Our main areas of interest are biodiversity and ecology, hydrological and oceanographic monitoring, ecosystem services, socio-economic studies, environmental and resource economics, conservation policy, strategy and planning, environmental flows, environmental monitoring and natural resource management problems in general.
Environmental & social impact assessments (EIA, ESIA)
Our services range from the running of entire EIA projects from inception to final completion, to specialist input on biodiversity, ecological, socio-economic, and wind farm impacts in collaboration with other consultancies. Our in-house areas of expertise include economics, fish, birds and invertebrates, as well as co-ordination of biodiversity studies.
Water quality, waste management & toxicology studies
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, and toxicity testing. 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.
Environmental flow assessments & classification
We offer specialist expertise for classifying and determining the freshwater requirements of rivers and estuaries, including socio-economic components. We also offer the design and use of analytical tools for integrated river basin management, including DRIFT, systems modelling and classification.
Ecosystem management and management plans
We undertake studies pertaining to the sustainable use and management of estuaries, coastal systems, protected areas and range lands. We devise workable action plans, starting from a situation assessment and consultation with stakeholders to devising ecologically, socially and economically sound strategies for achieving desired objectives. We also produce environmental management plans to assist industry in mitigating the potential impacts of development and in meeting their environmental policy objectives.
Marine ecological research & monitoring
We undertake research on various aspects of marine and reef ecology, specialising on water quality, invertebrates, fish and birds. We are experienced in the collection of baseline data and the design of environmental monitoring programmes to detect and understand the relevance of key ecological changes.
Freshwater ecological research & monitoring
We undertake ecological studies of rivers and wetlands as baseline studies, for the evaluation of long term impacts, for environmental impact assessments, for managing biodiversity and for determining ecological water requirements, and in the quantification of ecosystem services. These include studies on freshwater health using SASS5, and studies of freshwater fish in a number of rivers in the South Africa, Mozambique and the Lesotho highlands. Our studies also include comprehensive studies of wetland biodiversity in Malawi and on the degradation, current health and rehabilitation requir
Estuarine ecological research & monitoring
We have extensive experience in estuarine ecology, conservation and management, having worked on and visited most South African estuaries and numerous other estuaries in southern and eastern Africa. Our work includes specialist studies on invertebrates, fish and birds (taxonomic, behavioural and ecological), modelling biophysical processes and characteristics of estuaries, devising the methods for and assessing overall estuary health, undertaking environmental flow assessments and modelling flow requirements, and preparing estuary situation assessments and management plans.
Terrestrial ecological research & monitoring
We undertake studies of terrestrial systems for environmental impact assessments, such as the monitoring of birds for housing and renewable energy projects. We have also co-ordinated comprehensive assessments of the impacts of past development involving satellite image analysis, botanical field studies, herpetofauna, mammals, birds in Lesotho.
Invasive & problem species identification and assessment
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.
Sustainable development & environmental policy
We develop strategies to meet conservation and development objectives, such as systems for payments for ecosystem service and design of environmental policy instruments. We undertake multidisciplinary assessments of the relative importance of coastal areas, estuaries and freshwater systems for conservation planning and management decision making, taking into account economic and social opportunities and constraints as well as ecological targets.
Climate change vulnerability, adaptation & mitigation
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.
Ecosystem services assessments
We offer the application of resource economics for the valuation of ecosystem services (including quantification and mapping) using a range of social survey methods, often in collaboration with sociologists. We value the consumptive use of resources, recreation and tourism, ecosystem functioning and the intangible values of biodiversity. Uniquely, our valuation studies grounded in a thorough understanding of the underlying biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.
We undertake studies on financing of conservation activities and investing in natural capital, including the identification of barriers and opportunities, use of stated preference methods to ascertain public willingness to pay, and the design of financing mechanisms such as park pricing strategies and systems of payments for ecosystem services.
Conservation planning & SEA
We are experienced in the field of conservation planning, and have undertaken studies of coastal, estuarine and terrestrial areas. We bring a rare multidisciplinary perspective to what we term integrated conservation planning that takes account of economic and social opportunities and constraints as well as ecological targets. We also undertake strategic environmental assessments (SEA), in order to make input into integrated conservation and development plans.
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 provide advice and assistance to new entrants and existing operators in biodiversity business such as mariculture, helping them to maximise their economic returns.
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.
Where We Work
We have experience in over 15 different countries throughout Africa and the Middle East. Explore our projects: