Burning issues

This is the section on the DLIST site where emerging or ‘hot’ issues related to coastal and marine resources are summarized to give a brief introduction and links to further information about the issue. If you are looking for more information about a particular topic or want to know more about the ‘hot’ issues in the region, then this will be an interesting section for you. You can also contribute by suggesting new topics and responding on discussions in conjunction with these burning issues. You can even create your own ‘burning issue’ feature by contacting the DLIST admin team.

Aquaculture: Introduction

“Give a man fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him till stocks run out. Teach a man to grow fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

Many people see aquaculture, the farming of marine life, as the solution to both the heavy decline of fishing stocks and food insecurity. Aquaculture, especially mariculture, has developed into a diverse global industry, with over 64 countries participating in the production of more than 250 different species of fish, shellfish, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

In this Burning Issue, you can read about aquaculture, the economic opportunities that exist for coastal communities, the different methods of aquaculture, and current state of aquaculture in Angola, Namibia and in South Africa. We see this as a living pool of information, so write to the DLIST team if you have stories, experience and documents to add.

Aquaculture: Can local coastal communities benefit from aquaculture?

The harvesting of natural fisheries resources has declined due to the overexploitation of the fisheries worldwide; exacerbating this trend is the shift in the distribution of certain fish species. This overexploitation and decline in the marine fisheries stock has led to the closure of a number of fish processing establishments. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, many people see aquaculture, the farming of marine life, as the solution to both the heavy decline of fishing stocks and the resultant high price of seafood.

The farming of aquatic plants and animals is known as aquaculture, and it has been practised for thousands of years in some parts of the world. The organisms that are cultivated include algae, plants, shellfish, crustaceans, finfish and even reptiles such as crocodiles and tortoises, and amphibians such as frogs. These are produced under controlled conditions. The practice of aquaculture in the ocean is referred to as mariculture.

Aquaculture, especially mariculture, has developed into a diverse global industry, with over 64 countries participating in the production of more than 250 different species of fish, shellfish, crustaceans and aquatic plants.

“Fisheries and Aquaculture are important, and we need to manage them well and responsibly in order to make sure that future generations will still be able to rely on them”- Richard Grainger, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Chief of Fisheries Information and Statistics

Aquaculture is not a concept that many rural communities are familiar with. Despite this fact, it is said that aquaculture can provide an opportunity for the socio-economic upliftment of coastal communities and can reduce pressure on wild marine stocks. Today, people in the fishing industry are being encouraged to diversify their operations from not only catching at sea but also getting involved in fish farming (aquaculture).

One traditional model of a subsistence aquaculture venture is a community owned pond, or group of ponds, that are supplied with fish from a state owned hatchery and supported by state funded extension officers, which rely on the availability of adequate support functions. However, aquaculture needs to be operated as a business, for the venture to succeed. As every business needs a market, the aquaculture venture needs to focus on supplying specific markets that already exist, where the competing products can be expected to be replaced, at least partially, with cultured fish.

Reports from the United Nations (UN) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) have shown that the global production of the aquatic species in plants was 51.4 million metric tonnes in 2002. Further to that, global product value was US$109.2 billion, with China alone accounting for 71% global production and 30% of global product value. The African continent is said to contribute only 0.89% (0.46 million metric tonnes) to global aquaculture production. At the country level, South Africa contributes less than 1.0% of African aquaculture production.

Aquaculture is said to have the potential to replace reliance on marine fisheries, reduce poverty, ensure food security and create skills-based employment. It is seen as being able to contribute to the generation of income for the coastal communities. However, it should be noted that marine aquaculture is said to be a capital intensive venture. This fact, coupled with a trend to favour larger-scale commercial ventures, makes it difficult for small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) to compete. Furthermore little attention is said to be paid to the development of appropriate technologies and business models for sustainable business development in the sector.

What DLIST users say…
"It should be noted however, that aquaculture is not a quick cure all for economically depressed areas”

According to Professor Danie Brink, head of the University of Stellenbosch aquaculture department, constructive business partnerships between SMMEs and larger operations in relation to ‘seed’ supplies, skills transfer, processing, marketing channels and support services, could be an effective instrument in ensuring the development of sustainable SMMEs.

Nevertheless, despite its successes, failures have also been experienced in the aquaculture industry. The failure of some aquaculture ventures has been attributed to failure by some aquaculture farmers to make good decisions about the markets they would like to pursue with their products.

Potential obstacles to aquaculture development further include:

  • Less investment in technology that would reduce capital equipment costs is experienced.
  • The businesses favoured by the private sector are those that provide an optimal return on investment, so additional steps would be required to ensure that small businesses and the previously disadvantaged could get access to these opportunities.
  • The development of marine aquaculture is also affected by the high–energy coastline, with a limited number of protected sites.

Aquaculture: Existing aquaculture activities

Freshwater aquaculture is mainly seen as a potential source of food security, and is mainly targeted at rural communities in coastal areas. Mariculture (marine aquaculture), on the other hand, is capital and technological intensive, and is seen as a source of high value fishery products for export. In this section we explore some of the aquaculture potential and existing projects in Angola (English or Portuguese), Namibia and South Africa. If you know of more initiatives, especially community initiatives, please write to the DLIST team.


South Africa

Angola is endowed with both inland and marine aquatic resources suitable for aquaculture. Infrastructure and institutional capacity are the two primary constraints to the development of aquaculture in Angola. In this country, there are a few Tilapia operations inland. Tilapia is a common fish species that is known to be suited for aquaculture, for the fact that it effectively consumes low quality feeds and animal manure.

Aquaculture in Angola is considered one of the priorities of the Angolan Government to promote sustainable economic development and contribute to poverty reduction. While it helps to provide food security, the expansion of aquaculture is also aimed at the sustainable replenishment of aquatic biological resources and at preventing non-sustainable fishing in the country.

The Ministry of Fisheries launched in 2007 a publication on aquaculture in Angola (State of Aquaculture in Angola). In this section we summarise the overview of aquaculture in Angola presented in this publication, which has kindly been sent to DLIST by the Institute for Development of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IPA). For more information please visit the website of the Ministry of Fisheries or contact the Institute for Development of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IPA).

Is there aquaculture in Angola?

Aquaculture has started in Angola before independence, in a rudimentary manner and through private initiative. However, war has created difficulties of access to provinces, and this activity has decreased. Only recently has there been renewed interest from the private sector.

Aquaculture in Angola is divided into mariculture and inland aquaculture. Mariculture includes the culture of shellfish, crustaceans, fish, and algae in the coastal zone. Inland aquaculture is the most lucrative and widely used practice, and it is practised in artificial lagoons, cement tanks or earth ponds, and, in small scale, in cages.

Potential in the country
Studies have confirmed the existence of excellent conditions for the development of aquaculture in the country (in terms of temperature and water resources, as well as in terms of fish consumption habits). A survey of inland and coastal water bodies has recently been carried out, confirming the country’s high hydro potential for the development of aquaculture.

The country is rich in tilapia, catfish and other species, which can be cultivated to increase production. The selection of native species that are adequate for farming is of paramount importance due to restrictions in aquatic species imports, with a view to safeguarding native fauna and flora, protecting habitats and preventing the introduction of animals, plants and diseases.

The presence of large lagoons, lakes and dams provides the possibility of practising fish farming in cages, which does not require large bodies of water nor high execution costs.

Recent research has recommended the construction of Larviculture Centres that can produce larvae of native species of fish, with a view to producing young fish of economic and ecological importance that can be used in populating and repopulating rivers, lagoons, dams and water reservoirs, and can be provided to rural producers for community farming.

Inland aquaculture: In some inland aquaculture facilities, it is possible to create hydro improvement systems that can be used to water farms and pastures (as a basis for livestock raising). Another potential practice identified is agro-aquaculture (aquaculture integrated with domestic animal raising).

Mariculture: The Angolan coast’s potential is extensive and favourable for mariculture. The areas of interest for mariculture include lagoons and mangroves. Small areas adjacent to lagoons are adequate for marine species farming, especially prawns. As the Angolan coast does not have nooks or bays extending deeply into the interior of the continent, it has been suggested that three sites in the provinces of Luanda and Benguela, where all the necessary conditions have been found, be used for culture experiments.

The coastal prawn and the lobster are among the native species of crustaceans in Angola with potential for mariculture. Oysters and mussels are species of commercial bivalve molluscs that can be used in mariculture in Angola. The culture of mussels has been tested in Angola with very promising results, thought it has not been commercialised yet and its potential market is unknown. Mussels, such as oysters, can be incorporated in the biological treatment systems of prawn cultures, yet they are less tolerant to fluctuations in salinity. There are also species of fish, such as sole, that can be used.

Current state
In 2003 the Ministry of Fisheries launched a programme for the development of aquiculture. There are currently some activities, especially of inland aquaculture, while at the same time research is being carried out by teams of national and international experts and pilot projects implemented in several areas. In some provinces, communities of fishers have organise themselves into cooperatives and associations.

Aquaculture: There are currently aquaculture activities in the provinces of Cabinda, Luanda, Bengo and Moxico. There seems to be some tendency to import exotic species from neighbour countries.

In Cabinda province, both conflicts with the oil industry (restrictions on fishing areas, oil spills, etc) and the proximity of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where there is tradition of aquaculture, have led to increasing interest in community fish aquaculture activities. Fish farming in this province has been developing in an empirical manner and through private initiative. Fish farmers practise aquaculture in earth ponds using native species (especially tilapia and catfish).

In Luanda province, a number of private community fish farming activities have been identified. In Bengo province there are fish farming activities both of private initiative and with commercial purposes.

Mariculture: The exploration of the coast for mariculture purposes has been catching the attention of the national and international private sector. Assessment studies have been undertaken and prawn mariculture projects are planned in coastal provinces, in some cases using exotic species.

There are still no appropriate facilities for algae culture in Angola, yet algae production is indispensable in most larviculture facilities. There is no reference to activities of marine fish aquaculture in Angola.

Legal and Institutional Framework

  • Progress and Sustainability Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Ministry of Fisheries, 2004)
  • National Aquaculture Policy (Ministry of Fisheries, 2004)
  • Aquatic Biological Resources Law (Law N 6 A/04, 8 October 2004)
  • Land Use Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture 2006-2010 (Resolution N 9/06)

Training and Research

There are no universities or technical schools in Angola offering aquaculture training. The future Fishing Academy in Namibe, where there are plans for aquaculture as well as fishing training, will be an important centre to make the aquaculture sector in Angola more professional.

2006 saw the beginning of the Basic Fish Aquaculture Training programme, an initiative of IPA. The province of Luanda (municipality of Cacuaco) was the first to benefit from the course. The training programme targets small fish farmers, household farmers and rural extension staff.

IPA is planning the establishment of Aquaculture Research and Development Centres in 7 provinces of the country covering coastal and inland regions (Cabinda, Bengo, Benguela, Namibe, Malange, Moxico and Lunda Norte), in order to provide support to research and extension activities for aquaculture. In the province of Malange, for example, there are plans to build a larviculture centre, an aquaculture school, and to implement a project of fish farming using cages.

National goals
The Namibian government is challenging the fishing industry to diversify operations from not only catching at sea, but also getting involved with fish farming. It is promoting freshwater aquaculture, which will mainly be a community-based co-operative activity, making use of labour intensive methods. The produce from this industry will be primarily destined to local communities, as well as to local and international markets. Additionally, mariculture projects where high value marine
species are produced will be intended for export markets.

According to Dr Iyambo, the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources… “Namibia is looking forward to the establishment of a vibrant and profitable aquaculture industry by the year 2030”

According to the Namibian government, a conservative estimate for the development of the industry is a growth in value from the current N$20 million to N$250 million by the year 2009, with direct employment expanding from the current 422 people to 1,640 people. This employment rate only takes into account the labour used directly on the farms.

Current activities
The government’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) is currently running six pilot-aquaculture farms based on rural community participation in the northern Caprivi and Kavango regions.

The Spanish government has funded an Aquaculture centre that is based in Omahenene, in the Omusati Region. Further to that, as a way of diversifying the economy of Oranjemund in southern Namibia, the Namdeb mining company and the NovaNam fishing company have established a fish farm, for the purpose of preventing the town from becoming a ghost town in case the diamond reserves become exhausted. The fish farm is based in the mine-out seawater ponds, located on the diamond mining company’s main land-based production area.

In the Walvis Bay/Swakopmund area alone, there are a total of four well established Oyster farms with both Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and European oysters (Ostrea edulis) being grown. The estimated production of the Namibian Oyster industry in 2004 was 6 million Oysters, worth approximately N$12 million.

Mussel farming is being practised in Lüderitz, with the latest addition to this lucrative industry being abalone (Haliotis midae) farming. Abalone farming is at the moment being practised by one farmer. In order for the abalone farming industry to thrive, there will be an increased demand on mainly kelp as well as a few other seaweed species—the feed for the abalones.

South Africa
National goals
The South African Government recently announced that it is set to invest R100 million in marine fish farming projects in the financial year 2008/09. These projects will include abalone farms, fin fish farms and a state hatchery. The country lags far behind in international efforts to boost aquaculture further to compensate for devastated wild fish stocks.

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), mariculture is still in its infancy in South Africa, with only 1% of all fish sold commercially that is farmed. Nevertheless, it is considered to be the most established among the three countries of Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

South Africa’s Department of Fisheries believes that the best potential for the production of aquaculture vests mainly on the production of marine species such as abalone, oysters and mussels; and freshwater species such as trout, catfish, tilapia and ornamental fish. Other species that may be farmed include eels, crayfish, cob, yellow-tail, grunter, tuna and turbot.

Current initiatives
There are two aquaculture initiatives involving local communities presently underway in the West Coast. Nine fishermen have been given the opportunity to set up their own aquaculture mussel farm in Saldanha Bay, called Masiza Mussel Farm Pty Ltd, with some help from Blue Bay Aquafarm, a mussel and oyster-farming company (as mentor) and financial services group ABSA. The company started the empowerment project 4 years ago, to help fishermen who can no longer make a living by going to sea. The people involved in the Masiza Mussel Farm (Pty) Ltd are not only farmers and raft owners, but captains of their own ship, making their own decisions in their own businesses in an informed way. For more details on this initiative you can contact Terrasan Holding and Investment Company on +27 (0)21 930 5023. Read more here.

The majority of mariculture activities are concentrated in the Western Cape Province. Due to the fact that mariculture presents opportunities of alternative livelihood post-mining, the De Beers diamond mining company has shown some interest in mariculture development. De Beers has developed an experimental oyster farm within the Namaqualand mining area. It also works with development institutions to investigate the commercial feasibility of a 100 ton per annum abalone species. A project of this scale would have the potential to provide substantial employment and capacity benefits to the local communities, as well as to stimulate down stream investment and multiplier effects. Read more about De Beers’ mariculture initiatives here.

According to DEAT…. “An exception to the high coastal land in South Africa is the Northern Cape where some diamond mines are nearing the end of their productive lifespan. These operations will leave infrastructure that in some cases could be converted for marine aquaculture operations”

The Camdeboo Satellite Aquaculture Project in the Karoo, Graaff-Reinet, funded by the EU, makes use of existing reservoirs and dams to farm fish. The people to be involved in this project are the unemployed wives of Karoo farm labourers. The EU has already funded the project to the tune of R1 million. The project intends to farm the Tilapia fish (Tilapia mossambicus) which has been dubbed the “Karoo perlemoen”, an indigenous, robust, disease-free, vegetarian and excellent-tasting fish. Find out more on how the project (fish farm) works here.

A Danish-based company UNI Aqua is currently working on what will become South Africa’s biggest land-based fish farming project. This development will take place at the mouth of the Berg River in Velddrif on the Cape’s West Coast. It is expected that once the project has been fully developed, at a cost of some R18 million, it will play a major role in creating jobs in this region’s ailing fishing industry. Read more here.

Lessons can be learned from the freshwater aquaculture business taking place at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, where one commercial company, Lake Harvest (Pvt) Ltd., employs 500 people in the production and processing of Tilapia. This farm is currently the largest Tilapia producer in Africa. Read more here.

Aquaculture: The Science of Aquaculture

There is a range of different types of aquaculture depending on what is being reared and on the farming methods used.

Farming of seaweed/kelp and other algae species which have commercial and industrial uses is called algaculture. For centuries seaweed has been used as a source of potassium for the manufacture of potash (an impure form of potassium carbonate mixed with other potassium salts) and potassium nitrate.

Farming of the Ecklonia maxima kelp species allows a large number of plants to be grown in a small area. This is of some advantage because harvesting of plants in the wild under normal circumstances will require one to travel long distances to find the right species and investigate the quality of plants.

