BiodiversityGIS (BGIS) - Informing Biodiversity Action
What we do
Since the late 1990's, a number of new vegetation maps and large scale biodiversity plans have been drafted to assist with biodiversity conservation management outside of protected areas. The major challenge has been to ensure that all this information is centrally managed, and distributed as widely as possible.
The BGIS unit has become the central hub for the management and dissemination of biodiversity planning and related information. BGIS manages spatial biodiversity planning information such as the NSBA terrestrial ecosystem status data. BGIS also disseminates biodiversity information garnered by partner organisations. These include the Fine-scale Biodiversity Plans developed by CapeNature and the Mpumalanga Biodiversity Conservation Plan developed by the Mpumalanga Parks Board.
Electronic copies of maps, reports and databases are freely available on the BGIS website (http://bgis.sanbi.org). The website is designed in such a way that individuals who do not have access to stable broad-band connections may access the information via dial-up modems.
The unit also analyses data and provides specialist interpretation on the application of biodiversity data.
Where we work
BGIS is based in the Research Centre at Kirstenbosch Gardens. It disseminates various conservation plans and biodiversity-related datasets for the South African region. To ensure that these datasets are accessible, conservation plans are arranged geographically according to province.
Services and achievements
BGIS provides a number of invaluable services to the conservation sector.
The unit provides regular BGIS training courses. These courses focus on the practical applications of the new BGIS website, with a short introduction to conservation planning. For more information regarding dates for upcoming training courses, please contact Paula Hathorn.
The unit also equips decision-makers with tools to analyse the datasets, allowing them to make informed decisions, such as the Land-Use Decision Support (LUDS) tool and Municipal Biodiversity Summaries and Plan Index.
Land Use Decision Support (LUDS) tool
The tool uses available information to determine the biodiversity status of a selected area of land. The aim of the tool is to assist land-use decision-makers and practitioners with an environmental impact assessment. It is merely the first step in an assessment and practitioners are advised to consult hydrological specialists, botanists and geologists to undertake field visits.
Municipal Biodiversity Summaries and Plan Index
The index allows users to locate available biodiversity datasets, and statistics for biodiversity features occurring in each municipality in South Africa. A0 pdf maps depicting the various biodiversity features occurring within each municipality, are also available for download.
The following datasets have been uploaded onto the site:
- National Biodiversity Assessment 2011
- Gauteng C-Plan 3.3
- North West Biodiversity Conservation Assessment
- National Freshwater Ecosystem Priority Areas
- National Estuaries (open water and 5m contour)
- National List of Threatened Ecosystems 2011
Who we are:
The BGIS team members are:
- Selwyn Willoughby (Director)
- Martin Cocks (Web developer)
- Sediqa Khatieb (BGIS Project Manager)
Tel: +27 21 799 8738
Postal address: Biodiversity GIS, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Private Bag X7, CLAREMONT, 7735, South Africa