The national Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy (2010-2030) aims to drive a systemic approach to developing skills for biodiversity, in pursuit of ‘a socially equitable and suitably skilled workforce of biodiversity leaders, professionals and technicians to optimally implement the sector’s expanding and increasingly complex mandate’1.
This vision is being pursued through four strategic goals, viz.
• To increase the number of talented black South Africans attracted to working in the sector
• To improve the quality, levels and relevance of skills for the sector
• To improve the retention and effective deployment of suitable individuals in the sector
• To create enabling macro-conditions for skills planning, development and evaluation.
The Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy (BHCDS) is a response to Strategic Objective 2 of the National Biodiversity Framework (2007), which called for a national strategy to address transformation and scarce skills, and remains a priority in South Africa’s Second National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2025 (DEA, 2015). Its development was initiated by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) with a core funder, The Lewis Foundation, and several implementation leads and partners in the broadly defined biodiversity sector. In 2019 a group of sector organisations proposed a mid-term review for the implementation of the BHCDS and set up a steering committee for the review. The Terms of Reference were compiled by the steering committee in September 2019, following which a call was put out for a team to undertake the review.
The Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) at Rhodes University submitted a proposal in response to the call, which was accepted. The review was undertaken during 2020-2021 using a strategy evaluation methodology approved by the steering committee, and both primary and secondary data. Methods consisted of key stakeholder interviews, a broader employer survey, analysis of skills supply and financial data, a stakeholder analysis, and case studies of implementation programmes. Several existing evaluations were utilised including two GreenMatter evaluation reports. The review aims to inform the further implementation of the strategy in the next 10 years, and to renew and expand connections with biodiversity organisations, by obtaining stakeholder input and participation. Hence the review outcomes will be discussed and the recommendations further developed with stakeholders at a Mini Environmental Skills Summit in March 2021, with a view to shaping both future priorities, and potentially revising implementation structures.
For more information on this project and to read the findings of the review please click on the following links:
- BHCDS Review Report-and-Respond 15 March 2021