Kelp constitutes the major feed for the farmed abalone in South Africa, in some cases in tank cultures whereby seaweed and abalone are grown in integrated systems. The major uses of kelp are:

  • In great amounts, kelp ash can be used for glass and soap production.
  • Alginate, a kelp derived carbohydrate, is used to thicken products such as ice cream, jelly, salad dressing and toothpaste. It is also used as an ingredient in exotic dog food and in manufactured goods.
  • Seaweed is an important source of natural vitamins and minerals, including essential trace minerals.

Taurus Atlantic Seaweeds is a company involved in seaweed farming in Lüderitz, Namibia.

Fish farming

Fish farming is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. Farming is done under intensively controlled conditions, where the feed is essentially provided by the farmer. Within the intensive and extensive aquaculture methods, there are numerous fish production methods, and each has applications unique to its design.

a. Integrated recycling systems: Basically, large plastic fish tanks are placed in a greenhouse, with a hydroponic bed placed near, above or between them. When Tilapias are raised in the tanks, they are able to eat algae, which naturally grow in the tanks when the tanks are properly fertilised. The water tank is slowly circulated to the hydroponic beds where the Tilapia waste feeds commercial plant crops. Carefully cultured microorganisms in the hydroponic beds convert ammonia to nitrates, and the plants are fertilised by the nitrates and phosphates.

b. Irrigation ditch or pond systems: These are irrigation ditches or farm ponds in which fish are raised. The basic requirement is to have a ditch or pond that retains water, possibly with an above-ground irrigation system (many irrigation systems use buried pipes with headers).

c. Cage system: In this system, fish are kept in cages, made from synthetic fibre, and are kept in existing water resources to hold and protect fish until they can be harvested. Some of the advantages of fish farming with cages are: many types of water systems can be utilised (e.g. rivers, lakes, filled quarries etc.); many fish species can be raised; and fish farming can co-exist with sport fishing and other water uses.

d. Classic fry farming: Trout and other sport fish are often raised from eggs to fry or fingerlings stage and then trucked to streams and released.


Mariculture basically refers to farming of marine species. This is a specialised branch of aquaculture involving the farming of marine organisms for commercial purposes in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds or raceways which are filled with seawater.

Mariculture can be practised in the following ways:

1. Construction of sea-based farms where fish are penned in floating cages made of netting and anchored in the shallow coastal zone.

2. Construction of sea-based farms in which fish are penned in submerged cages made of netting and anchored in water of variable depth but are usually relatively close to the coast for ease of access. The environmental impact of submerged cages can be low as they can be located in waters of sufficient depth and exposure to facilitate the dispersal of wastes.

3. Construction of land-based farms that rely on a continuous replacement of seawater on the farm from the sea or an estuary. This method allows considerable scope to eliminate many of the environmentally deleterious effects of aquaculture.

Several companies have developed cages that can withstand extreme conditions (such as wave action). These include: Farmocean, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Oceanspar, Net Systems and Polar Circle.

Marine culture production worldwide is growing at the rate of about 5 to 7 percent annually. Further technical information on mariculture can be found here.

Integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems

Experience has demonstrated that aquaculture can be integrated with agriculture. This has been done through the farming of chicken and fish in one system, with chicken being raised over or adjacent to the ponds. In this practice chicken are raised for meat (broilers) and for eggs (layers), while at the same time the poultry excreta is recycled to fertilise the fishponds. This is of advantage, as it reduces costs on fertilizers and feeds in fish culture, hence maximizing benefits. Read more here.

Other advantages of such a system are:

  • The pond embankment can be used for raising vegetables (agriculture).
  • The nutrient-rich water from the fish ponds can be used to irrigate the vegetable crops.
  • As fish will feed on the chicken excreta, costs of pelleted fish feeds which contained fish meal from marine fish resources are reduced.

If ducks are raised over the fishponds instead of chickens, the system will have the following advantages:

  • Ducks will fertilise the pond with their droppings, resulting in a complete saving on pond fertiliser and supplementary fish feed, which accounts for a high proportion of costs in conventional fish culture.
  • Ducks help release nutrients from the soil by loosening the pond bottom with their dabbling, and they also help to keep water plants in check.
  • Ducks reared in this way need very little feed. As they usually feed on aquatic weeds, larvae, insects, earthworms, farmers can give the ducks kitchen waste.

A note on stocking density

Stocking density refers to the number or biomass of fish stocked per unit area or volume. The true stocking density for every aquarium is different and extremely complicated to calculate.

According to an aquaculture expert, Mr Leslie Ter Morshuizen of Aqua Africa (info@aquaafrica.co.za), choosing an appropriate stocking level should be based on a balance between what is biologically appropriate for the species being cultured, and what is technically feasible with the infrastructure being used and who is responsible given the skills level of the management and staff.

He further states that the model which holds much promise for aquaculture development in Africa is the Satellite Grower concept. It is designed in such a way that the technical skills for aquaculture primarily exist within the hub, which is the technically competent and experienced commercial partner.

The rearing of fish is said to require fair amounts of space and manpower, but is relatively less demanding in terms of practical skills, making it suitable for outsourcing to less experienced entities as growers. Once the fish attain table/ market size they are sold collaboratively, enabling the best prices to be obtained and maintaining a healthy market share.

The growers also benefit by buying supplies in bulk, hence benefiting from lower prices obtained through leverage.

Aquaculture: Aquaculture and the Environment

What DLIST users say …” Aquaculture has a problem of that, it leads to the destruction of sensitive ecosystems to make way for land based fish farms, particularly the destruction of mangroves and coastal forest to farm shrimp and prawns”

There is considerable debate over the environmental impacts of aquaculture, which have cast doubts on the industry’s claims of sustainability. Some of the main issues raised are:

  • Positioning of fish farms often block access to coastal areas that were once common land in use by many people. Due to alack of formalised land rights and entitlements in such areas, this could lead to large scale displacement of communities, often without financial compensation or alternative land made available on which to live.
  • Pollution from uneaten feeds or waste products (e.g. faeces), cleaning fluids and antibiotics in the feeds, and excessive sedimentation from cleaning of ponds.

What DLIST users say…”It is when the fish densities are increased beyond the ability of the local environment to assimilate their wastes that a problem occurs”

  • Introduction and escape into the wild of farmed alien fish species, or disease vectors such as viruses.
  • Concentrated, unmoving fish populations also give parasites a permanent home and breeding ground.
  • Aquaculturalists in Angola, Namibia and South Africa need to have water conserving strategies in place, so that they can protect their fish stock due to the water stressed environment they live in. Read more here.
  • The issue of feeds in fish farming has been a controversial one. While vegetarian fish like tilapia require no meat products in their diets, carnivorous fish like salmon depend on fish feed of which a portion is usually derived from fish caught in the wild. In the case of carnivorous fish the input of wild caught fish exceeds the output of farmed fish by a considerable margin, since conversion efficiencies are not high. Attempts to replace fish meal and oil in fish feed with vegetable sources of protein like soybeans, barley, canola, corn, cottonseed and pea are underway but have yet to be proven successful. If plant based feeds are used in aquaculture, to be sustainable they must be sourced from agriculture that is sustainable. The wild (pelagic) fish may be containing contaminants and pollutants that accumulated in their bodies and, fed to the species in conventional aquaculture, may also contaminate or pollute our environment.

What DLIST users say…. “ In fish farming up to five times the quantity of wild fish are used to produce pelleted fishmeal to feed farmed fish; putting huge pressures on already overfished resources”.

  • Unknown ecological impacts exist, especially if there is interbreeding between the farmed fish and the wild stocks, leading to hybridisation. This has recently been shown in a study to be a real, quantifiable problem with farmed salmon.
  • Competition for resources and mates between escaped farmed and wild stocks reduce the vigour of wild stocks, particularly where they have been depleted by over-fishing.

Environmentally friendly methods
What DLIST users say…” The types of aquaculture with minimal impacts are shellfish culture, harvesting of mussels, oysters, clams, etc in coastal or estuarine farms, as these mainly gain their food from filter feeding”.

Land-based aquaculture operations offer total or partial isolation from the sea, which carries many advantages compared to farming in sea cages. As they provide control over the fish growing environment, there is a reduction of effluents containing high loads of fish waste products and chemicals used in the production that are released to the ocean. Complete isolation from the sea offered by these systems makes them ideal for farming with alien species and indigenous species that constitute a high disease and genetic risk to natural populations.

An alternative to open ocean cage aquaculture in which the risk of environmental damage is substantially eliminated is practised through the use of a Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS). This is a series of culture tanks and filters, where water is continuously recycled to prevent the deterioration of water quality. The water is treated mechanically through the removal of particulate matter, as well as biologically through the conversion of harmful accumulated chemicals into non-toxic ones.

What DLIST users say…” Today you get marine predatory fish such as cobia being farmed on fish meal and fish oil free feed. Which is a remarkable achievement and bodes well for the future of aquaculture feeds which are moving towards a diet based primarily on vegetable proteins”

Organic Aquaculture is different from the conventional aquaculture because it is an overall system of farm management and food production that focuses on best environmental practices, a high level of biodiversity, preservation of natural resources and application of high animal welfare. Organic aquaculture is said to boast low production costs and higher quality yields.

What DLIST users say…“ It should be borne in mind that the broiler and pig industries each consume substantially more fish meal than does aquaculture, and the protein conversions are less efficient than those achieved by fish”

Organic aquaculture is punted as being feasible for small farmers, with a relatively easy to learn technology. It is said to be appropriate for rural areas. However, there is a need to educate people and draw more interest to learn the technology and to comply with internationally accepted standards for certified organic aquaculture production.

Other treatments such as UV sterilisation, ozonation, and oxygen injection are also utilised to maintain optimal water quality. Through this system, many of the environmental drawbacks of aquaculture are minimised including escaped fish, water usage and the introduction of harmful pollutants. These practices increase the efficiency of feed utilisation and growth by providing optimal water quality parameters.

Aquaculture: Institutional and legal arrangements

Aquaculture sector development
Governments should regulate the development of the industry ensuring that its potential environmental impacts are avoided or minimised, and to ensure that participation in the industry is equitable.

At the regional level, the SADC Protocol on Fisheries addresses aquaculture in its Article 13 and constitutes an important guide to policy makers and planners at both the national and regional level. This section presents a brief analysis of aquaculture legislation in the three countries of Angola, Namibia and South Africa. There may also be other applicable regulations at the local authority level.

The Institute for Development of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IPA), under the Ministry of Fisheries, is responsible for the development of the artisanal fishery sector, including marine and inland fisheries, through fostering sustainable and responsible fishing activities, by assisting in the creation of cooperatives and in fund raising for fishing gear and support infrastructure, as well as by providing advice and training on management of fisheries. For more information please contact IPA.

The Angolan legal framework for aquaculture development includes the following:

  • Progress and Sustainability Strategy for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Ministry of Fisheries, 2004)
  • National Aquaculture Policy (Ministry of Fisheries, 2004)
  • Aquatic Biological Resources Law (Law N 6 A/04, 8 October 2004)
  • Aquaculture Regulation (Decree N 39/05)
  • Land Use Plan for Fisheries and Aquaculture 2006-2010 (Resolution N 9/06)


Namibia is the only country within the BCLME region that has a stand alone Aquaculture Act passed in 2003. In 2004 Namibia’s Aquaculture Strategic Plan was published.

South Africa
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism is responsible for the management, regulation and development of the Marine Aquaculture sector in South Africa.

The Marine Living Resources Act (No 18 of 1998) gave the national government the mandate to promote, facilitate and co-ordinate the sustainable development of mariculture in South Africa.

The South African government recently passed a Policy for the Development of a Sustainable Marine Aquaculture Sector in this country. This is an attempt to promote and regulate aquaculture in South Africa, as well as to provide an enabling climate for increased participation and equity in the industry.

Fish Health, Safety and Quality Assurance
Concern over food safety and quality is a growing concern, especially in the area of seafood. There is a need to avoid contamination of aquaculture products from when they are cultured, all the way through to the dinner table.

The human health hazards associated with fish can be grouped into pre-harvest contamination, and contamination following harvesting and processing. Pre-harvest contamination mainly involves biological hazards: bacteria, parasites, and to a lesser extent, chemical hazards.

There are several food safety and quality assurance institutions in Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

The country’s Ministry of Fisheries is the recognised Competent Authority for Product Health certification, with microbiological testing and certification being carried out at INIP (Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira or National Fishing Research Institute). At this institution, microbiological analysis of water and fish products for total plate counts of bacteria, including the Salmonella, total coli-forms and E. coli species, are conducted.

The country’s well developed inspection and quality assurance of fish and fishery products for the marine captured fish can serve the aquaculture industry. However, the Ministry of Trade and Industry continues to be the Competent Authority for the establishment of the necessary fish inspection and quality assurance infrastructure.

South Africa
In terms of South Africa’s Animal Health Act, the certification of each shipment that it is disease free and healthy falls with the State Veterinary Service, under the Department of Agriculture. The State Veterinary does acknowledge this role but there is limited manpower capacity to certify the health of aquatic organisms. However, South Africa has a well established fishery products processing sector, which exports fishery products all over the world. This country has the capacity to assist Namibia and Angola to develop adequate shellfish monitoring programmes.

Aquaculture: Share, Ask, Discuss

As the DLIST team, we hope that this Burning Issue on Aquaculture will provoke further critical thinking on the issue of how local communities can benefit from this industry. We see this as a living document that can grow with your input.

Visit the discussion forum and participate. Tell us about potential or existing aquaculture projects in your area, and to what extent they have benefited local communities.

For suggestions or new information for this Burning Issue, contact the DLIST team.

Aquaculture: Further links and resources

This Burning Issue has relied on the discussions on DLIST around the topic, contributions from DLIST users and a literature review. In this section you will find the sources used for preparing this Burning Issue, as well as additional documents, web links and points of contact for more information. You will find relevant legal and policy documents in the “Institutional and legal arrangements” section.

Documents and web links

Analysis of Marine Aquaculture Developments in Namibia: Environmental, Economic and Legislative considerations: This document presents a multidisciplinary analysis of Namibian aquaculture developments.
Click here

Aquaculture and Drought: When access to water is limited during times of drought, water-based agri-businesses need to develop and implement systems that minimise the impact on production. Farmers need to consider strategies to save and conserve water and protect their most valuable stock. In the event that water supply or water quality is severely impacted, emergency management measures are needed.
Click here

Aquaculture gets a second chance in SA: Aquaculture, also known as fish farming, has been tried many times in South Africa, and failed many times too. Today, with food security being a priority, there is a move to start it up again. Can it work this time?
Click here

Challenging the Aquaculture Industry: This report examines some of the serious environmental and social impacts that have resulted from the development and practice of aquaculture across the global industry.
Click here

Development of small-scale aquaculture farming systems: Western Cape: An initiative to establish sustainable small scale fish farming units in rural areas of the Western Cape was launched during 2004/05 by the division of Aquaculture, Stellenbosch University with the assistance from the Department of Science and Technology and the Public Sector.
Click here

FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries Aquaculture Development: It is essential for current efforts aiming at the future success of aquaculture in both developing and developed countries, to duly address the potential social and environmental problems in order to ensure that aquaculture develops sustainably. http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/w4493e/w4493e00.htm

FAO Corporate Repository, Integrated Agriculture-Aquaculture: A Primer, FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 407: Chicken raising for meat (broilers) or eggs (layers) can be integrated with fish culture to reduce costs on fertilizers and feeds in fish culture and maximize benefits. Chicken can be raised over or adjacent to the ponds and the poultry excreta recycled to fertilize the fishponds.

