The Alien and Invasive Species (A&IS) Regulations of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA; Act 10 of 2004) were first promulgated in October 2014 and updated in March 2021.
The NEM:BA A&IS Regulations provide the basis for regulating alien and invasive taxa in South Africa. Initially, the taxa included on the regulatory lists were assigned by taxon-specific expert panels using a range of approaches. However, since 2017 a standardised approach using an internationally accepted Risk Analysis for Alien Taxa (RAAT) framework has been implemented and current regulatory lists revisited.
About the ASRARP
The Alien Species Risk Analysis Review Panel (ASRARP) was set up to provide independent scientific advice to the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) on a range of issues pertaining to the risk of biological invasions, including the evidence underpinning the regulatory lists. Since 2018, the ASRARP has been involved in reviewing and approving risk analyses.
The goal is for a risk analysis approved by the ASRARP to be available for all taxa included on the regulatory lists, and to collate the scientific evidence for any future changes to the list. It will take time to complete all this work. As of April 2021 around 10% of the regulated taxa have had a risk analysis completed on them, but the process is beginning to speed up.
It is important to note that regulatory decisions are made by the DFFE in consultation with other government agencies, and published for public comment before any changes are promulgated. ASRARP is thus not a decision-making body, but plays an important in providing and reviewing scientific evidence to support the decision-makers.
Current ASRARP Structure
Dr. Anicia Maoela, Prof. Brian van Wilgen, Ms. Buyisile Makhubo, Mr. Current Masunungure, Dr. Essa Suleman, Prof. Graham Alexander, Prof. John Wilson (ex-officio), Dr. Kowiyou Yessoufou, Dr. Lynn Jackson (Chair), Dr. Mamohale Chaisi (ex-officio), Ms. Mandisa Poswa, Dr. Mlungele Nsikani (ex-officio), Mr. Musa Mlambo, Ms. Phillipa King, Mr. Menno Klapwijk, Dr. Ryan Blanchard, Prof. Sjirk Geerts, Prof. Timothy Dube, Dr. Trudy Paap, Dr. Sabrina Kumschick, Dr. Samuel Motitsoe, Dr. Sebataolo Rahlao (ex-officio), Ms. Sibusisiwe Ngcobo, Dr. Sheunesu Ruwanza, Dr. Unathi Heshula and Ms. Viwe Balfour (ex-officio).
For more information:
The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is responsible for coordinating the production of risk analyses and providing a secretariat to the ASRARP. To facilitate the production of risk analyses, SANBI offers training courses on the RAAT framework.
If you would like to attend the upcoming training course or have any questions, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in becoming an external reviewer for risk analyses submitted to the ASRARP, please send an e-mail to InvasiveRiskPanel@sanbi.org.za stating your expertise.
For any other queries, please contact Dr Mlungele Nsikani at M.Nsikani@sanbi.org.za.
Useful links and information
- The March 2021 A&IS regulatory lists as a spreadsheet.
- The RAAT framework.
- Permits issued by DFFE for alien species listed as category 2 under the A&IS regulations up to end September 2019.
- Apply for a permit here.
Kumschick S, Foxcroft LC, Wilson JR (2020) Analysing the Risks Posed by Biological Invasions to South Africa. In: van Wilgen BW, Measey J, Richardson DM, Wilson JR, Zengeya TA (Eds) Biological invasions in South Africa. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, 573–595. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-32394-3_20
Kumschick S, Wilson JRU, Foxcroft LC (2020) A framework to support alien species regulation: the Risk Analysis for Alien Taxa (RAAT). Neobiota 62: 213–239. doi:10.3897/neobiota.62.51031
SANBI and CIB 2020. The status of biological invasions and their management in South Africa in 2019. pp.71. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch and DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch. http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3947613 ISBN: 978-1-928224-41-9