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Last updated : 01/04/2007

This page is indexed on our home page under Aspect: 10. Natural Environment and the Section: What is the future for Herp Keeping

Biodiversity Act

"Death of the hobby? A must read!" was the subject heading of a posting on the two major reptile forums in South African in response to the Biodiversity Act (No 10, 2004), which lists certain reptiles and amphibians as prohibited or potentially invasive. These amongst a huge volume of other animals, birds and plant species, which include indigenous species such as Impala which are considered invasive in certain areas of South Africa. It is going to take some time and lots of consultation to sort this situation out. This does not mean that we can sit back and do nothing.  Section 106 of the Act reads as follows :

Short title and commencement
This Act is called the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act,
2004, and takes effect on a date determined by the President by proclamation in the


The National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) ("the Act"), with the exception of sections 49, 57, 65, 66, 71, 105, Chapter 6 and Chapter 7, came into operation on 1 September 2004.

Sections 49, 57, 65, 66, 71 and Chapter 7 will come into operation on 1 April 2005.

Section 105 and Chapter 6 will come into operation on 1 January 2006 (see Proclamation No. R.47 of 2004 in Government Gazette No. 26887 dated 8 October 2004).


There is a Biodiversity Act Regulations Web Site

This website is designed to disseminate information about the development of regulations for and lists of Alien and Invasive Species in South Africa, as stipulated in the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA).READ MORE..

Which contains lots of information and in worth a visit.

Conclusions of first Biodiversity Workshop held in May 2005

Extracted from :-

The Best Practices Workshop Kirstenbosch & Rondebosch 24-25 May 2005

Overall Perceptions of the Workshop

Ian Macdonald

Environmental Consultant   Click Here to view the report

The following were the eight conclusions which I presented in the synopsis that I delivered verbally at the end of the two-day symposium and workshop. Having now had time to reflect on the meeting and to read through the papers (or more accurately their PowerPoint presentations in most cases) at my leisure, they still seem to be appropriate. I have however, altered their order and their wording in places so that, hopefully, they make a bit more sense.

Conclusion 1. These new NEMBA IAS regulations are only one part of a large suite of measures required if South Africa is to meet the challenge of alien invasions. Synopsis of the NEMBA IAS Regulations "Best Practices Workshop" page 23 of 24

Conclusion 2. Wherever possible we must learn from others as to what works best.

    Conclusion 3. These approaches to giving effect to the regulations are a key element in the final suite of measures – as such they are worth getting right.

    Conclusion 4. The draft approaches that have been developed by the Task Team for the implementation of these new regulations are already looking good.

    Conclusion 5. These regulations are not likely to be perfect first time around, so go with what emerges in the time allowed, on the clear understanding that they will almost certainly need to be improved as and when implementation shows this to be necessary.

    Conclusion 6. As far as possible follow the "KISS principle" in developing these approaches further (KISS = Keep it Simple Stupid!! Which is NOT EASY as alien invasions themselves, the problems they give rise to, and the solutions to these problems, are all inherently complex)

    Conclusion 7. The new regulations must cut through all the unnecessary (and costly) Duplication, Inefficiency, and Bureaucracy which currently dominate SA’s environmental management set up.

    Conclusion 8. It has taken us over 300 years of mismanaging the alien invasion phenomenon to get us into the bad situation we currently find ourselves in, so don’t expect that it will take us only a few years of enlightened best practice to get us out of it. Instead all those involved must be prepared for the long haul…Good Luck!

End Of extract

In the text referred to above, "reptiles"  was not mentioned. "Pet" come up in the notes twice, once with regard to fish and with regard to "In the vertebrate invasions session we learned that the pet-keeping hobby is now one of the major pathways for the introduction of alien animals into South Africa."

Our Response

In response to the volume and future developments in this are we have created a separate Aspect in this site titled "7. Legal stuff - South Africa" which deals with the subject matter.

Further Reading

Forum postings

SA Reptiles Forum

Forum section

Forum topic Death of the hobby? A must read!

Forum topic Death of the hobby? A must read! 


The Biodiversity Act: Interpretation

Biodiversity act 'needs funds'

National Environmental Management Amendment Act [No. 8 of 2004]

SanWild Wildlife Trust expressed their shock and outrage.

SA Pet Traders Association

Ministries aim to trash green laws

Reload home page (Site Drilldown)


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Last update : 01/04/2007