Implementation Plan for BCLME Regional Aquaculture Policy Options: This report presents an “implementation plan for regional aquaculture policy options”. This follows an assessment of the aquaculture policies and institutional capacity for aquaculture development in Angola, Namibia and South Africa, from which regional aquaculture policy options were identified.
Click here

Mariculture in South Africa: South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT)’s page on mariculture contains legal documents, guidelines, requirements and plans. http://www.mcm-deat.gov.za/mariculture/

Regional review on aquaculture development - Sub-Saharan Africa 2005: Review of aquaculture development status and trends conducted by FAO’s Fisheries Department during 2005 and 2006. Read the document here.
Click here

Solutions for Sustainable Mariculture: Solutions for sustainable mariculture - avoiding the diverse effects of mariculture on biological diversity by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity is a programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity aims to assist the implementation of the Jakarta Mandate.
Click here

State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA):
a comprehensive, objective and global view of capture fisheries and aquaculture, including associated policy issues

The ABUJA Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa: This Declaration endorses an Action Plan completed during technical meetings, involving 100 experts from across the African continent at the Fish for All Summit, held in 2005. The Action Plan is based on a five point strategy that focuses on supporting capture fisheries, developing aquaculture, improving fish market chains, increasing benefits from fish trade and supporting decision makers with information.
Click here

The Southern African Marine Aquarium Breeders Handbook: The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa after identifying the growing demand for fish funded a four year research programme at the Rhodes University, to test the feasibility of rearing marine aquarium fish in a commercially sustainable manner in Southern Africa.
Click here

The production of poultry in integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems: The incorporation of laying hens in an integrated aquaculture-agriculture family-based food production unit was investigated in this research
Click here

Useful contacts

Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa: AASA was established in the late 1980s in order to represent the interest of the then fledgling aquaculture industry in Southern Africa. The objective of the association is to contribute towards the development of aquaculture in Southern Africa through effective representation and distribution of information. http://www.aasa-aqua.co.za

Email: info@aasa-aqua.co.za
Telephone: +27 (0) 807 6720
Fax Number: +27 (0) 12 807 4946

Postal: AASA
P O Box 71894
The Willows
0041, South Africa

Aquaculture Training Course: AquaAfrica offers a 2-day Aquaculture Training Course which is aimed at the people who have an interest in the Industry, but require more information prior to investing. The course specifically addresses the common questions new entrants into the industry have.
Contact by email: info@aquafrica.co.za

Telephone: +27 (0) 46 622 3690
Facsimile: +27 (0) 46 622 4868

Aquaculture Innovations
Postnet Suite 97
Private Bag X1672
6140, South Africa

Institute for Development of Artisanal Fishing and Aquaculture (IPA), Ministry of Fisheries (Angola)
Telephone: (+244 ) 222 334112
Fax: (+244) 222 393039
Email: ipartesanal@snet.co.ao

Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira (Angola)
Rua Mortala Mohamed
Ilha de Luanda
Caixa postal 2601
Luanda – Angola
Telephone: +244-228-741465
Fax: +244-222-309330
Email: iim-secretaria@angola-minpescas.com

Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (South Africa)
315 Pretorius street
cnr Pretorius & van der Walt Streets
Fedsure Forum Building
North Tower
2nd Floor (Departmental reception) OR
1st Floor (Departmental information center)
Pretoria, 0001
Telephone: + 27 (0)12 310 – 3911
Call Center telephone: 086 111 2468
Call Center Email: callcentre@deat.gov.za

Department of Agriculture, Veterinary Services (South Africa)
Physical Address:
Delpen Building
Cnr Annie Botha and Union Street
Riviera, Pretoria 0084
Tel:+27 12 319 6000

Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources (Namibia)
Head Office, Private Bag 13355,
Brendan Simbwaye Square, Block C,
Corner of Uhland & Goethe Streets,
Windhoek, Namibia.
Tel: +264 61 2059 (switch)
Fax: +264 61 233 286

Ministry of Trade and Industry (Namibia)
Block B, Brendan Simbwaye Square, Goethe Street
Private Bag 13340, Windhoek, Namibia
Telephone: +264-61-283-7111
Fax: +264-61-220227

Coastal Tourism: Introduction

What DLIST users say…

“If we are to survive economically we all have to start caring about this precious coastline, appreciate its peacefulness and beauty and maintain it well. We have to do this if we are to reap the benefits, jobs, economic upliftment that ecotourism can bring."

Read what DLIST users are discussing about coastal tourism—we have gathered ideas and concrete examples from these discussions and, together with the DLIST community, built a pool of information and material relating to impacts from coastal tourism and approaches to minimise them. Here you can disseminate your material, or get ideas for action.

Read about best practices in the region and about collective action to protect our coast—pamphlets, information boards, community enforcement, management plans, school programmes, letters to ministries, stakeholder meetings…
Have more to add? Write to admin@dlist-benguela.org

Coastal Tourism: Why this Burning Issue?

In discussions held on the DLIST online forum and at the DLIST workshops that took place in late 2006 in Namibia and South Africa, coastal tourism and its impacts on the environment and communities have been identified as important issues for stakeholders in the BCLME areas. It is clear from the discussions that many organisations or individuals are already working towards raising awareness and pooling their forces together to reduce these impacts.

This Burning Issue on Impacts from Coastal Tourism provides a dedicated space for stakeholders to:

  • disseminate their information and material around the topic
  • interact and share experiences and best practices
  • reach a wider and more diversified audience
  • share tools and approaches that will be useful for anyone wanting to engage in similar activities

The focus is on coastal tourism activities including off-road driving and recreational fishing, among others, and resulting impacts such as coastal erosion, damage to flora and fauna, pollution and littering, destruction of cultural heritage, and social and economic effects on coastal communities. Special attention is given to the approaches and tools being used in the BCLME area (coastal areas of Angola, Namibia and South Africa).

What DLIST users say… “For me 2006 was a major stepping stone in civil society being more actively involved in our environment. We now have a watchful eye from Baboon Point Elands Bay all the way to Port Nolloth and that is a great achievement.”

Coastal Tourism: How can tourism go wrong?

How can tourism be detrimental to the environment and the people?

Tourism is often likened to a two-edged sword. It has definite advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, in some cases the advantages, namely economic gain, tend to go to a small group of people, often not even from the country or region. The costs, including environmental impacts and the erosion of social norms, unfortunately have to be shared by the local people. However, if tourism is planned well with the proper involvement of local people, then there can be many benefits, primarily jobs and also positive “spin-offs” such as small businesses, improved infrastructure and educational opportunities. The costs can be lessened by good planning and proper accordance with environmental law.

While tourism is often heralded as the way for natural places to “pay their way” (meaning to generate enough money to justify not developing them), tourism can also have environmental impacts as a result of the tourism activity (i.e. off-road driving damaging vegetation) or the construction/operation of a tourism development (i.e. water pollution, destruction of land).

Nature-based tourism facilities are often located in remote and sometimes sensitive areas. Both construction and associated infrastructure can damage critical habitats. Once operational, such facilities have resource demands, as well as creating waste streams. In an arid region such as the Benguela region, both water and fuel-wood are scarce resources. Direct and indirect tourist consumption places additional stress on fragile ecosystems. In addition, human waste and litter require adequate service infrastructure. (Source: CPUT course material. To download this from the DLIST Document Library, click here)

What DLIST users say… “Throughout this year ORVs, its legislations, what department responsibilities fall to, have been debated from Elands Bay on the West Coast all the way to Port Nolloth. We do have a problem that needs to be addressed, so we can all enjoy the benefits of the coast but in a controlled manner.”

Approaches to mitigate environmental impacts resulting from tourism

  • Active visitor participation in management, by enhancing awareness of both operators and tourists and educating visitors (e.g. signage for water conservation which is widely used throughout Namibia);
  • Regulation of both the type of activity allowed, as well as demarcating areas for particular activities (e.g. formal 4x4 trail, quad bike “free zones”, quad bike parks away from the coast);
  • Providing guides to accompany tourists to ensure they do not collect plants or artefacts and do not litter (e.g. hikers in the Richtersveld National Park);
  • Establishing regulatory structures that promote standards and monitor operator performance (e.g. South Africa Tourism Board, Southern Africa Rivers Association);
  • Providing incentives for long-term management and sustainable resource use (e.g. linking control and benefit of tourism to local residents, empowering locals);
  • By-laws can be drawn up for municipal areas following guidelines for responsible tourism development. (Source: CPUT course material. To download this from the DLIST Document Library, click here)

What DLIST users say… “As for guest house owners (I am one of them)—there is no question that if ecotourism (the only type possible or desired around here) is to remain sustainable, a firm stance should be taken regards degradation of natural heritage. (…) We have had some guests that have refused to return unless we get rid of ORV, fireworks, noise factor.”

Coastal Tourism: Informing

What DLIST users say…
“(…) making full colour information leaflets which will be distributed country wide at border posts, information points and accommodation establishments, putting up information boards in the desert and along the beaches which set the rules and regulations forth while adding important information on the surrounding environment, to place daily full colour environmental advertisements in all newspapers country wide, especially the days during peak season holidays, and thereafter once a week or monthly.”

Pamphlet: “Strandlopers Guide to the Namaqua Coast” (South Africa) Initiated by the Port Nolloth Museum, this pamphlet has become a joint effort of many different people and organisations that share the common goal of raising awareness and informing everyone about the precious area where the west coast meets the Richtersveld desert. Spotlights are off-road vehicles (ORVs), pollution, pyrotechnics, flora and fauna protection etc, juxtaposed with a strong promotion of ecotourism and the splendours of the area.

Download the Strandloper Guide map and brochure and read more about its development, distribution and results on the DLIST discussions. If you are interested in the Strandloper Project, please contact Elize Hough at dog@hondeklip.co.za or Grazia de Beer at bedrock@icon.co.za.

Brochure: “What can we do to keep our coast clean?” (South Africa, Namibia and Angola)
One potential impact from coastal tourism is an increase in marine litter. Discussions on DLIST Benguela about the problem of marine litter and awareness raising and educational activities on the ground promoted by the BCLME Programme have resulted in a Burning Issue on Marine Litter and a brochure in English and Portuguese that describes what we can do to help minimise this problem.

Download the brochure in English and Portuguese. Visit the Burning Issue on Marine Litter and contact Maria Sardinha at bclme.behp@nexus.ao for more information about the BCLME Project.

Brochure: Walvis Bay Outreach Programme (Namibia)
Following up on activities promoted by the BCLME Programme, the Walvis Bay Municipality’s Environmental Fund has implemented a number of activities such as beach cleaning, school competitions and theatre, and preparation of informative material. This brochure describes the sources and impacts of marine litter in the Walvis Bay area.

Download the brochure here. For more information about the Programme and activities in Walvis Bay contact Kahepako Kakujaha at kkakujaha@walvisbaycc.org.na.

Signage and information boards Signs and boards can be used to inform visitors of any restrictions and to give advise on how to protect the coastal environment and communities—areas where 4x4 vehicles and quad bikes are/ are not allowed, fishing restrictions, bylaws and fines, etc.
The Strandloper project funded 7 boards for Port Nolloth area—see the photos below.

Responsible tourism marketing Tourism operators, lodge owners and other tourism product owners along the coast can include environmental tips and warnings for visitors on their marketing material. One example is the website of Die Honnehok Chalets, which includes a page with information on Namaqualand’s environment and its protection.

See the website at http://www.hondeklip.co.za/Conservation.htm and contact Elize Hough at dog@hondeklip.co.za for more information. Read more about the position of some tourism operators along the coast on the DLIST discussions.

More? Send your ideas and material to admin@dlist-benguela.org

Coastal Tourism: Planning

What DLIST users say… “From the Namibian perspective, I do think that we need to get our legislation in order first. That way the jurisdiction over the dune belt will be clearly determined, (and) the use of various areas in the dune belt will be defined (…).”

Contingency plan: Dune belt area between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (Namibia) A number of focused meetings (facilitated by NACOMA) were held over the festive season in 2006 and recommendations were put together to be shared with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Council of the Municipality of Walvis Bay. This committee will continue its work through the year peaking over holidays and long weekends.

The actions taken were to develop, produce and place signage strategically, improve on pamphlet developed by Municipality of Walvis Bay, demarcate dune areas for ORVs (Namib Film) based on draft regulations and zoning plan and help motivate enforcement agencies. The cabled off Damara Tern breeding areas were repaired and new signage added. A press and radio campaign was initiated. Tour operators offered evening talks on biodiversity and general ORV behaviour ethics (Tommy’s Tours and Desert Explorers).

Main recommendations were to get GRN to clarify ownership and mandates, approve draft regulations and move on proclamation of the area under the Walvis Bay Nature Reserve.
Download the Contingency Plan and Meeting Minutes here.

Provincial guidelines: Planning, managing and assessing of off-road routes in the Western Cape Province (South Africa) The Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) released in 2006 a Guideline Series addressing the planning, management and assessment of off-road routes in the Province. The series includes guidelines for route planners and operators, environmental practitioners and authorities, and recreational trail users.
Download the guide for route planners and operators here, the guide for environmental assessment practitioners, authorities and route planners here, the practical guide for recreational trail users here, and an introductory letter to stakeholders here.

Guidelines on the Implementation of Regulations Pertaining to the Control of Vehicles in the Coastal Zone (South Africa)
These guidelines were published in December 2004 to explain how the regulations on ORVs will be implemented in respect of the permissible use of vehicles in the coastal zone, the designation of recreational use areas, vehicle use in the coastal zone under permit, licences for boat launching, and exemptions. Download the guidelines here.

NEMA—Regulations for the Control of Vehicles in the Coastal Zone. Changes in Ecological and Socio-economic Conditions in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park since Implementation of the Regulations Following the publication of the revised South African regulations governing the use of vehicles for recreational purposes in the coastal zone in 2004, the Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism commissioned a study to test the validity of public statements and perceptions concerning the positive and negative effects of the “beach-driving ban”. Using the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park as a case study, the report concluded that the ban has led to positive ecological effects but that the socio-economic negative effects need to be addressed.
Download the report here.

Regulations in South Africa

  • Integrated Coastal Management Bill for Comments (gazetted on 15 December 2006 for a 90 day public comment period). Download the Bill for Comments (Part 1 and Part 2) and the Guide for the Public Participation Process. Comments are needed no later than 15 March.
  • Regulations in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1988: Control of Vehicles in the Coastal Zone (No. 1399 of 21 December 2001). Click here to download.
  • Amendments to the above regulations (No. R. 1426 of 7 December 2004). Click here to download.
  • Provincial and local by-laws should be looked into seriously by the various kiosks or “task forces” on the coast.

More? Send your ideas and material to admin@dlist-benguela.org

Coastal Tourism: Taking collective action

What DLIST users say…
“Above all, find solutions together and not offer problems!”

Reaching decision makers on the West Coast (South Africa)
In October 2006, the Port Nolloth Museum addressed a letter to the DTEC Director expressing concern with off road vehicles destroying our beaches and dunes, pollution, dumping and littering, crayfish and shellfish poaching, illegal fireworks and other problems affecting the coast especially in the holiday season.

Go to the Strandlopers DLIST Discussions to read the letter. Emanating from the letter, a meeting was held in December 2006 with representatives from government, private sector, Police, etc. If you want to collaborate or find out more, contact Grazia de Beer at bedrock@icon.co.za.

Voicing concerns through the media in Elands Bay (South Africa) The announcement of a proposed quad bike competition in the dune area of Elands Bay has given rise to hot debate on DLIST, radio and the press.
Read more about the proposed event, potential detrimental effects from quad biking, and opinions from the tourism industry on this DLIST Discussion.
Download the news article about the proposed event in Elands Bay in Feb 2007 and about the decision to move it to privately owned The Dunes at nearby Lambert's Bay.

Discussing actions to take at Matzikama Municipality (South Africa) A multi-stakeholder meeting was held on 15 November 2006 at the Municipal Chambers of the Matzikama Municipality to discuss the impacts of off-road vehicles on the coast and solutions to the problem.

Contact Suzanne du Plessis at kwela@intekom.co.za to find out more.

Reaching the higher political level in Walvis Bay (Namibia) The Municipality of Walvis Bay has drafted a document with recommendations to the Namibian Government on how to deal with off-road driving.
To find out more contact Kahepako Kakujaha at kkakujaha@walvisbaycc.org.na.

More? Send your ideas and material to admin@dlist-benguela.org

Negotiations are underway between DEAT and De Beers regarding the proposed Groen-Spoeg National Coastal Park. This area was seriously affected in the festive season in 2006. See more about the proposed part at http://www.hondeklipbay.co.za. If you have ideas or information about this proposed park write to admin@dlist-benguela.org.

Coastal Tourism: Educating

What DLIST users say… “With any programme that involves changing people’s behaviour, there are 4 steps: Communicate, Educate, Convert and Sustain. The second step is the crucial one, but also the most difficult one, as it means converting all the education messages into action that will sustain change.“

Course material: “Tourism” Module 8 of the distance learning course on Sustainable Development in Coastal Areas on DLIST is dedicated to tourism. It covers aspects related to environmental and social impacts of tourism in general.

Download the course material here.

School programmes The Western Cape Department of Environment and Development Planning (DEA&DP) is using schools for environmental education via children.

For more information contact Alison Davison at adavison@pgwc.gov.za or on 021-483 2965.

Ecoclubs Recently the Museum Centre of Port Nolloth in cooperation with DLIST started an Ecoclub for children between 9 and 12 years of age. The aims of the Ecoclub are to introduce the children to the environment and to raise awareness of environmental issues. In the weekly meetings the children learn about different habitats and biodiversity of the area through little excursions, experiments, observation of animals, games, craftworks, etc. Therefore, the Ecoclub meetings are everything but ordinary school lessons.

On the longer run it will be important to communicate with other Ecoclubs in order to exchange ideas, information materials and also to organize exchange visits. If you want to share your information, experiences and ideas with the Port Nolloth Ecoclub or if you want to know more about it, please contact Nosipho isanosipho@gmail.com or Johann jlonzer@mweb.co.za.

Marine Litter Teacher’s Manual: Class and Field Activities Based on the experience gained through the BCLME Marine Litter Project, this manual intends to provide some guidance for teachers who wish to introduce the topic in classes and plan activities with the students. It contains links to ideas and resources for both class and field activities, extracted from different sources and organisations that are dedicated to educational and awareness raising activities. This manual is not aimed at one specific age group, but the activities suggested can rather be adapted to different age groups and local circumstances.

