Screening a site for biodiversity ‘red flags’

Once you have identified the local municipality in which a proposed project or plan is to be undertaken, the site must be placed within a biodiversity context. You will need to identify broader, potentially off-site or strategic biodiversity opportunities and constraints that could influence development planning. This process is also known as biodiversity screening.

What is biodiversity screening?

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When should a biodiversity specialist be appointed?

It is always desirable to try to adapt a project proposal or plan so that it avoids loss of biodiversity and disturbance of ecological functioning.

If irreversible residual loss of biodiversity cannot be prevented through pre-emptive, positive planning and redesigning a proposal (steps 2-3 in the Fynbos Forum Ecosystem Guidelines), it becomes necessary to commission a full biodiversity impact assessment. For this, you will certainly need to appoint a biodiversity specialist, using more comprehensive terms of reference.