NEMBA in a nutshell

NEMBA in a nutshell
Lesley Henderson
Agricultural Research Council – Plant Protection Research Institute

Chapter five of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA), Act 10 of 2004, deals with alien and invasive species. The regulations regarding alien and invasive species have taken 10 years to reach finalisation, and are expected to be promulgated by June 2014. The May

2014 draft regulations list 379 invasive plant species in South Africa which must be controlled and 238 prohibited species, which do not occur in South Africa and may not be imported. Listed invasive species represent about 32% of the total known invasive alien species in South Africa.

NEMBA lists 181 more species than the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (CARA) which it supersedes. About 120 of these additional species are ornamentals. Category 1a, with 52 species, requires immediate compulsory control; eradication is a possibility. Category 1b, with 246 species, includes the most widespread and troublesome species which require control and landowners must comply with species management programmes if these have been developed. Category 2, with 34 species, includes commercial plantation species which require permits for cultivation; these species require control outside of the specified areas allowed for cultivation. Category 3, with 47 species, must be  controlled  within  riparian  areas.  The  importing,  growing,  propagating,  moving,  selling  and spreading of all listed invasive species is prohibited except for permitted category 2 species. Sterile cultivars and hybrids of listed invasive species which are already in South Africa are exempted unless investigations prove the contrary. Risk assessments will be required before any new introductions are exempted.

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