You will find it in Portuguese and English in the Marine Litter Burning Issue.
Contact Maria Sardinha at bclme.behp@nexus.ao for more information about the BCLME Project

More? Send your ideas and material to admin@dlist-benguela.org

Coastal Tourism: Enforcing

What DLIST users say… “Appropriate government departments need to become focused on the important issues and need to work with the local people to enforce the law effectively.”

Community enforcement
Ideas raised include volunteer watchers and strandloper kiosks that would act as a hotline over the season for reporting of infringements and be linked strongly with environmental officers, police, municipalities. In South Africa, the Integrated Coastal Management Bill makes provision for “Voluntary coastal officers”. We are looking for examples where voluntary coastal officers have been appointed—please write to admin@dlist-benguela.org if you have experiences to share.

Municipal contacts for reporting of infringements
For useful contacts along the Namaqua coastline between Alexander Bay and Hondeklip Bay please download the Strandlopers Guide map and brochure.

More? Send your ideas and material to admin@dlist-benguela.org

Energy: An Introduction

As our societies become more sophisticated, the world population grows and nations become more industrialized, energy demand increases and so we expect energy supply to simultaneously increase. Energy is considered a basic human need, and much of what we use and take for granted in our everyday lives is dependent on it. But how are we going to cope with this increasing need? Does the answer lie in providing more energy (which comes at an environmental and economic cost), or does it lie in changing our lifestyles in order to save energy wherever possible? In responding to these questions, arises a hot debate—and one that touches upon all economic sectors.

This burning issue is a starting point for readers who want to explore some of the issues surrounding this debate:

  1. What sources of energy can we use to meet our demand? We summarise some of the pros and cons of different forms of renewable and non renewable energy supply.
  2. What can we do to ensure that our lifestyles and activities use energy more efficiently? We look into simple energy reduction measures and point out to useful guides or tips.
  3. The energy crisis in the Western Cape Province of South Africa: we visit the energy supply crisis as a Case Study.

Energy is a wide topic and there is a wealth of information available on the web. You can find useful information about the topic on the Wikipedia, The Energy Story and the International Energy Agency. Sustainable Energy Africa provides useful information for South Africa and Africa. The Energy Module of the course on Sustainable Development in Coastal Areas available on DLIST provides in-depth information about energy sources and energy efficiency. You can also read the opinions of DLIST users on several energy-related discussion forums. A good reference book on energy for South Africans is The Energy Book for urban development in South Africa, available from Sustainable Energy Africa.

For a more complete list of resources on energy, please visit the Resources section of this Burning Issue. This list and the information in this Burning Issue can continuously grow and be updated. Should you have more information on the topic to share with the DLIST Community, including new case studies along the BCLME coastal areas, please write to the DLIST-Benguela Team.

  • Resources
  • Energy sources: What are the Pros and Cons

    Non renewable - The world’s primary energy consumption is made up mainly of non renewable sources (84%). This poses problems as non renewable sources of energy production are not only exhaustible but also have various negative effects on the environment and climate, both of which have long term effects on the earth’s system. Thus the need arises to consider alternatives and to look towards ‘greener’ solutions.

    Renewable - Renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and tidal are increasingly used in face of diminishing fossil fuel resources and concerns over their impacts on the environment. While the cost of renewable energy technologies remains high, increased demand can lead to economies of scale and a wider deployment —especially in developing countries where energy demand is increasing and many renewable resources are plentiful.




      A fossil fuel that is burnt in order to produce electricity, coal is a non renewable resource that is fast depleting. The combustion of fossil fuels releases various gases that are hazardous to the environment and the atmosphere. During combustion it gives off carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the main greenhouse gas that is linked with global warming. It produces emissions such as sulfur, nitrogen oxide (NOx), and mercury, which can pollute the air and water. Sulfur mixes with oxygen to form sulfur dioxide (SO2), a chemical that can affect trees and water when it combines with moisture to produce acid rain. Emissions of nitrogen oxide help create smog, and also contribute to acid rain. Mercury that is released into the air eventually settles in water. This mercury in the water can build up in fish and shellfish, and can be harmful to animals and people who eat them. Read more about coal power on Eskom’s website.

      Pros – A Coal power plant is one of the cheapest means of electricity production and thus seems like a viable option in many developing countries. Coal power plants are considered to be reliable and many countries already have the necessary infrastructure for such plants. A country like South Africa has abundant coal reserves.

      Cons - Although governments of the world are establishing various environmental laws and policies that are targeting the prevention of the impacts of burning fossil fuels, their use is still detrimental to the extent that it is contributing to global climate change.

      Natural Gas

      In recent years natural gas has gained increasing significance in South Africa and Namibia. Extensive offshore deposits have been found in existing mining operations off the coast of the Northern Cape and Southern Namibia, including the Kudu gas field developments by Nampower. Natural gas consists primarily of methane and is essentially the remains of the decomposition of plants, animals and micro organisms that existed millions of years ago. It is organic matter transformed into fossil fuels as a result of compression under the earth’s surface. A more detailed explanation of this process can be found at the educational website Naturalgas.org.

      Pros - Natural gas is considered a very clean and safe fossil fuel. The by products of its combustion such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides are said to be almost half that of coal use. Thus by using natural gas we can reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change, smog over cities, poor air quality and acid rain. It is also economical as costs and time periods required in order to build a gas plant are considerably less than for coal plants.

      Cons – numerous environmental impacts arise from gas exploration. Dangers include explosions and oil spills. In addition, ocean habitats can be disturbed. Natural gas is still a non renewable resource.

      Crude Oil

      In the early seventies oil represented approximately 40% of all global fossil fuel use. Oil consumption has decreased during the nineties due to improved energy efficiency, as well as a shift to other fuels such as natural gas and nuclear energy and stricter environmental restrictions. Oil is extracted through large drilling platforms from oil reserves, where the remains of marine micro-organisms accumulate over millions of years and gradually infiltrate the sea floor sediment and rock as they decay. Visit the chapter on fossil fuels of The Energy Story for more information on crude oil.

      Pros – It is considered easy to handle, store and transport. It is easier to extract from the ground than coal and more cost effective to transport.

      Cons - The burning of oil for energy production purposes, like coal, results in the emission of carbon gases into the atmosphere. In addition there are numerous safety hazards involved in the exploration of oil in onshore and offshore sites. Drilling may affect ocean and terrestrial habitats. The threat of oil spills exists.


      Nuclear power is generated using uranium or plutonium. Uranium is a highly radioactive material that needs to be dug up and processed generating a huge amount of waste in the process. Before uranium can be used in nuclear reactors it needs to be enriched. Nuclear reactors generate heat through a process of nuclear fission. The steam generated from this heat drives turbines and generators. Most nuclear plants are situated along the coast so that the sea can be used as a cooling mechanism instead of cooling towers.

      Pros – with nuclear energy, countries can rely less on fossil fuels and thus limit hazardous atmospheric pollutants. Nuclear plants are considered to be one of the more cost effective alternatives to fossil fuels. The energy output is great.

      Cons – the excavation of uranium and plutonium causes devastation to the surrounding environment. The waste from these excavations is also radioactive. If these are stored in a poor condition they lead to the contamination of surface and groundwater. Vast resources have be spent on safety mechanisms and precautions at nuclear plants. If harmful radioactive materials are released, this could cause tremendous negative impacts on the health of people, plants and animals. The meltdown of the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl, Ukraine in 1986 is listed as the world’s worst nuclear accident, which killed 30 people and affected thousands across Europe with regard to health (populations becoming prone to cancers), socio-economically and politically as well as environmentally.

      Nuclear energy is a hot topic that has always generated intense debate. Find out more on the websites of the World Information Service on Energy , World Nuclear Association, the Chernobyl Legacy and Greenpeace.


      Renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and tidal are increasingly used in face of diminishing fossil fuel resources and concerns over their impacts on the environment. While the cost of renewable energy technologies remains high, increased demand can lead to economies of scale and a wider deployment—especially in developing countries where energy demand is increasing and many renewable resources are plentiful.

      Read more about the different sources of renewable energy below and explore more about the topic on the websites of the Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa, the World-wide Information System for Renewable Energy (WIRE), the Information Gateway for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEGLE) and the European Renewable Energy Council or, for Portuguese-speaking readers, on the Portal das Energias Renováveis. The IEA’s Fact sheet about Renewables in Global Energy Supply provides a good overview of the current renewable energy situation.


      Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of renewable energy sources around the world. Wind machines use blades to collect the wind’s kinetic energy. Windmills work because they slow down the speed of the wind. The wind flows over the airfoil shaped blades causing lift and making them turn. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that turns an electric generator to produce electricity. There are two types of wind machines: horizontal–axis (the majority) and vertical-axis wind machines. One wind machine can produce 1.5 to 4.0 million kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity a year. That is enough electricity to power 150-400 homes. Wind turbines start operating at wind speeds of 4 to 5 metres per second. Wind speed increases with altitude and over open areas with no windbreaks. Therefore good sites for wind plants are the tops of smooth, rounded hills, open plains or shorelines, and mountain gaps that produce wind funneling.

      Pros – wind turbines have a low impact on the environment, they produce only low frequency noise. It is safe and produces no by products. The turbines do not disturb livestock on farms and the land can continue to be used for grazing and crop production. There are no interferences as in the past with television or radio frequencies.

      Cons - At times when the wind is not blowing, other types of power plants must be used to generate electricity. Wind turbines may have a negative effect on wild bird populations as well as a visual impact on the landscape. There is also the impact on the land during construction. Capital costs are high.

      Read more about the topic on the websites of the Global Wind Energy Council, the British Wind Energy Association.


      ‘Everyday the sun gives us 20,000 times more energy than the entire planet needs’. This statement alone illustrates that the sun is not only the primary energy source for most living things but also a major potential for energy production. Yet up until now the sun’s energy has not been harnessed to its full potential.

      thermal (hot water) - Electricity can be produced from sunlight through direct heating of fluids to generate steam for large scale centralized electrical generation. Solar hot water heaters use the sun to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid in collectors. A typical system will reduce the need for conventional water heating by about two-thirds. High-temperature solar water heaters can provide energy-efficient hot water and hot water heat for large commercial and industrial facilities.

      electric (photovoltaic) - Electricity can also be produced from sunlight through a process called photovoltaics. "Photo" refers to light and "voltaic" to voltage. Thus the term describes a solid-state electronic cell that produces direct current electrical energy from the radiant energy of the sun. Solar cells are used to generate electricity for household power, street lighting, highway telephones, calculators and watches, water pumping, and other applications.

      passive solar energy – passive solar heating, cooling and daylighting are techniques that make use of the steady supply of solar energy by means of careful building design. These techniques use building elements such as walls, windows, floors and roofs, in addition to exterior building elements and landscaping, to control heat generated by solar radiation. Passive heating collects and stores thermal energy from direct sunlight; passive cooling uses shading and generation of air flows with convection ventilation to minimise the effects of solar radiation; and daylighting design optimises the use of natural daylight, contributing greatly to energy efficiency. Buildings can incorporate design features such as large north-facing windows and building materials that absorb and slowly release the sun’s heat. Incorporating passive solar designs can reduce heating bills as much as 50 percent.

      Pros – solar energy production is safe, renewable, clean (pollution, waste and noise free). It can be used on a small scale for domestic and household use, as well as for larger operations. The area needed to build a solar plant is less than half the area needed to build a coal plant. Passive systems require no additional mechanical equipment, and are thus simple and require minimal maintenance.

      Cons – only slight environmental impacts are experienced with the construction of more large scale solar panels. The cost of generating solar energy is much higher than that of fossil fuels, although costs are decreasing. Reduction of costs and increase in efficiency becomes progressively more important as the world’s developing nations are situated in regions that receive vast amounts of solar radiation.

      For more information on how the suns energy is harvested see the chapter on solar energy of The Energy Story or explore the Green Building.


      Geothermal energy originates from natural processes beneath the earth’s surface, and is recovered as steam and hot water. Underground hot rocks heat water to produce steam. This steam is accessed through drilling and exploration which is then purified and used to drive turbines and electric generators.

      Pros – Geothermal energy does not produce any pollution, and does not contribute to the greenhouse effect. Power stations do not have much impact on the environment. No fuel is needed. Energy may be needed to run pumps but this can be taken from the energy being generated.

      Cons – One of the negative aspects of geothermal energy concerns geography and geology. There are not many regions where a geothermal plant can be built as hot rocks of a suitable type, at a suitable depth need to be found. Sometimes a geothermal site may run out of steam perhaps for decades, which has to do with geological processes. Hazardous gases and minerals may come up from underground, and can be difficult to safely dispose of.

      Visit the International Geothermal Association for information on the use of geothermal energy around the globe.


      According to the British Wind Energy Association, some studies suggest that the marine environment stores enough energy in the form of heat, currents, waves and tides to meet total world wide demand for power many times over. But although the energy supply is dependable and abundant, converting it into useful electrical power is not easy and there are few technologies that have gone as far as full construction and testing. One of the methods used is a tidal barrage in which a dam or "barrage" is built across a river estuary. When the tide goes in and out, the water flows through tunnels in the dam. The ebb and flow of the tides can be used to turn a turbine, or it can be used to push air through a pipe, which then turns a turbine. Offshore turbines are also utilized, and they are structured much like an underwater wind farm. This method is much more cost effective to build, and does not have the environmental problems that a tidal barrage would bring.

      Pros – it produces no atmospheric waste. It needs no fuel. It is not expensive to maintain. Tides are predictable. Offshore turbines and vertical-axis turbines do not have a large environmental impact and are less costly to maintain, but can be expensive to build.

      Cons – A barrage across an estuary is very expensive to build, and affects a very wide area - the environment is changed for many miles upstream and downstream. Many birds rely on the tide uncovering the mud flats so that they can feed. There are few suitable sites for tidal barrages. And it only provides power for around 10 hours each day, when the tide is actually moving in or out. Turbidity, salinity and sediment movements become affected.

      The British Wind Energy Association has useful information on wave and tidal energy.


      Biomass energy relates to the energy created by organic matter. Biomass is formed when the sun shines on plants and trees. Previously wood used to be the main source of biomass, but today other sources are also used such as the waste from industries and cities. Biogas or methane is produced from the decomposition of biomass and sewage. The capturing of this gas is useful because of its effect within the greenhouse effect.

      Pros – utilising waste materials to produce energy reduces the impact that their treatment or disposal of would otherwise have on the environment. The fuel tends to be cheap. Places less demand on the Earth’s resources.

      Cons – Collecting the waste in sufficient quantities can be difficult. Fuel is still being burnt so this is still generating greenhouse gases.

      See the chapter on biomass of The Energy Story for more information.

    Using Energy Wisely

    You can get six times the reductions in carbon dioxide by investing in energy saving rather than nuclear power (Niels Meyer). So why not start saving? Here’s a few helpful energy saving techniques to use in our homes and businesses, from the South African Department of Mineral and Energy and The Energy Book for Urban Development in South Africa.

    Useful Tips

    In the Home

    • Reduce the temperature of your geyser to around 55 degrees.
    • Whilst cooking the size of the pot should match the size of the stove plate - this can save you up to 25% on the electricity you use while cooking.
    • Close the door every time you take things out of the fridge and also check that it seals properly.
    • Try to boil only the water you need instead of boiling a full pot or kettle every time.
    • Close windows and doors when the heater is on.
    • Replace electric stoves with gas stoves.
    • Insulate your geyser by wrapping newspapers, old blankets or other insulating materials around it and the hot water pipes.
    • Switch off lights, fans, computers and other energy consuming appliances when you leave the room.
    • Turn off all stand-by modes every time you leave the house and before going to bed.
    • Use energy saving light bulbs. They last much longer and use less electricity.
    • Use renewable energy where possible, such as installing a solar water heater.

    At Work

    • Install efficient lighting such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lights). They cost more than normal incandescent 'bulbs' (R30-R50 as opposed to R3.60), but last about 10 times longer and use one quarter of the electricity
    • Switch off PCs and lights when leaving the office.
    • Implement paper reducing strategies such as recycle and re-using, or double sided copies.
    • If appropriate, use laptop computers - they consume 90% less energy than standard desktop computers.
    • If appropriate, use ink-jet printers - they consume 90% less energy than laser printers.
    • Install ceiling and wall insulation.

    Building or Renovating a House?

    In increased energy efficiency can be attained by making environment conscious decisions when building or renovating homes and workplaces.

