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Ecosystem Status

The first national list of threatened terrestrial ecosystems for South Africa was gazetted on 9 December 2011 (National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act: National list of ecosystems that are threatened and in need of protection, (G 34809, GoN 1002), 9 December 2011).

Listing threatened or protected ecosystems

The Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) provides for listing of threatened or protected ecosystems, in one of four categories: critically endangered (CR), endangered (EN), vulnerable (VU) or protected.

The purpose of listing threatened ecosystems is primarily to reduce the rate of ecosystem and species extinction. This includes preventing further degradation and loss of structure, function and composition of threatened ecosystems. The purpose of listing protected ecosystems is primarily to preserve witness sites of exceptionally high conservation value.

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