We have considerable in-house experience in a wide range of tools and methodologies, including ecological sampling methods, social survey methods, statistics and econometrics, ecological-economic modelling and geographic information systems.
Ecological research, monitoring & assessment
We describe the status and functioning of ecosystems based on historical data, field studies and remote sensing data analysis, using state of the art methods, models and technologies. We undertake specialist marine, estuarine wetland and terrestrial field studies on invertebrates (including SASS5), fish and birds (taxonomic, behavioural and ecological). We model hydrological, hydrodynamic and ecological processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in order to analyse the potential consequences of future management options.
We offer specialist expertise for classifying and determining the freshwater requirements of rivers and estuaries, including socioeconomic components. We also offer the design and use of analytical tools for integrated river basin management, including DRIFT, systems modelling and classification.
We prepare management plans for estuaries, coastal systems, protected areas and range lands, starting from a situation assessment and consultation with stakeholders to devising ecologically, socially and economically sound strategies for achieving the desired objectives. We devise workable action plans. We also produce environmental management and monitoring plans and programmes (EMPr) to assist industry in mitigating the potential impacts of development and in meeting their environmental policy objectives.
Our services range from specialist input on biodiversity, ecological, and socio-economic impacts to the running of entire EIA or ESIA projects. We also assess applications for prospecting, ranching and other operational rights, environmental licenses and environmental authorisations; baseline studies; environmental monitoring of important conservation and disturbed habitats; and monitoring environmental compliance of various operations.
We offer monitoring and measurement of various in-situ physical and chemical oceanographic parameters in coastal, estuarine and the deep-sea environments. Our met-ocean services include the measurement of conductivity/salinity, currents and waves, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity.
We undertake risk assessment studies of potential introductions of alien species in freshwater and marine environments, and we undertake surveys of marine alien species in ports and bays, ballast water surveys, assess hull fouling problems. We also assess the socio-economic implications of invasive and problem species in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats and advise on policy and approaches to deal with them.
Our projects include development and execution of freshwater, estuarine and marine water quality guidelines and monitoring systems, dispersion modelling and management of effluent disposal into the inshore marine environment. We offer Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) tests, both chronic and acute, using standard methods and guidelines such as those stipulated by the US-EPA, OECD, ISO, NIWA and ASTM.
Fisheries & aquaculture
We assist clients in assessing the status of natural resources, sustainability of existing use, and the design of optimal harvesting strategies which take the socio-economic context into account. We have also managed long term fisheries monitoring programmes
We provide advice and assistance to new entrants and existing operators in biodiversity business such as mariculture, helping them to maximise their economic returns.
We are qualified to undertake MSC certification, and experienced in undertaking fishery assessments for other ecolabelling ventures, and for Fisheries Performance Indicators.
Conservation & sustainable development
We offer analysis of ecological and economic impacts of climate change and adaptive measures in terms of resource management and protection, in both terrestrial and marine landscapes (including vulnerability, fisheries risk and bush encroachment). This includes research on ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA), which is linked to much of the work we do. Irrespective of whether climate change is the key focus, many of our projects take the implications of future climate change into account as an important and integral part of our thinking.
We are internationally-recognised leaders in the application of multidisciplinary methods for the quantification and valuation of ecosystem services for natural capital accounting, as well as for economic analysis and environmental impact assessment. We model and value the consumptive use of resources, recreation and tourism, ecosystem functioning, and the intangible values of biodiversity, using state of the art spatial techniques and econometric methods. Our valuation studies are uniquely grounded in a thorough understanding of the underlying biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
We undertake studies to understand environmental problems and to devise strategies to address them. These include studies of community conservation initiatives and the design of incentive mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem services and certification programmes and studies relating to the financing and roll out of ecosystem restoration, including water and conservation funds. This work includes carrying out surveys, behavioural experiments, choice experiments and financial modelling in conjunction with biophysical modelling.
We have strong interests in informing policy on strategies to improve the productivity and quality of life in our rapidly growing cities. Our work includes detailed assessments of the functions and value of natural capital in cities, and on best management practices for dealing with urban runoff.
Our work includes the careful interrogation of environmental policy through ecological economic analysis. Some examples include policies on plastic waste, and understanding and dealing with different forms of land degradation.
We advise on measures to improve all aspects of water security, particularly for rapidly-growing cities in complex developing country contexts.