    • design houses that are compatible with the local climate of the region (for example in Cape Town’s Mediterranean climate, building with heavyweight cavity walls and dense compact layout are suited to the wet winters and windy summers
    • plan a house that takes best advantage of the sun
    • build with energy efficient materials
    • insulate ceilings
    • install solar water heaters
    • create good ventilation to avoid dampness
    • rainwater can be collect off the roof and channeled to the garden

    More Useful Guides

    For more information on other energy saving techniques in different sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, transport and agriculture) visit the Department of Minerals and Energy or the following guides for consumers, architects or builders, and the local government.

    For the consumer

    Energy Saving Tips

    Consumer’s Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Energy Savers Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home

    For architects and builders

    The Green Building

    Climate Sensitive Building Design

    Energy Star Qualified New Homes

    For local government

    Energising South African Cities and Towns—A Local Government Guide to Sustainable Energy Planning

    Case Study


    July 2006

    South Africa is one of the few countries in the world today that are still heavily reliant on fossil fuels. According to the Department of Minerals and Energy, 79% of primary energy in South Africa is generated through coal. The country is also Africa’s largest consumer of energy and the second largest energy producer (see the Country Analysis). In 1998 the South African Energy White Paper highlighted a number of concerns and called for a focus on actively promoting the monitoring and reduction of power generation through fossil fuels, an increase in the use of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficiency and conservation.

    The recent crisis in energy supply to the Western Cape has given the government an increased incentive to become proactive in seeking and creating efficient, dependable and sustainable ways of keeping up with the country’s growing needs. The crisis arose as a result of a malfunction of the Koeberg Nuclear Reactor near Cape Town. As a result, the Western Cape province was subject to long periods of power outages throughout the region that resulted in not only millions of Rands in losses to the economy but also major inconveniences to the population of the region. This demand in power production is only set to increase during the winter months, which place an increased need on energy.

    The Western Cape government has responded to this demand in the short term by encouraging the region’s population to actively conserve energy in their homes and in industry and by putting measures in place for them to do so. Yet, controlled power outages are still set to continue if the load is too high and it seems that energy conservation alone will not solve the problem of growing energy demand.

    South Africa is in the process of seeking urgent alternatives. There are various parties that call for the establishment of more nuclear plants, amongst them ministers and politicians who say they are efficient and economical. The Koeberg Nuclear Reactor has been in existence and has been operating safely for the past 21 years. There are various groups that lobby against it because of the potential to be hugely destructive. According to Earthlife Africa, the Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors that Eskom proposes to build in South Africa will cost over R40 billion, generate only 70 full time jobs and 500 construction jobs. In contrast, for the same amount of money a 4300 MW wind farm would create more than 8000 jobs and generate 50% more electricity.

    The country also has excellent renewable energy resources. An experimental wind farm has been constructed in 2002 along the West Coast near Cape Town. South Africa is a country blessed with favourable radiation. Solar home systems can be introduced more widely that can be used for lighting, water heating and appliances. There are also reports of a British company hoping to harness South Africa’s wave energy by establishing 3 wavepower farms.

    Read more about the energy problem in the Western Cape on the Sustainable Energy Africa’s website and News section of this Burning Issue. A wealth of information and relevant documents about the situation and energy strategy in the Western Cape can be found on the Sustainable Energy Africa website. Read also more about the city of Cape Town in specific on The Climate Group website.

    The approach government will take is still to be seen. If you have any comments or queries on these issues please feel free to post under the relevant topics on the DLIST discussion forum. They are most welcome.

    Energy - Key resources

    This page contains the following resources:

    1. Documents
    2. Web links
    3. The law
    4. In the news
    5. For kids


    Web Links

    In the Law

    In the News

    For Kids

    Student funding: introduction

    ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ according to South Africa’s former President, Nelson Mandela

    On completion of their secondary education (matric) many of the country’s youth need to make important choices and decisions that will help to decide their future. A vast majority of the matriculants are becoming aware of the importance of furthering their learning experiences with a tertiary education (university, college or the undertaking of short courses). There is no doubt to the benefits of this decision as education opens up so many more opportunities and plays a vital role not only in the development of a person’s life, but in the development of a nation and a country. Yet in many cases the obstacles to aspiring students may seem overwhelming…low levels of income, gender inequality, language barriers, minority status, geographical isolation, and the increasingly escalating costs of education are all viewed as deterring factors.

    ‘Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.’ -- John F Kennedy, United States of Americas’, former-President

    The countries of Angola, Namibia and South Africa are endowed with some of the finest universities and colleges on the African continent, but the question people ask is, Can the youth afford tertiary education? Don’t lose hope, because there is help at hand! DLIST recognizes that there are many of you who have overlooked the opportunity to further your studies because of the lack of financial resources and the lack of readily available information on how to access the necessary funding.

    Here, DLIST provides you with information and ideas on how you can raise the financial resources you will need to finance your studies in South Africa and Namibia. Hey! the gates of learning are not closed to those who are financially needy!

    The Obstacles

    An increasing number of people find themselves in a situation in which they are eager to further their studies in the form of a college certificate, diploma, a university degree or a short course but struggle to find the funding to finance their studies. Generally the cost of a tertiary education is relatively high and escalating every year, which makes it very difficult and increasingly challenging for lower income families to afford. In addition to the cost of tuition fees there are the added costs of study materials, transport, books, accommodation and the expenses of university life.

    Many students finance their studies though a combination of sources that may include loans from universities or banks, personal loans, scholarships, bursaries, or through part time work. In the following article we attempt to make information on funding sources available to you. We have put together a fairly comprehensive list of funding opportunities and options that you may seek out, we advise you on the options most suitable for your specific situation, also we advise you on how to go about applying for funding, and what requirements are necessary for acceptance.

    Help is at hand.

    Seeking a Higher Education

    There are various types of higher education institutions that one has the option of applying to. Here we give you a quick breakdown of the type of institutions to enroll at to suit your particular interests, needs and lifestyle:

    University – A university degree offers one of the most recognizable forms of higher education development, being credited nationally and globally. A university degree is most suited to dedicated full time study and structured courses. It usually takes one 3 years to complete a general degree in the fields of humanities, commerce or science and somewhat longer for law, engineering and health. This forms the basis of your undergraduate degree, after which you will have a formal qualification. Often people choose to further their qualifications with postgraduate degrees such as honours and masters.

    For a list of universities in South Africa click here.

    For a list of universities in Namibia click here.

    For a list of universities in Angola click here.

    University of Technology – A university of technology offers a more practical dimension to learning. It focuses on providing higher quality education that places more emphasis on technology and equipping students with the necessary skills for the workplace. A year of theoretical study is usually alternated with a year of practical exposure and apprenticeship at a relevant institution. After 3 years of study at a technikon one receives a diploma. One can then choose to further his/her studies with a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree. In South Africa, a universities of technology were previously called technikons.

    Colleges – Colleges are institutions that offer less accredited degrees and courses. College degrees or diplomas sometimes hold less weight than those from universities or technikons when job hunting. One has the option of studying full time or part time as well as a choice between long courses and short courses. Colleges are independent and offer more specialized training such as teachers training colleges, nursing colleges, or advertising, computer, or business colleges.

    FET college - Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges are a result of the merger of former technical colleges. Two types of FET colleges exist in South Africa, which are the Public and the Private FET colleges. Courses offered by different FET colleges may include tourism, engineering, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), construction, welding, tool making, hair dressing, jewellery design, hospitality studies, and are not limited to these only.

    Short Courses – All higher education institutions offer some short courses for those who want less intensive studies or who want to further their knowledge on certain job related issues. They also all offer part time study for those who also have other priorities while at the same time wanting to pursue a further education.


    What is a Bursary?
    Different Types of Bursaries
    How to Apply for a Bursary
    What are the Requirements for Applying for a Bursary?

    What a Bursary?

    A bursary is a grant of money that is given to a student by a company or organization to fund their tertiary education. Bursaries are provided to students who have either high academic results or are considered to be in need of financial assistance. Bursaries do not need to be repaid. The only case of repayment occurs if the student has failed the degree or course.

    Different Types of Bursaries

    Bursaries may be established through major private companies, government departments, the tertiary institution to which the student is applying, or academic foundations. Certain sources of bursaries cover the full cost of tuition while others contribute to a portion of the tuition fees.

    Private companies and government departments - In the case of private companies and government departments, most of them cover the full tuition costs and surplus for transport needs and study materials. They also have the expectation that the student will be employed at the company for a predetermined amount of time after the student has qualified. This may have its benefits as it not only secures funding for studies but also the student is assured of a job once they graduate.

    Organizations and academic foundations - In the case of assistance from organizations and academic foundations, the monetary subsidiary is sometimes less than that of major private companies. They may contribute a small amount toward the tuition fees during each year of study.

    Tertiary institution - Bursaries through the institution at which the student will be studying is particularly competitive and is usually awarded to students with outstanding academic or sporting performance and potential.

    How to Apply for a Bursary
    • Firstly you have to gain a good understanding of the course you want to pursue.
    • Once you know what course you want to undertake and which field it falls under, then go about finding the company which best suites your course.
    • For example if you want to study engineering the best companies to solicit bursaries from would be Eskom, Nampower, De Beers etc, for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), try firms such as Telkom, Telecom Namibia, Vodacom etc.
    • After ascertaining whether these companies do offer bursaries, you can then call their human resources department to enquire about the bursaries.
    • All companies have different procedures, in some cases bursary seekers have to call and ask for application forms and in others they write letters of interest and motivation in applying for a bursary.
    What are the Requirements for Applying for a Bursary?

    The best option is to contact the organization or company that you are applying to. In many cases the awarding of bursaries has certain requirements. For instance, the student has to be a SADC country resident, may have to undertake a period of employment for the company on the completion of the course or degree, have to have at least a matriculation or equivalent qualification etc.


    What is a Scholarship?
    Different Types f Scholarships
    How to Apply for a Scholarship
    What are the Requirements for Applying for a Scholarship?

    What is a scholarship?
    A scholarship is financial assistance given to a student based on the various criteria. It generally reflects the principles and purposes of the donor. The actual monetary amount of the scholarship varies according to the institution or company awarding it. A scholarship does not need to be paid back and it does not have a recruitment obligation attached to it.

    Different types of Scholarships?
    Below are some of the different types of scholarships, although there are numerous scholarships awarded that do not fall into these categories.

    Merit based – in which case the student may show exceptional academic, athletic, artistic or other abilities. Thus the scholarship is awarded to further develop these skills.

    Sports – Students who excel in a particular sport often score sports scholarships

    Needs Based – these are awarded to those students in need of financial aid or financial assistance

    Ethnicity or Religious – many religious organizations or outreach foundations award scholarships to students in need who fall part of their denomination

    The Commonwealth Scholarships - The Commonwealth Scholarships are open for all students intending to study in the United Kingdom (UK) in all fields. These are however, applied for through the British Council, as direct applications are not accepted. All applicants should apply through the British Council and ask for advice and information on specific questions regarding eligibility criteria, application procedures and deadlines, as they may vary.

    Information on general application criteria can be accessed at: www.csfp-online.org.

    If you are in Namibia more information can also be obtained from:
    The British Council
    Fidel Castro Street,Windhoek
    Contact details: Telephone: +264-61-226 776
    Fax+264-61-227 530

    E-mail: infona@britishcouncil.org

    If you are in South Africa more information can be obtained from:
    British Council
    Johannesburg- Ground Floor Forum 1, Brampak
    33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein
    Contact Details: Telephone: 0860 01 22 33
    Fax: 0860 10 35 55
    Email: information@britishcouncil.org.za

    Cape Town- 3rd Floor, Associated Magazines House
    21 St John’s Street
    Cape Town
    Telephone: 0860 01 22 33
    Fax: 0860 10 35 55
    Email: information@britishcouncil.org.za

    Commonwealth (shared) Scholarships Scheme - The Commonwealth Scholarships Scheme offers awards to students from developing Commonwealth countries that are not already living in, and have not already studied in, a developed country. This scheme is aimed at supporting the taught postgraduate courses at participating academic institutions in the UK. Applications for scholarships are made directly to the university or college at which the candidate wishes to study. Further details on application procedure are available at this website: www.csfp-online.org.

    Please note that only a small number of general scholarships is available for all funded courses, both for the under and post-graduate students; therefore competition is very high.

    More information on funding for studies in the UK and application procedures is available on the websites as per descriptions below:

    1. Information on financial support for courses at universities and colleges can be found at: www.ukcosa.org.uk/pages/guidenote.htm#financial .

    2. The Rotary International website: www.rotary.org/foundation/educational/amb_scho provides information on scholarships for under and post-graduate studies.

    3. The British Chevening Scholarships website provides information on scholarships that may enable the overseas students to study in the UK. Website: www.chevening.com.

    4. The ORSAS website (www.orsas.ac.uk), is for the Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme; a scheme that funds international students intending to undertake research in the UK.

    5. Information on funding for research grants for scientists can be accessed at: www.royalsoc.ac.uk, the website for the Royal Society.

    General Scholarships to study in the UK - Applications for general Scholarships in the UK should be made through the Ministry of Higher Education, which is the nominating agency. This agency has a selection criterion. Application procedures may as well be handled by individual universities.

    For more information, please contact the Ministry of Higher Education at the following contact details:

    The Permanent Secretary
    Ministry of Higher Education
    Private Bag 13391

    Windhoek, Namibia
    Tel: +264-61-270 6172
    Fax: +264-61-270 6122

    How to Apply for a Scholarship
    Contact the organization you are applying to, for the proper procedures to follow.

    What are the Requirements for Applying for a Scholarship?
    The best option is to contact the organization or foundation that you are applying to, for information on their requirements.


    What is a Loan?
    A loan is money that is borrowed to cover the costs of your tertiary education. A loan has to be repaid. The taking out of a student loan is one of the most utilized options for students.

    Different Types of Loans
    Institutional Loans - Some tertiary education centres offer student loans at preferential rates of interest. Ask the Financial Aid Bureau at the university where you intend to study if the university manages a loan scheme for students. Find out what the interest rate is that the education centre offers and how it expects you to repay the loan.

    Bank Loans - Most banks offer student loans at relatively attractive interest rates. Student loans must be repaid once you have graduated, and most banks will require some form of surety or security before they grant a student loan. If you interested in applying for a student loan, it is always best to approach the bank where you, or the person who will sign surety for your loan, already has a bank account.

    How to Apply for a Loan
    Compare the options of various banks and financial institutions to be able to negotiate the best interest rate.

    Here are some important contact details:
    www.absa.co.za or 0860 008 600
    First National Bank: www.fnblifestart.co.za or 0860 102 458
    Nedbank: www.nedbank.co.za or 0860 115 060
    Standard Bank: www.standardbank.co.za or 0860 123 456

    Requirements for Applying for a Loan
    You must be accepted into a South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited institution and have proof of registration at the institution, you need a valid identity document, results of your previous qualifications whether they were matric or college, life insurance - which the bank will arrange for you if you do not have a policy, proof of residence, and someone to stand surety for your loan.

    Financial Aid

    What is Financial Aid?
    Financial Aid is assistance that is provided to students to help cover the cost of their studies. Almost all of the tertiary institutions offer financial aid to their students in the form of student loans. A loan is an amount of money that has to be repaid on completion of studies

    Different Types of Financial Aid
    The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a loan scheme designed for financially needy students whose parents/family members may not qualify to sign surety for a bank loan. All tertiary education centres in South Africa allocate NSAFS funds. It offers the means to attain a tertiary education through offering loans at low interest rates, without guarantees, and a reasonable repayment plan.

    How to Apply for Financial Aid
    Anyone can apply for financial aid from Financial Aid Bureaus at the university or technikon where you are intending on studying. The interest rate on a NSAFS loan is charged at a rate much lower than a bank will charge you. Application for a NSFAS loan is assessed on the basis of the National Means Test (NMT), which takes the following criteria into account:
    • Gross family income.
    • Number of dependants.
    • Net Value of Assets.

    For more detailed information on NSFAS loans visit: www.nsfas.org.za

    What are the Requirements for Applying for Financial Aid
    The following are requirements for applying for financial aid:
    • South African citizenship
    • registration at a South African university or technikon
    • an undergraduate, studying for a first tertiary educational qualification, or...
    • studying for a second tertiary qualification, if this is necessary to practice in your chosen profession (e.g. LLB or HDE)able to demonstrate potential for academic success
    • financially needy


    Sponsorship Lists for South Africa and Namibia
    There are a number of donors that give awards to students intending to pursue their studies in various fields. Here we provide you with information on the donors, eligibility of candidates, fields of studies that can be funded and the contact details of sponsors, as well as further useful resources. click here.

    For useful information on loans, bursaries and institutions in South Africa http://www.firststep.co.za

    Other contacts
    For a full bursaries registry and contact details for all further education institutions in South Africa contact:

    Riva Levin
    P O Box 178
    Florida Hills

    Funding: Introduction

    During a recent DLIST workshop in Walvis Bay, it became very clear that most organisations along the coast have a concern in common - the need to secure funding. With the help of DLIST members, the admin team have collected information about funding sources targeted at environment/sustainable development work in the region. Each funding programme has very specific criteria under which they are allowed to disburse funds - we have tried to capture these as straight forward as possible. To find out more, contact the funding programme directly. Contact details are on each page.

