information, visit http://academic.sun.ac.za/cib/workshops/2016MAY/index.asp

 

View and download the following documents:

Thursday, 21 January 2016 15:34

Northern Cape Consulstants

Surname First Name Area Organisation Mobile Email Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4
De Wee Morné Kimberley Namakwa District Municipality 078 401 2399 X X
Du Plessis Longland Inus Kimberley Stok n Boom X
Erasmus Suzanne Kimberley McGregor Museum 082 849 7655 X
Kalemeyer Ilhaam Kimberley Namakwa District Municipality 083 899 7514 X X
Longland David Thomas Kimberley Stok n Boom 082 336 1630 X
Mazzoncini Massimo Kimberley Sol Plaatjie Municipality 082 552 6353 X X
Motloung Spencely ModderRivier SANParks 073 242 3596 X X
Ramaswiela Tshililo Kimberley SAEON 072 747 0993 X X
Steenkamp Henry Kimberley Namakwa District Municipality 072 150 6338 X X
Van As Marizel Kimberley Dept of Agric NC 082 554 7011 X X
van Heerden Annemarie Kimberley McGregor Museum 083 985 7711 X

Page 1 of 3

General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

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

22-01-2019

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

04-09-2018

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?

01-03-2018

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

28-02-2018

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

25-01-2018

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