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“I see the Earth’s declining health as our most important concern, our very lives depending upon a healthy Earth. Our concern for it must come first, because the welfare of the burgeoning masses of humanity demands a healthy planet.”
James Lovelock: The Revenge of Gaia
“Ecosystems are our capital assets. We don’t include them in our balance sheets, but if we did the services they supply would dwarf everything else in value…ecosystems support human life, and by harming them we harm ourselves. The sooner we realize this and behave accordingly, the better the chance we have of meeting human needs sustainably and conserving the diversity of life on Earth. ” Dr. Ricketts, WWF
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
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Development of Management Plans and Tourism Development Plans mainly for Conservation Areas: This entails the preparation of Environmental Management Plans (EMP’s), Protected Area Management Plans (PAMP’s) and Tourism Development Plans (TDP’s) for specific projects. The plans would be developed in consultation with the relevant interested and affected parties (facilitated by Biovista) that the Management Team requires having on board in the process. EMP’s are developed to help guide the implementation of the recommended mitigation (and enhancement) measures identified during the EIA process. PAMP’s help guide Protected Area Management operations, providing ecological zonation, biological and ecological baseline information, and relevant maps; as well as all activities falling within the scope of PAM i.e. research and monitoring activities, resource guardianship / law enforcement, environmental education, community relations, control of alien biota, and control of soil erosion etc. TDP’s (often a component of a PAMP, but not necessarily), develop tourism objectives for an area and guide tourism development activities. The aim is to assist the client in maximising tourism potential for the chosen area and aligning tourism activities as far as possible to be socially, economically & ecologically responsible and sustainable. I.e. True eco-tourism products: “Tourism into areas of great natural beauty or special interest that has minimum impact on the environment, and maximum benefit to local people”.
Implementing Environmental Management Plans (EMP’s) for Projects: Once an EIA has been conducted an EMP is developed to help guide the implementation of the mitigations for the proposed project. As soon as the ROD (Record of Decision) is received from the State and the project can be started, the EMP also needs to be implemented to ensure there is environmental compliance for the proposed activities. This is especially for large projects. Biovista offers the services of implementing and co-ordinating the EMP, which entails the managing of the ESO’s (Environmental Site Officers) and CLO’s (Community Liaison Officers), liaising with the client, collecting & collating data, monitoring project activities and reporting on activities and compliance
Conservation training: The majority, but not all, of the conservation training provided, is done in conjunction with the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC). Training takes place predominantly in South Africa at the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC), adjacent to the Kruger National Park, but can also be on site e.g. in the Wild Coast or in the North West Parks. Assorted conservation related training is provided to students from all over Africa, at different levels, in a variety of modules, e.g. Tourism Development and Management, Eco-tourism, Catchment Management, Vegetation Management and monitoring, Monitor and ID Wildlife etc . The training can take the form of a short course with a specific Unit Standard, or be part of a Qualification or Skills Program with several modules or unit standards. Conservation training also entails the development of course material and planning a training course. Accredited / non-accredited training courses can be custom developed to meet the requirements of the client. Jenny Newenham is a registered CATHSSETA Assessor and Moderator.
Feasibility studies: are conducted in a variety of different areas, usually for projects at the interface between people and the natural environment. The studies look at the status quo, the viability of the proposal, prepare budgets, investigate different opportunities and provide recommendations pertaining to the proposed initiative.
Environmental frameworks and strategies for assorted areas e.g. Biosphere Reserves: This involves collaborating with the client, liasing with the relevant interested and affected parties, collecting necessary information, collating the information and putting it into the required format for submission. It could, for example, be for a Biosphere Reserve application to UNESCO (as part of the MaB Program); the planning of a Conservancy; preparing part of a World Heritage Site application; compiling development guidelines for a conservation area; or any other similar frameworks for a specified project.
Ecological assessments in freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems: This is usually done as a sub-contracted activity for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA’s). Baseline assessments are conducted of observed and expected (where possible) species for the relevant project area. This includes vegetation, mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians. The conservation status (endemic & Red Data) is provided where available. If required, the direct and indirect impacts (positive and negative) on the organisms and their associated habitats are given, along with the proposed mitigation / enhancement strategies and any other recommendations. Sometimes the client requires that the focus is on a specific taxon group. Depending on the task, Biovista often sub-contracts specialists to assist in the surveys. An added service is applying the mitigation hierarchy and providing suggestions to off-set and therefore minimise impacts.
“Greening” your establishment / environmental audits: This is a relatively new service, done in conjunction with Bushveld Connections. Biovista will conduct an assessment for your home, tourism enterprise, business etc. in terms of the Ecological Footprint (including your carbon footprint) that your entity is having. It considers your energy and water usages; waste management, “green” / eco-building / renovations, as well as your garden / surrounding landscape. Recommendations are than provided as to how you can reduce your footprint in terms of energy and water use with a variety of saving strategies; recycling; water wise gardening, and permaculture etc. Helping you to live / operate more consciously in your environment.