    If you are involved in, or know of a funding programme that should be listed here, please contact admin@dlist-benguela.org

    GEF's Small Grants Programme (SGP)

    What is the SGP?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What types of activities cannot be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    What is the maximum length of projects?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is the SGP?
    SGP is the Small Grants Programme of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In South Africa, the SGP is implemented through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The SGP provides funding to community-based projects that conserve the environment, while improving the livelihoods of rural communities and alleviating poverty through sustainable activities, including income generating projects.

    Who can apply

    • Community Based Organizations (CBOs)
    • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
    • Grassroots organisation

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Projects must correspond to one of the following GEF focal areas:

    • conservation of biodiversity of national/global importance,
    • climate change mitigation,
    • protection of international waters,
    • combating of land degradation,
    • prevention of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

    Several different kinds of activities are eligible for funding by SGP:

    • Community-based assessment and planning (planning grants): Support to pre-project participatory assessment and planning activities.
    • Pilot demonstration activities: Activities that test and demonstrate the viability of innovative community-level approaches to global environmental problems.
    • Monitoring and analysis: Available to intermediary NGOs and research centers (including universities) to support programme monitoring; to help identify, assess, and document best practices; and to prepare case studies of SGP-supported projects.
    • Dissemination, networking, and policy dialogue: Available to support dissemination of innovations and best practices, networking activities, and policy dialogue efforts aimed at promoting a supportive policy environment for community-level action in the GEF focal areas.

    What types of activities cannot be considered for funding?

    • Purchases of property or vehicles
    • Capital expenses
    • Basic NGO operating or personnel expenses (e.g. salaries, office operating costs, etc.)

    SGP funds are not substitutes for traditional sources of development funding. SGP financing will only be additional to the funds required for development, and are solely for the purpose of obtaining global environmental benefits.

    What is the size of the grants?
    SGP gives grants of up to US$50,000.

    What is the maximum length of projects?
    Projects can last up to 2 years.

    How can I apply?
    You will need to contact the SGP National Coordinator to receive the project application guidelines and forms. If the concept paper submitted is considered eligible, you will need to prepare a project proposal, which is then submitted for approval.
    For the general application procedure please click here.

    Contact Details
    Mr Vuyisile Zenani
    351 Schoeman Street, P.O. Box 6541
    Pretoria, 0001
    Phone: +27 (0)12 354 8166
    Fax: +27 (0)12 354 8058/9
    Email: vuyisili.zenani@undp.org
    Web: http://www.undp.org.za and http://sgp.undp.org/

    SKEPPIES - Small Grants Facility For Conservation And Development In The Succulent Karoo

    What is SKEPPIES?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is SKEPPIES?
    The SKEPPIES Small Grants Facility for Conservation and Development in the Succulent Karoo, shortly known as SKEPPIES, sponsor projects that have both a conservation and development aspect in the Succulent Karoo. SKEPPIES is a partnership arrangement between the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Conservation International in Southern Africa Hotspots Program (SAHP), and the SKEP Coordination Unit.

    Who can apply

    • Government organizations
    • Non-governmental organisations (NGO)
    • Community-Based Organisations (CBO)
    • Training, education and research institutions
    • Individuals with a good cause
    • The private sector including small and medium enterprises
    • Networks such as environmental education networks
    • Traditional authorities
    • Faith based organisations

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    All criteria are given in the application form; the three major criteria are described below:

    • Projects must have a conservation element. E.g. number of hectares conserved, better managed, sustainably used, and red-listed species that benefit. The types of projects where the conservation element is very strong are biodiversity-based businesses, environmental best practices in agriculture and mining, establishment of a protected area, restoring degraded land, and tourism activities.
    • Projects must also have a development element. E.g. number of new businesses started, people involved in capacity building, jobs created and women empowered.
    • Projects must form part of other projects in the area and have their support. It is even better if projects are co-funded between SKEPPIES and other partners.

    What is the size of the grants?
    Applications up to R70,000.00 are considered. However, should you need more money, you may make a second application because a maximum of R 140,000 may be allocated to a project in one financial year.

    How can I apply?
    SKEPPIES can provide you with an application package and assist you in filling in the application. Presently you can apply any time of the year. However, please contact SKEPPIES beforehand to know if their quota for the year were reached and if your application will stand over to the next financial year.

    Please click here to go to the Funding and Grants page on the Skep website for more information, or download:
    the SKEPPIES brochure
    the application form.

    Contact Details
    c/o Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
    Private Bag X7
    Claremont, 7735
    Tel: +27-21-799-8852
    Fax: +27-21-762-6838
    Cell: 073-843-2702
    Email: s.davids@conservation.org
    Web: http://www.skep.org

    CEPF - Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

    What is CEPF?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What types of activities cannot be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    What is the maximum length of projects?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is CEPF?
    CEPF is a joint initiative of Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. CEPF’s grants target hotspots in developing countries and transitional countries. In South Africa, CEPF has grants available for the Cape Floristic Region and the Succulent Karoo hotspots.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Each project must be linked to one of the strategic directions in the ecosystem profile.

    In the Cape Floristic Region there are four strategic directions guiding CEPF's approach:

    • support civil society involvement in the establishment of protected areas and management plans in Cape Floristic Region biodiversity corridors
    • promote innovative private sector and community involvement in conservation in landscapes surrounding Cape Floristic Region biodiversity corridors
    • support civil society efforts to create an institutional environment that enables effective conservation action
    • establish a small grants fund to build capacity among institutions and individuals working on conservation in the Cape Floristic Region

    See the CEPF investment strategy for the Cape Floristic Region here.

    In the Succulent Karoo there are six strategic directions guiding CEPF's approach:

    • expand protected area corridors through public-private-communal partnerships in the priority areas of Bushmanland Inselbergs, Central Namaqualand Coast, Namaqualand Uplands, Knersvlakte, Hantam-Roggeveld, Central Little Karoo, and Sperrgebiet
    • engage key industrial sectors in meeting conservation objectives identified by SKEP
    • retain and restore critical biodiversity in areas under greatest land-use pressure
    • mainstream conservation priorities into land-use planning and policymaking
    • increase awareness of the Succulent Karoo Hotspot
    • create the capacity to catalyze the SKEP program

    See the CEPF investment strategy for the Succulent Karoo here.

    What types of activities cannot be considered for funding?
    Grants may not be used to directly fund government activities, purchase land, involuntarily resettle people, capitalize a trust fund or alter physical cultural property.

    What is the size of the grants?
    There is no specific limit to the level of funding an applicant can request.

    What is the maximum length of projects?
    CEPF project funding may be provided for a maximum duration of five years.

    How can I apply?
    The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) has a two-part application process. Applicants must first submit a letter of inquiry. If invited, applicants then complete a more detailed proposal.

    Read the Letter of Inquiry Guidelines and download the Letter of Inquiry Application.

    There are no specific deadlines for applications, however, CEPF will stop accepting proposals for a particular area or strategic direction once the designated funds are fully committed. If this occurs, information will be posted on the CEPF Web site.

    Contact Details
    If you have questions or concerns, send an e-mail to cepfgrants@conservation.org

    Cape Floristic Region
    Trevor Sandwith
    C.A.P.E. Coordination Unit, South African National Biodiversity Institute
    Tel: (27 21) 799 8790
    Fax: (27 21) 797 3475
    Mailing address: P/Bag X7, Claremont, 7735, Western Cape, South Africa
    Web: http://www.cepf.net/

    Succulent Karoo
    Marion Johnson
    Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Program, South African National Biodiversity Institute
    Tel: (27 21) 799 8797
    Fax: +(27 21) 797 1940
    Mailing address: Private Bag X7, Claremont, 7735, South Africa
    Web: http://www.cepf.net/

    Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor Small Grants Fund

    What is the GCBC Small Grants Fund?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    What is the maximum length of projects?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is the GCBC Small Grants Fund?
    The GCBC Small Grants Fund is a joint partnership between C.A.P.E. (Cape Action for People and the Environment), SKEP (Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme), CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund), CapeNature (the provincial conservation authority), and the GCBC Management Unit. The ultimate aim of this fund is to ensure civil society’s engagement in biodiversity conservation.

    Who can apply
    Civil society partners in the Cape Floristic Region and Succulent Karoo hotspots:

    • non-governmental organisations
    • community groups
    • industries
    • other community partners

    Preference is given to organisations, but associations or community groupings will be considered.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Projects that help to implement the GCBC’s objective of promoting innovative private sector and community involvement in biodiversity conservation, whilst ensuring action towards a common vision will be considered. Projects should promote the well being of people and nature in the GCBC on a sustainable basis.
    To be considered for funding, activities must be within the domain of the GCBC (see website) and must assist with the vision of establishing a lived-in, work-in biodiversity corridor. Please visit the website for some of the projects that have been approved (go to GCBC Strategies).

    What is the size of the grants?
    This fund awards grants of up to R60 000, with preference to smaller projects or projects that can source co-funding.

    What is the maximum length of projects?
    12 months

    How can I apply?
    For application templates, contact:
    Adrie Koch
    GCBC Small Grants manager
    Please note that the GCBC Small Grants Fund are currently assisting with implementation of already approved projects and will not initiate any new projects for the remainder of 2007.

    Contact Details
    Jaco Venter
    E-mail: jacov.gcbc@telkomsa.net
    Tel: (+27) 082 786 9858
    Fax: (+27) 022 931 2149
    Mailing Address: PO Box 26, Porterville, 6810, South Africa
    Web: http://www.cederbergcorridor.org.za/

    Table Mountain Fund

    What is the Table Mountain Fund?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What types of activities cannot be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    What is the maximum length of projects?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is the Table Mountain Fund?
    The Table Mountain Fund is an independent Trust, associated with WWF as the founder and operator of the Trust. The Fund is guided by its own funding directions and strategy, and is closely aligned to the work of the C.A.P.E. (Cape Action for People and the Environment) partnership.

    This vision of TMF is to “be the premier fund to conserve and protect the globally significant biological diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom”. More informally, the fund is referred to as the “Fynbos Fund”.

    Who can apply
    Organisations, not individuals.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Projects must address high priority conservation needs, be exemplary and catalytic and be aligned with the Deed of Trust and Strategy of TMF. The funding priorities are as follows:

    • be aligned with the C.A.P.E. strategy and support the initiatives of the C.A.P.E. partners
    • not duplicate existing initiatives

    The type of activities that can be considered for funding include:

    • protection of prioritised habitats: terrestrial, freshwater and marine
    • conservation within the working lowlands & urban areas
    • building environmental awareness as part of project partnerships
    • control of alien invasives and the restoration of natural biodiversity
    • applied or action research for biodiversity advantage
    • enhancement of the global conservation status of the Cape Floristic Region
    • capacity building

    These funding priorities are arranged into 5 programmes, as follows:

    • Stewardship (off-reserve conservation, focused predominantly on the highly threatened lowlands)
    • Capacity Building
    • Small Grants for Civil Society (supporting civil society action in conservation)
    • Cape Peninsula and City Biodiversity Network
    • Supporting delivery of the C.A.P.E. landscape initiatives (or mega-reserves)

    What types of activities cannot be considered for funding?
    The following activities are not supported, unless motivated otherwise:

    • Production of videos and films and publication of books, excepting resource materials.
    • Attendance at and travel to conferences / symposia etc. and the cost associated with staging these events.
    • Bursaries and scholarships.
    • Research not aimed at solving management problems and not linked to priority conservation needs or the objectives of The Table Mountain Fund.
    • Core institutional support and the purchase of capital equipment and assets.
    • Development of private conservation enterprises and/or private nature reserves, with the major aim of generating a profit.
    • Salaries, except as an integral part of a project.
    • Developmental projects without a core environmental component.
    • Conduit agencies – TMF and WWF-SA – wish to co-operate with other bodies by means of capacity building and sharing expertise, and will therefore only fund primary agencies involved in environmental conservation.
    • Funds from TMF are not to be accessed for the routine management needs of the Peninsula mountain chain, but only for projects of high conservation priority that are not addressed by existing management activities.
    • Lastly, funds from the GEF portion of the capital of the Fund cannot be donated to SANParks for use in the Table Mountain National Park, as this has already been catered for by means of a GEF grant to SANParks. SANParks can however be a beneficiary for funding of projects in the rest of the CFR.

    What is the size of the grants?
    TMF supports small grants as one of its 5 programmes (Small grants for Civil Society), with minimum grant size of R5,000. TMF seldom funds projects exceeding R500,000.

    What is the maximum length of projects?
    Three years, unless strongly motivated otherwise.

    How can I apply?
    You need to submit a one-page concept outline of the project to tallan@wwf.org.za. All concepts received are screened, and if your concept is approved, you will be sent an application form. Read the detailed instructions for the application process here.

    Contact Details
    Tamaryn Allan
    Project Administrator: Table Mountain Fund
    Centre for Biodiversity Conservation
    Tel: 021 762 8525
    Fax: 021 762 1905
    E-mail: tallan@wwf.org.za

    Go Green Fund

    What is Go Green Fund?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is Go Green Fund?
    Go Green is a non-profit fund that was launched to support projects in line of protection, sustainable use and management of natural resources in Namibia.

    Who can apply
    Everyone interested in developing a project that is contributing towards the protection, sustainable use and management of natural resources in Namibia.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    The Go Green fund considers concise proposals written according to the prescribed format submitted for the projects that:

    • Aim to support the conservation and management of sensitive habitats and indigenous flora and fauna.
    • Aim to improve the understanding of indigenous species and natural ecosystems.
    • Will promote efficient and appropriate use of natural resources to support sustainable use of resources.
    • Will promote and distribute accurate information on environmental issues across Namibia.

    What is the size of the grants?
    A maximum of N$120,000.00 is granted per project.

    How can I apply?
    If you feel that your need for funding has met the objectives of the fund, please submit your proposal to the Namibian Nature Foundation (NNF), a non-governmental organisation that hosts the Go Green Fund. Proposals are evaluated three times per year, end of March, July and November. Your proposal must be submitted the first week of the month preceding the evaluation month, for example, first week of February for the March evaluation. Should you have any problem putting your proposal together, please feel free to contact NNF.

    For more information regarding the details of the Go Green Fund and the application procedures, please see the website at: http://www.nedbank.com.na/content/gogreen/gogreen/gogreen.asp

    Contact Details
    Benedict Libanda
    Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF)
    Postal address: P.O.Box 245, Windhoek, Namibia
    Residential address: Kenya House, 4th Floor, Robert Mugabe Avenue, Windhoek
    Tel: 061 – 248345 Fax: 061 – 248344
    Email: bl@nnf.org.na
    Website: www.nnf.org.na

    National Forest Facility Programme

    What is the National Forest Facility Programme?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is the National Forest Facility Programme?
    The National Forest Facility Programme is a funding mechanism and information unit that aims to promote sustainable forest management and utilization for civil society. It aims to contribute some support to the processes that will lead to the launch, co-ordination, and monitoring of the implementation of the the forestry strategic plan.

    Who can apply
    All those people interested in the development of national forest programmes are encouraged to apply.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Applications for grants to projects that aims at the following, are funded:

    • contribution to the strengthening of the capacity and stakeholder involvement in the national forest programme.
    • influencing participation in the national forest programme process by stakeholders
    • providing access to information/knowledge in relation to the national forest programme.
    • linking other sectors (e.g. agriculture, energy, tourism, transport, rural development, environment and finance) with the forestry sector

    What is the size of the grants?
    Up to N$60,000 is granted per project.

    How can I apply?
    For information regarding the application procedures, please contact Benedict Libanda at the contact details below.

    Contact Details
    Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF)
    Postal address: P.O.Box 245, Windhoek, Namibia
    Residential address: Kenya House, 4th Floor, Robert Mugabe Avenue, Windhoek
    Tel: 061 – 248345 Fax: 061 – 248344
    Email: bl@nnf.org.na
    Website: www.nnf.org.na

    Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP) Namibia

    What is SKEP?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is SKEP?
    The Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP) is project that was specifically established in Namibia to ensure that biodiversity in the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem is effectively conserved and managed by the state and civil society through an integrated programme of conservation action and co-management of conservation areas for sustainable development of the region and for improvement of people’s livelihoods.

    SKEP is housed under the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF), and is ecouranging different biodiversity projects to participate in the projects that support the establishment of the Sperrgebiet.

    SKEP awards small grants to the civil society actively engaged in conservation activities that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity within the proposed Sperrgebiet National Park – its target priority area in Namibia.

    Who can apply
    The civil society actively engaged in conservation activities within the Sperrgebiet.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Applications towards initiatives and activities that contribute to the conservation of biodiversity within the Sperrgebiet are considered.

    What is the size of the grants?
    At least six new grants are provided to the civil society each year with the maximum amount of US$ 10,000.00 per grant.

