SANBI is mandated through the NBSAP (2005) and NBF (2007) to lead the development and implementation of the Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy for the biodiversity sector. To realise this objective, SANBI entered into partnership with The Lewis Foundation where a national consultative process was conducted, culminating into the launch of a 20 year BHCDS in 2010.  The BHCDS was mainly aimed at addressing the following challenges in the biodiversity sector:

  • Systemic challenges across the pipeline
  • Reactive and ineffective education and skills development policies
  • Skewed demographics in talent supply
  • Supply vs demand misalignment

The BHCDS focus was to develop high level skills (from NQF 6) by building on existing programmes and partnerships in the sector. The above challenges necessitated combined effort and action to accelerate transformation in the workplaces and rapidly strengthen institutions and organisations to deliver on their mandates. There was an urgent need to develop trans and multi-disciplinary skills for an emerging and dynamic field of biodiversity.


To develop a socially equitable and suitably skilled workforce of biodiversity leaders, professionals and technicians to optimally implement national dynamic, expanding and increasingly complex biodiversity and development mandates and goals by 2030.


  1. Transformation
  2. Quality and relevant skills
  3. National skills planning
  4. Effective deployment and retention of skills in the sector

BHCDS Strategic Objectives

  1. Access
  2. Attraction
  3. Skilling
  4. Upskilling
  5. Retention
  6. Creation of Enabling conditions

BHCDS was mainly enabled through the Greenmatter programme. As a programme Greenmatter was a network of public and private partners coming together to drive high-level biodiversity skills development towards the national vision. Six focus areas were conceptualized with the view to operationalise the strategy. Below are the six focus areas and examples of programmes/projects undertaken under each:

  1. Foundation knowledge, e.g. Fundisa for Change Programme
  2. Bridging into Work, e.g. Groen Sebenza Programme, Work Integrated Learning, Internships
  3. Fellowship Programme
  4. Special Projects, e.g. Imvelisi
  5. Organisational Strengthening e.g. HRD Network
  6. Enabling condition, e.g. National Environmental Skills Planning Forum

Please find the following documents below:

Implementation Review of the BHCDS

The year 2020 marked ten years of the BHCDS implementation. Given this midterm, SANBI again in partnership with The Lewis Foundation commissioned the review of the BHCDS implementation with a view not only to take stock of progress to date but to also inform actions for the remaining ten years of the strategy.

Please find the following documents below which will be discussed during the Mini-Skills Summit on 24-25 March 2021.

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