The IUCN Office in South Africa is based in Pretoria and implements ESARO programmes in southern Africa as well as hosting several regional programmes.
The Water/Wetlands programme focuses on supporting sustainable water resources management in southern Africa.
Currently this includes a partnership with USAID; the Kalahari Conservation Society (Botswana); the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia; the Endangered Wildlife Trust (South Africa) and Serumula Development Trust (Lesotho) within the framework of SADC/ORASECOM, to mainstream the ecosystems-based approach to river basin management in the Orange-Senqu Basin; and participation in IUCN’s global BRIDGE programme, supported by SDC, that aims at strengthening governance in transboundary basins, with capacity building in the Pungwe, Save, Busi basins; and in the Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa sub-basin of the Zambezi.
Within ESARO’s People and Landscapes programme, the office focuses on supporting southern African countries to combat desertification, including adaptation to climate change.
This currently involves a partnership with the governments of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa on the Kalahari-Namib project, a GEF project aiming at strengthening capacity for sustainable management of drylands.
With support from Germany through BfN, and in cooperation with UNESCO, capacity building is being supported for the use of Biosphere Reserves as a model for landscape approaches to sustainable development.
The Technical Coordinator for ESARO’s Business and Biodiversity programme is based in South Africa. The programme includes development of a sustainable biodiversity management system with Black Mountain Mining in Namaqualand, and regional projects are focused on environmental sustainability of growth corridors and mitigation of impacts of major industrial developments.
Under the Conservation Areas and Species Diversity programme, the office has provided support to the development of the SADC Biodiversity Action Plan and supports SADC towards its implementation. The ESARO component of the global BIOPAMA project, funded by the EU to strengthen management of Protected Areas, is also based in the South Africa office.
In addition to the ESARO programmes, the office also hosts the regional support officer for the UNEP/CITES Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) programme; the Coordinator of IUCN’s African Protected Areas programme (PAPACO) and the regional office of the IUCN/WWF Wildlife Trade Monitoring programme (TRAFFIC)