    How can I apply?
    For information regarding the application to SKEP, please contact the Programme Coordinator at the contact details below.

    Contact Details
    Kauna Shröder
    The Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP)
    Kenya House, 5th Floor, Robert Mugabe Avenue, Windhoek
    Tel: 061 – 248345 Fax: 061 – 248344
    Email: ks@nnf.org.na

    Walvis Bay Environmental Fund

    What is the Walvis Bay Environmental Fund?
    Who can apply?
    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    What is the size of the grants?
    How can I apply?
    Contact Details

    What is the Walvis Bay Environmental Fund?
    The Walvis Bay Environment Fund is a grant programme that was established by the Municipality of Walvis Bay to finance activities and initiatives that facilitate the proper management of the environment and natural resources.

    Who can apply
    This Fund targets the Walvis Bay community at large, and activities within the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Walvis Bay. Based on the Local Agenda 21 Principles, this fund is open to everyone, therefore institutions and the general public are encouraged to apply to this fund.

    What types of applications can be considered for funding?
    Those people who are interested to apply to this fund should submit project proposals; that should support and be consistent with Municipal management policies, plans and tools. Project that can be funded should particularly be supportive to the municipality's "Integrated Environmental Policy"; should be successfully implementable, and have the capacity for adaptation and replication; should include local participation and benefit local groups; should integrate environment, social and economic considerations as well as promote national, regional and local development programme and finally should promote sustainability, and work towards local environmental enhancement.

    What is the size of the grants?
    There is no prescribed amount that can be granted by the Walvisbay Environmental Fund. This means, whatever amount is required should be within the Fund’s budget.

    How can I apply?
    The Walvis Bay Municipality holds annual meetings with the local people, different institution and organisation to introduce and explain the fund and to guide the participants on the requirements necessary to complete the application form. Application forms for grants from this Fund can be obtained from the Environmental Fund Management Group (EFMG). For further information regarding the fund and the application procedure, please contact David Uushona at the contact details below:

    Contact Details
    Municipality of Walvis Bay
    Department of Water, Waste and Environmental Management
    Rikumbi Kandanga Road
    Private Bag 5017
    Walvis Bay
    Tel. (064) 214 300
    Fax. (064) 214 310
    Email: duushona@walvisbaycc.org.na

    Indigenous Knowledge: Introduction

    What DLIST users say…

    “We all agree that knowledge is key to our quality of life as well as our future survival. But lately there appear to be serious knowledge transfer breakdowns, by lack of a better term, that may not only jeopardize our future survival in the long run, but simply diminish quality of life”.

    In this Burning Issue you can read about indigenous knowledge, threats to indigenous knowledge systems, some interesting case studies of application of traditional knowledge, and what is being done to preserve it. Here’s what you will find in this Burning Issue:

    Indigenous Knowledge: Why this Burning Issue?

    In discussions held on the DLIST online forum, we realised that there has been indigenous knowledge transfer breakdowns, which has impacted on both the physical and social environments. The discussions show that many people are concerned about the loss of these important knowledge systems. Organisations and some individuals are already working towards raising awareness and pooling their forces together to capture, store and transfer indigenous knowledge.

    This Burning Issue on Indigenous Knowledge provides a dedicated space for stakeholders to:

    • disseminate their information and material around the topic
    • interact and share experiences and best practices
    • reach a wider and more diversified audience
    • share tools and approaches that will be useful for anyone wanting to engage in similar activities

    As the DLIST team, we hope that this Burning Issue on Indigenous Knowledge will provoke further critical thinking on these issues, and elicit further appreciation of indigenous knowledge. Share your views and experience with other stakeholders and pose your questions on the Discussion Forum.

    For suggestions or new information for this Burning Issue, contact the DLIST team (admin@dlist-benguela.org)

    What DLIST users say… ”By going to great lengths to preserve cultural and natural heritage, we preserve civilisation and everything it means to be human.”

    Indigenous Knowledge: What is it?

    Interestingly, there is no standard definition of indigenous knowledge. However, there is a general understanding of what it means. Some people define indigenous knowledge as the local knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society. Some have defined it simply as “local knowledge”, while others have expressed it as “folk knowledge”, “information base for a society”, “traditional wisdom” or, when it applies to the physical environment, as “traditional ecological knowledge”.

    Regardless of the definition, there is a consensus that various communities, cultures and societies have indigenous knowledge systems. We can define it as the “knowledge acquired over generations by communities as they interact with their environment”. It mainly refers to a system of understanding one’s environment in the broadest sense.

    Indigenous knowledge is the basis for local-level decision making in agriculture, health care, food preparation, education, natural-resource management, and a host of other activities in communities.

    What DLIST users say… “Indigenous cultures often perceive humans and nature as linked.”

    Case Studies

    Indigenous peoples have demonstrated through their own use and application of traditional knowledge and their own survival that their knowledge systems are based on sound concepts. It is inspiring to look at concrete case studies that show us how indigenous knowledge is still used with success. The World Bank has put together a large database of indigenous knowledge and practices from around the world that is worth a visit. If you have more case studies, please write to the DLIST Team.

    The !Nara plant and the Topnaars in Namibia
    The Topnaar people in Namibia are considered one of the most marginalised and remote peoples in the world. The !nara plant is one of the most important bush foods in the Namib Desert, used by the Topnaars for their nutritional, medicinal and agricultural values. A melon-like fruit that has provided a livelihood to these people for generations, the !nara plant is considered to be the foster mother of these people.

    However, the !nara is under threat and the !nara fields have decreased. This case study shows that the destruction of indigenous knowledge is not necessarily always from outside the traditional communities alone but is sometimes attributed to the same indigenous communities we are concerned about.

    Rudolf Dausab is the spokesperson and representative of the Topnaar community in the Kuiseb Desert, near Walvis Bay, Namibia. He is also a co-author of a recent book on the desert. Contact him at: rudolfdausab@namibnet.com

    Matjieshuis, an old Nama hut
    The huts, called  haru oms in the Nama language or matjieshuise in Afrikaans, are a dwelling for all seasons. They are cool and well ventilated in the hot summer, and naturally insulated by the rush mats in winter.

    In the Richtersveld, they are still used for storage, cooking, as an additional place to sleep, or even to provide accommodation for tourists. As the tradition fades, though, this is one of the few places where we can still find them in significant numbers. In a historical moment, the Namas from both South Africa and Namibia joined forces to build Nama huts so as to ensure that this knowledge is not lost.

    Read more about matjieshuise:

    And see a video on how a matjieshuis is built:

    Combining traditional and conventional medicines
    The African potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea) grows in KwaZulu-Natal and has traditionally used for its many medicinal properties. Traditional healers used it to treat cancer, for example. Recognising its medicinal value, the University of Stellenbosch has done research and developed a medicine that enhances the body’s natural defense system. This case study shows how traditional and conventional medicine can complement each other in the fight against diseases.
    Read more at:

    Alternative methods for grain storage
    People nowadays are sceptical about the use of pesticides for grain storage in silos. Some permaculturalists are suggesting—based on the integration of indigenous knowledge into modern ‘western’ science—that we need to consider using cow dung as an alternative.

    Read more in this document.

    Veterinary practices in Tanzania
    Farmers in Tanzania make use of traditional veterinary practices for the prevention of diseases. They use medicinal plants and plant preparations, as well as apply strategies such as routing of herds and separation of sick animals.

    These practices represent low cost approaches to livestock hygiene and maintenance of healthy stocks, showing that indigenous knowledge can be provide cost-effective solutions.
    Read more at http://www.worldbank.org/afr/ik/ikpacks/agriculture.htm.#uhgygyyu
    Contact multicho@yako.habari.co.tz

    Farming practices in Mozambique
    Farmers in Mozambique use ridging techniques whereby they form a continuous lump of elevated earth (soil) mount during cultivation.

    Scientists have learnt from these ridging techniques and have further developed them to assist in checking erosion and conserving water. They have been developed into, for example, “tied ridges”, and disseminated to other regions in Africa.

    Contact: wsadomba@africaonline.co.zw

    Indigenous Knowledge: Are we losing our traditional practices?

    Indigenous knowledge tends to be viewed by some as being “backward”, compared to the western scientific knowledge. This has led to a loss of the indigenous or traditional practices as people try to embrace “modern western” ways of doing things. Nevertheless, it is important to note that indigenous knowledge is not static, but rather evolves and changes as it develops, influenced by interactions with other knowledge systems.

    Colonisation had a major effect on indigenous knowledge, as the indigenous people ended up shunning their “backward, uncivilised” knowledge in favour of western knowledge systems, whether wilfully or not. Another contributing factor to the loss of indigenous knowledge is rural-urban migration of youth, who are expected to learn and implement some of the traditional knowledge.

    What DLIST users say… "The tradition of sitting around the fire and telling stories about our past is gone. If you ask a young Topnaar to tell you about their history, he or she will probably not be able to answer you," admits Rudolph Dausab, Topnaar community leader and environmental activist.

    Moreover, the youth no longer want to stay in communal lands and live by the old “backward” ways; neither are they willing to go to the old people, the holders of the last shreds of indigenous knowledge, to accumulate that knowledge and apply it.

    Indigenous knowledge has been gaining legitimacy only when it conforms to the theory and practice of western knowledge. Some environmental scientists regard indigenous knowledge as anecdotal, non-quantitative, out of date, and amethodological, while others argue that it lacks scientific rigour and objectivity.

    Indigenous knowledge and modern science
    There are some differences between indigenous and western science:

    • Indigenous knowledge is mainly transmitted orally, for example through stories, and/or by imitation and demonstration, while western science is mainly written. This means that it is learnt through observation, practical engagement, or hands-on experience gained by trial and error.
    • Indigenous knowledge is based on observations and experiences, evaluated in the light of what one has learnt from his or her elders. On the other hand, western science is taught and learnt often, but not always, in an abstract context.

    As a matter of fact, indigenous knowledge can be documented to help communities and scientists make greater use of it in research and decision making. It is important, however, that since the information is based on experience and the lessons of others, it needs the component of experience.

    If we wish to preserve the expertise that is shown in traditional ecological knowledge, we must work to preserve the way of life from which it has developed. Scientific methods and conventional systems of resource management must learn to fit into the traditional ways of viewing and using the land, for these values form the basis for their future survival.

    Indigenous Knowledge: Capturing, Sharing, Networking

    Interest and awareness of the value of indigenous knowledge, particularly its potential contribution to sustainable development, is increasing at a time when such knowledge is being threatened as never before. There are some initiatives underway that try to capture and share traditional knowledge.

    What DLIST users say… “I believe that what is needed, in addition to writing down indigenous knowledge, is a general revival of a sense of inherent worth, value and trust in indigenous communities”.

    Platforms where indigenous knowledge is captured, stored and disseminated need to be developed, so as to prevent the erosion of cultural and biological diversity. For the whole process of collecting, applying and disseminating indigenous knowledge, full participation of the local people is required.

    ICT could become a very powerful enabler for the exchange of Indigenous Knowledge. This will mainly depend on the local circumstances and the degree of access and connectivity of a country or community.

    Local communities can participate in Community-to-community (C2C) exchanges, where they can advance their own development by sharing experiences and learning from each other. Their can do this by building their own capacity to exchange effective indigenous knowledge practices related to agriculture, the environment and healthcare. The C2C exchanges typically try to match knowledge seekers with knowledge providers to help (i) empower the participants to envisage other options (ii) increase the knowledge base of all participants (iii) engage scientists, politicians, and indigenous knowledge practitioners on an equal footing. See the Community Knowledge Exchange Toolkit :

    Other tools that can be utilised to facilitate the process of indigenous knowledge exchange are:

    • Video and radiobroadcasts in local languages could disseminate indigenous knowledge practices using storytelling techniques, especially in rural areas.
    • Electronic networking would be most appropriate to establish exchanges among civil society groups and to link existing local indigenous knowledge centres in various countries.
    • Telecentres (village knowledge centres) could help make knowledge flow from the local communities outward (indigenous practices) and from the global community inward (international practice).

    It has been suggested that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ultimately needs to develop a traditional knowledge digital library, and have laws developed to prevent such knowledge being misappropriated through commercial patents.

    In 2006, the University of Tuléar Madagascar – The French University of the Réunion Island – and the UNESCO published the “Traditional Pharmacopoeia in the Islands of the Western Indian Ocean”. As explained on the DLIST discussions, the book contains 18 interesting papers (in French) about the roles of plants in traditional knowledge. One contribution from Madagascar compares the modern and traditional use of plants by the people of Antongil Bay. Contact Chaplain for more information at ttsiadino@yahoo.com.

    You can contribute to UNESCO’s Database on Best Practices related to indigenous knowledge by filling in their questionnaire. By "best practice" they mean an approach (such as a development project or programme, a training method, or an evaluation approach) that has successfully put indigenous knowledge to good use, and/or built upon it for purposes of sustainable development.
    Visit http://www.unesco.org/most/bpikques.htm.

    Indigenous Knowledge: Promoting its use

    It is high time that indigenous knowledge has been put into best-practice in developing cost-effective and sustainable strategies for poverty alleviation, environmental conservation and income generation. Here are some examples from the ground, some of which were contributed by DLIST users. Know of more initiatives? Write to admin@dlist-benguela.org

    What DLIST users say… “Can people apply indigenous knowledge in a way that generates a livelihood for them?”

    !Nara and training for the Topnaars
    Rudolf Dausab is currently offering workshops aimed at raising awareness about the conservation of the !nara plant and especially on harvesting methods, in Namibia.

    !Nara monitoring and book publication
    The !nara monitoring project noted a marked decrease in the number of !Nara melons produced by the !nara plant. This resulted in the creation of !nara fruit for development of the Kuiseb Topnaar, a book jointly produced by the Gobabeb Centre, Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN), and the Topnaar Community Foundation. The book aims to focus on environmental action efforts to restore production levels of this resource, which is so important to the Topnaar people.
    Contact the Gobabeb Centre at gobabeb@gobabeb.org or
    Tel: +264 (0)64 694 199.
    Visit http://www.gobabeb.org/research2.htm#nara

    Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (MIKS) Project
    The MIKS Project aims to improve the lives of rural communities through the management of indigenous knowledge systems and the sustainable exploitation of natural resources with nutritional and medicinal values. It focuses on the role of female traditional leaders in managing the harvesting and exploitation of wild plants. Through traditional forums, workshops and media publicity, awareness about best practice will be created in communities to manage and sustain indigenous knowledge.
    This project is being jointly funded by a number of partners and active in eight SADC countries (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). Read more at

    Local people in the Richtersveld documenting their own knowledge
    There is a need to prepare handbooks on local medicinal plants, agricultural methods and the like, in the indigenous people’s language, as most of the indigenous people’s knowledge has never been documented in text. For example, research is underway for a book about the Richtersveld, to be written by the local people, the Richtersvelders. In any effort to record or document their knowledge, due consideration has to be given to intellectual property rights and protecting the interests of the indigenous people against pirates.

    Gaia Amazonas Foundation
    An interesting success story in the Amazonas was mentioned in the DLIST discussions. A process for the last 15 years has contributed to halting the loss of culture and indigenous knowledge. Reviving rituals around sacred sites, mapping territories with communities, and incorporating indigenous knowledge in school curricula are some of the activities that have helped reviving community respect for the value of indigenous practices and maintaining biodiversity, as well as building community solidarity.
    Contact coordinacion@gaiaamazonas.org or
    Visit www.gaiaamazonas.org and www.canoa.org.co for more information.

    Indigenous Knowledge: Protecting by law

    Recent years have seen rising interest in the commercial exploitation of indigenous knowledge, especially traditional medicinal knowledge. But there are serious concerns on who benefits, and these concerns have in some cases led to the passing of laws to regulate the use of indigenous knowledge.

    What DLIST users say… ”When we talk of indigenous knowledge the following questions usually arise. Who owns it? Who may use it? Who decides how to use the indigenous knowledge and for what purpose? And how should its owners be compensated?”

    It has been suggested that the creators of the knowledge—the indigenous people—should after all have the final control over the knowledge that is recorded and exchanged within all such systems. The SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) incorporates Indigenous Knowledge into its Science and technology priorities. Check out the following links:


    There is no specific national legislation dedicated to indigenous knowledge management in Angola, Namibia or South Africa. But in South Africa provisions in some legislation do include indigenous knowledge.

    The South African Draft Science and Technology Laws Amendment Bill of June 2007, Amendment of Section 17 of Act 68 0f 2001, in its section 44, sub-section 44 paragraph (c), states that any research institution, with regard to investigations and research conducted by its employees, must protect all rights of the person or community arising from the original indigenous knowledge and any invention, discovery or improvements.
    Visit: http://www.sabinet.co.za/sabinetlaw/reports_leg.html - 37k

    The South African government has also developed an Indigenous Knowledge Policy System. The policy serves as an enabling framework to stimulate and strengthen the contribution of indigenous knowledge to social and economic development in South Africa.
    Visit: http://www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/tk/en/wipo_grtkf_ic_9/wipo_grtkf_ic_9_11.doc

    Indigenous Knowledge: Explore

    Find more information on the web and read more about the topic of Indigenous Knowledge. Have more interesting documents and web links? Write to admin@dlist-benguela.org.

