What we do

Since the late 1990s, 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 National Biodiversity Assessment (NBA) terrestrial threatened ecosystem data.

BGIS also disseminates biodiversity information (maps and reports) garnered by partner organisations e.g. the Fine-scale Biodiversity Plans developed by CapeNature and the Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSA) developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Datasets are disseminated via its website. The BGIS website was developed in conjunction with the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the University of the Western Cape.

The BGIS interactive maps, which provides users with free tools to view and analyse spatial data, is based on Silverlight Viewer. Silverlight Viewer is no longer supported by Google Chrome. Given this, SANBI will be migrating its mapping platform shortly. Users will be notified of the migration.

Where we work

BGIS is based in the Research Centre at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. 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 bgishelp@sanbi.org.za.

The unit also equips decision-makers with tools to analyse the datasets, allowing them to make informed decisions.

Land Use Decision Support Tool

LUDS allows BGIS users the opportunity to perform a basic environmental assessment on a land parcel. To use the tool, users simply have to locate their area of interest and the system will extract and report on the most important biodiversity planning information for that area.

Postal address: Biodiversity GIS, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Private Bag X7, Claremont, 7735, South Africa.

Tel: +27 (0)21 799 8738
Email: bgishelp@sanbi.org.za


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