    Marine Litter: Introduction

    Our coast is precious for all—those that live by the sea and depend on coastal and marine resources for their subsistence, and those that visit beaches in their leisure time. Litter originating from the sea and the land, however, threatens the health of the coast and therefore ours as well. Explore the issues, activities, and information resources about this topic in this Burning Issue and contribute with new information that you may have.

    The problem of marine litter

    Marine litter is “any persistent manufactured or processed solid material which is discarded, disposed of, or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment”, according to the definition of United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

    The litter can originate from the sea (e.g. ships and dumping-at-sea, offshore rigs and drilling platforms) and the land (e.g. storm water run-off, sewer overflows, beachgoers).
    Litter threatens marine life through entanglement, suffocation and ingestion. It has a visual impact on marine and coastal areas with negative effects on tourism, and can pose human health and safety concerns. Litter in the marine environment can also destroy coastal habitats and in some situations interfere with biological production in coastal areas.

    The state of the coast in the BCLME countries

    Most marine pollution in Angola is originated on land, especially from overpopulated coastal urban areas, untreated sewage discharges, industrial waste brought by rivers, fishing activities and oil exploration. In Namibia, marine pollution is not very widespread since most of the coastline is devoid of habitation. The highest concentrations occur in Walvis Bay, originating from effluents used in fish factories, and hazardous substances used in repair and maintenance of fishing vessels and other ships. Marine litter in South Africa is especially problematic when it comes to litter carried in storm water runoff into harbours and bays.

    What is being done about marine litter?

    Find out some examples of initiatives in Angola, Namibia and South Africa, as well as international and national laws relevant to marine litter. Read more on “Marine Litter Legal Framework and Initiatives”, a report produced for the BCLME Marine Litter Project.

    Actions and programmes

    • UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme for the West and Central Africa region was established under the international legal framework of Law of the Sea and in line with the provisions of Agenda 21. Visit http://www.unep.org/regionalseas/About/default.asp
    • The International Coastal Cleanup happens every year, when people from around the world will clean up their beaches, rivers and lakes. Find out more at http://www.coastalcleanup.org/welcome.cfm.
    • The Marine Litter Project, under the BCLME Programme, aims to assess the current frameworks to deal with the problem of marine litter in Angola, Namibia and South Africa, and to raise awareness on the importance of the issue. Contact Maria Sardinha at the BCLME Programme Activity Centre in Luanda (bclme.behp@nexus.ao) for more information.
    • The South African Coastcare Working for the Coast Programme seeks to use coastal resources to develop coastal communities and at the same time protect and rehabilitate these resources. It encompasses various activities including coastal cleanups on a regular basis and recycling as appropriate. Visit http://www.environment.gov.za/ProjProg/CoastCare/working_for_the_coast.htm
    • The Namibian Coastal and Marine Pollution Prevention Coordination Committee (C&MPPCC) has been established to promote the protection of the marine environment through coordination.
    • The “Healthy Beaches” project (Projecto Praias Saudáveis) was a pilot joint initiative of the Ecological Youth of Angola (JEA, Juventude Ecológica de Angola) and the Luanda Port Authority (Capitania do Porto de Luanda). JEA is regularly involved in coastal cleanup and environmental education activities. Contact Abias Huongo at huongoam@hotmail.com for more about JEA’s activities.

    Know of more initiatives? Write to admin@dlist-benguela.org

    Legal frameworks
    A number of international conventions and agreements dealing with the sea, marine pollution and the protection of the marine and coastal environment have repercussions on the prevention and mitigation of marine litter. Many of these conventions have been signed by Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

    While there is no specific national legislation dedicated to marine litter prevention in Angola and Namibia, in South Africa the general environmental legislation is better developed, with specific elements dedicated to marine litter control.

    National legislation relevant to marine litter in the BCLME Countries
    In Angola, a Draft Waste Act has been prepared for discussion. Other legal instruments that have relevance for marine litter include the Draft National Programme for Environmental Management, the Living Aquatic Resources Act, and laws in the oil sector.

    The principal text dealing with litter in Namibia is the Water Act. Several provisions on pollution are contained in sectoral legislations such as mining and petroleum legislation. There is reference to marine litter and pollution in the Namibia’s Green Plan as well as on the Draft Environmental Management Bill.

    The South Africa Constitution and a series of laws and policies give rise to rules and principles that govern marine pollution in the country, including the Dumping at Sea Control Act, Marine Pollution (Control and Civil Liability) Act, Marine Pollution (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act, Marine Pollution (Intervention) Act, White Paper on Integrated Pollution and Waste Management for South Africa, and White Paper for Sustainable Coastal Development.

    On the ground in Angola: Pilot activities of the BCLME programme

    BCLME Programme’s Marine Litter Project
    The Marine Litter Project, under the BCLME Programme, aims to assess the current frameworks to deal with the problem of marine litter in Angola, Namibia and South Africa, and to raise awareness on the importance of the issue. The project components are:

    1. Assess the regulatory/policy framework of the three countries on marine litter
    2. Review existing marine litter programmes in Angola, Namibia and South Africa
    3. Carry out marine litter surveys involving schools in pilot areas
    4. Raise awareness of marine litter through posters/leaflets for schools

    Find out more on www.bclme.org or contact Maria Sardinha at the BCLME Programme Activity Centre in Luanda (bclme.behp@nexus.ao).

    Beach cleanup near Luanda
    Last July, students and teachers from the school in Buraco and the 17 Setembro School in Mabunda engaged in beach clean up demonstration activities together with members of the Ecological Youth of Angola (JEA), the Ministry of Fisheries, the NGO Group of Support to Peoples in Need (GAPC) and EcoAfrica.

    The pilot sites
    Buraco is a community in the Commune of Ramiro, about 60 km south of Luanda, with close to 1,000 inhabitants. Fishing is the main livelihood. The nearest health centre is located 20 km from Buraco and a new school has recently been built. Buraco has an estuary with an extensive but already damaged mangrove system that is used by the community as source of fuel. The problem of litter is visible in the community, both litter brought by the sea to the beaches and waste generated by the community and spread around the houses. There is no waste collection in this community.

    Mabunda is located near the centre of Luanda. It is one of the most important fish markets in Samba Municipality, with clients coming from various parts of the city to buy fish both for sale and household consumption. This area faces serious sanitation problems. The beaches are seriously polluted with litter brought by the sea and rivers as well as originated by the fish market. An open drain discharging onto the beach aggravates the pollution problem in the area and associated health risks. There are a number of schools in the area, some of which are actively involved in beach cleanup activities usually funded by the private sector.

    In the first visits to both sites, the project team presented the project to the schools and members of the communities, briefed the students about the problem of marine litter and planned the activities with the teachers. The teachers and project team together decided that sensitisation games followed by beach cleanup demonstration activities would be the most adequate for the schools.

    On the day scheduled for the activities in each school, a group of very enthusiastic students presented short theatre plays about the subject, depicting typical situations that contribute to the problem of marine litter.

    For the beach cleanup, the students marked areas on the beach and cleaned these areas using spades, rakes and plastic bags. In Buraco the litter along the beach consisted mainly of mangrove debris, with some plastic and cans as well, but most of the litter was found closer to the village, where there is no waste collection. In Mabunda the marine litter situation is serious and requires urgent attention. The students collected all types of material, from plastics to bottles, cans, and clothes.

    The project team met with the Municipal Administrator of Samba, who showed great interest in the initiative and suggested follow-up activities with the support of the Administration and the Ports Authority. Elisal, the company responsible for waste management in the area, was unfortunately not available to participate in the discussions.
    The students in both schools were left with the task of preparing posters and essays on the topic. The best ones will be used to spread the message to other schools in Angola.

    More activities are thus expected—watch this space for new updates!

    Some conclusions…

    • The students in both schools showed great enthusiasm and a high level awareness of the problem of marine litter.
    • The school in Mabunda particularly is often involved in environmental education and awareness raising activities (including coastal cleanups) usually sponsored by private companies operating in the area.
    • The school and members of the community in Buraco carry out regular beach clean ups themselves, but lack appropriate material.
    • General waste and litter situation is serious in both areas and especially daunting in Mabunda. The participants agreed that initiatives like this are important but that actions on a larger scale are necessary.
    • There are no waste bins on the pilot areas and no waste collection near the beaches, which makes it difficult to undertake the beach cleanup and to make any solutions sustainable.
    • It is important to involve key stakeholders in activities of this sort, such as waste management companies, the municipalities and the Ports Authority.
    • The idea of a poster/ essay competition in the schools and the dissemination of the best posters/ essays in other schools in the country was welcome by both students and teachers.

    For suggestions and queries about these activities please contact Abias Huongo at huongoam@hotmail.com or Raquel Garcia at raquel@ecoafrica.co.za.
    Write your comments and suggestions on the Discussion Forum.

    On the ground in Namibia: Pilot activities of the BCLME programme

    BCLME Programme’s Marine Litter Project
    The Marine Litter Project, under the BCLME Programme, aims to assess the current frameworks to deal with the problem of marine litter in Angola, Namibia and South Africa, and to raise awareness on the importance of the issue. The project components are:

    1. Assess the regulatory/policy framework of the three countries on marine litter
    2. Review existing marine litter programmes in Angola, Namibia and South Africa
    3. Carry out marine litter surveys involving schools in pilot areas
    4. Raise awareness of marine litter through posters/leaflets for schools

    Find out more on www.bclme.org or contact Maria Sardinha at the BCLME Programme Activity Centre in Luanda (bclme.behp@nexus.ao).

    Marine litter survey in Walvis Bay

    In the last week of May 2006, the Project Team and a group of students and teachers from the Kuisebmond High School in Walvis Bay, members of the Coastal Youth Club, officials from the Walvis Bay Multi Purpose Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Works Transport and Communication and the Walvis Bay Municipality were involved in a long week of activities around the issue of Marine Litter in the town.

    The pilot site
    Walvis Bay is one of the few major towns on the coast of Namibia, with high sand dunes stretching inland and wetlands of international importance in the Walvis Bay Lagoon nearby. A town with 55,000 inhabitants, Walvis Bay is an important fishing port and economic and tourism centre. The major sources of litter are the fishing industry and tourists who use the beach.

    The activities
    The students and Coastal Youth Club carried out a physical survey at the Independence Beach, which is considered to be a "hotspot" for marine litter in Walvis Bay. Different groups were formed and in each group three persons collected the litter while the last person recorded the data on the data sheet provided. Six transects were set up, along which litter was collected and weighed. The litter was then transported by the Municipality to the landfill site. A total of 1, 800 g of litter was collected in the six transects.

    On the following day there was a discussion forum with the students and the Coastal Youth Club, as well as invited stakeholders from the Walvis Bay Multi Purpose Centre, Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ministry of Works Transport and Communication and the Walvis Bay Municipality. Discussions focused on types of marine litter, main sources of marine litter, extent of the problem and possible ways to reduce, reuse and recycle litter from an institutional perspective.

    It was also made clear that the Municipality of Walvis Bay assists any local project that tackles environmental management through its Environmental Fund Initiative and the youth were encouraged to make use of that opportunity. Students were also introduced to the broader framework of the NACOMA Project (Namib Coast Biodiversity Conservation and Management).
    The participants decided to dedicate the World Environment Day to the issue of "marine litter" through a beach clean up and a committee that was set up to spearhead the activities. Indeed, the World Environment Day "Clean up Campaign" between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund took place on 5 June 2006 with technical and financial assistance from the DLIST-Benguela Project, BCLME Marine Litter Programme, Walvis Bay Municipality through its Environmental Management Section, Coastal Youth Club, the Walvis Multi Purpose Centre Trust, Kuisebmond Secondary School, the Ministry of Fisheries.

    This was just the beginning of activities, more interesting activities aimed at awareness raising by different means are expected to start soon—watch this space!

    Some conclusions…

    • Most of the litter was found above the high-water mark and the items most commonly found were sweet wrappers, plastic bags, polystyrene, bottle caps, beer bottles, cigarette butts, and boxes.
    • More bins are needed on the beach, and pictures can be used on the bins to draw people’s attention.
    • The students felt more aware of what marine litter was and why they should be concerned about it. The use of posters and school visits were considered good further awareness raising tools.
    • Fishermen should be targeted by awareness raising campaigns.

    For more information about these activities please contact Romie Vonkie Nghiulikwa at romie@ecoafrica.co.za .
    Write your comments and suggestions on the Discussion Forum.

    On the ground in South Africa

    Actions in South Africa
    Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world descend on their beaches, rivers and lakes to remove litter. This year, the international coastal cleanup day was on 15th September. Read about the cleanup in one town in South Africa below. If you have reports from other locations, send them to the DLIST team!

    Port Nolloth Coastal Cleanup
    On the 14th of September Port Nolloth had a coastal cleanup. The day was indeed a success.

    We involved the 3 local schools, the municipality and FAMDA (fishing and mariculture development association). We had 115 participants who were later on grouped in 10s. FAMDA was responsible for the transportation of the participants to the different areas that included Happy Valley, the Salt Pan, Still Bay and Mc Dougalls Bay. We also worked with coast care cleaners who acted as group leaders. The Municipality assisted with trucks to collect the yellow bags at the different collecting points.

    Everyone who participated in this event seemed to enjoy it. Some of the teachers were even asking if we can’t organize these types of cleanups on a quarterly basis, which is an excellent idea provided the state our coast is in. The coastal cleanup was a meaningful initiatives because we got to experience the effect our negligence has on our environment.

    Suggest, ask and discuss

    Share your views and opinions
    Visit the discussion forums and participate. Tell us about the problem of marine litter in the area where you live, what is being done to solve the problem, and give us ideas on activities for kids and ways to involve the community to help solve the problem.

    Suggestions or questions?
    To learn more about the Marine Litter Project contact Maria Sardinha at the BCLME Programme Activity Centre in Luanda (bclme.behp@nexus.ao) or visit www.bclme.org
    For suggestions or new information for this Burning Issue, contact the DLIST team (admin@dlist-benguela.org)


    Elsewhere on the web

    Manuals, tips, reports…

    • Pocket Guide to Marine Debris with information on types and sources of marine litter and methodologies for coastal cleanups and surveys. Download here.
    • "Marine Litter Legal Framework and Initiatives", a report produced by the Marine Litter Project of the BCLME Programme. Download it here.
    • Resources for kids/ teachers on Kids against marine litter http://marine-litter.gpa.unep.org/kids/kids.htm
    • More about coastal communities in general along the BCLME coast on the report entitled "How can coastal communities become involved and benefit from the BCLME Programme." Download it here.

    Have more interesting documents and web links? Write to admin@dlist-benguela.org

    Property development along the South African West Coast

    Recently South Africa’s West Coast has experienced an increase in property development that has sparked off hot debate amongst the environmental community. While there is no doubt that a country wide boom in the sale and development of property has played a strong role, the un-spoilt, often empty beaches of the West Coast have offered additional incentive for investment. It is significant that proposed and existing property developments here have predominantly taken the form of holiday homes, resorts and golf courses.

    Environmentalists and residents argue that these developments are threatening the tranquility of the region and its sensitive coastal environments. Developments, however, bring with them the promise of local job creation, economic income into the region and alternative forms of livelihoods to local communities.

    Therefore questions arise as to how sustainable these developments are in terms of their environmental, social and economic impacts. Where does one draw the line to say that environmental wellbeing takes precedence over immediate economic and financial gain? How can one make sure that these economic and financial gains do not fall into the hands of a select few? And who ultimately presides over decisions relating to sustainability?

    The recent and ongoing discussions that have featured on the DLIST website have highlighted numerous controversial developments that have sprung up along the West Coast of South Africa. Local communities, NGOs and environmental practitioners alike have voiced their concern. Some have even gone as far as to take up the issue with the relevant local authorities. So far there appears to have been no decisive response.

    What is clear, is that there are a range of environmental management tools (or processes) that planners, developers and decision makers should utilize before undertaking projects. These tools range from Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), to Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs), Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) and the use of Integrated Development Planning (IDP). South African law has numerous policies and acts that can guide decision making and mandates participation of local communities and other interested and affected parties in the planning process.

    However, according to the users of the DLIST discussion forums (a numer being residents in the most affected areas) the available environmental management and planning tools have often not been considered. Further, local communities are not properly consulted.

    The questions arise: Are all parties well informed about the implications of coastal developments - both negative impacts and positive growth? Are all parties aware of the mechanisms available and are all voices being equally heard?



    1. ACTS

    2. POLICY