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Scientific Assessment on Livestock Predation in South Africa

MARCH 2018

The draft of the PredSA publication has been completed. The documents have been sent for technical design and layout with a graphic designer, and will be typeset and finalised into a print ready copy of the document that will undergo a final edit before being signed off for printing and publishing.

A Closing Conference to launch the PredSA publication is planned for the 2nd quarter of 2018.


15 JANUARY 2018 – 2nd PROCESS CUSTODIAN GROUP MEETING

The Process Custodians Group (PCG) is a governance structure that is in place to ensure that the Scientific Assessment process is fair and rigorous.  The 2nd meeting of the of the PCG was convened on the 15th of January 2018. The Project Management team (PMT) were at the meeting by invitation and for consultation.

During the course of the meeting, Dave Balfour presented a report on the PredSA Process to date, which covered the past 18-months of the assessment.  He highlighted the crucial role the PCG had played in the process to date, which included passing motions of “no objection” to the ZOD outline, the composition of the author teams and the selection of expert reviewers. Is report further explained that all the reviewer and stakeholder comments had been taken into account and that a final draft of the PredSA was now available.  

Following the meeting, the PCG were given a period of one week to review the author responses to the stakeholder comments.  This resulted in an indication of “no-objection” from the PCG. Effectively this mandated the PMT to move ahead with the final publication phase of PredSA.


28 NOVEMBER 2017 – 2nd LEAD-AUTHORS WORKSHOP

A one day Lead Authors Workshop was held on the 28th November at the Beach Hotel in Port Elizabeth. The aim of the workshop was to:

  1. Collectively work through all the review comments and the responses to ensure that there was a level of agreement and satisfaction among the team that each had been appropriately dealt with, before finalising the PredSA Chapters.
  2. Extract policy relevant content from each chapter for collation and word crafting into a summary for policy makers. The decision was taken to rename the “Guidelines for Policymakers” chapter to “Summary for Policymakers” as the chapter was a summary of policy relevant information and would not be prescriptive, as might be inferred by the word guidelines.

10 - 14 SEPTEMBER 2017 - SOUTH AFRICAN WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE

Project Management gave a presentation at the South African Wildlife Management Association’s conference, held at the Goudini Spa, Western Cape from 10 - 14 September 2017.  The theme of the conference was “Wildlife Management in the Face of Global Change”. 

SAWMA 2017 provided a valuable opportunity for stakeholder engagement as a large sector of the wildlife management community was represented at the conference. A number of conference delegates have subsequently registered as stakeholders on the assessment.


5 SEPTEMBER 2017 - National Wool Growers Association Communal Executive Members and Production Advisors MEETING

As part of the stakeholder engagement process, Graham Kerley attended a meeting with the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA) Communal Executive Members and Production Advisors on the 5th of September at Aloe Grove near Queenstown.   This provided the opportunity of engaging with the Eastern Cape Communal Farmers regarding the opportunity for stakeholder involvement.  The meeting was attended by 11 communal executive and 16 production advisors, who have all since been added to the PredSA stakeholder database.


1 June 2017 – PredSA PRESENTATION AT NWGA ANNUAL CONGRESS Prof Graham Kerley was an invited speaker at the 88th Annual Congress of the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA) held in Port Elizabeth, where he presented an overview of PredSA's progress since its launch the previous year.

4 – 5 MAY 2017 - PredSA AUTHOR'S WORKSHOP

The PredSA Authors workshop was held from the 4 - 5 May 2017 at the Pine Lodge Resort & Conference Centre, in Port Elizabeth.   All chapter Lead Authors (LAs) and Authors were invited; and the workshop was attended by the Project Management Team, eight of the Chapter LAs, and 13 of the chapter Authors.  The main aim of this workshop was to facilitate the finalisation of the First  Order Draft (FOD) - a complete set of chapter manuscripts ready for submission to reviewers by the end of May.  

10 - 11 NOVEMBER 2016 – 1ST PREDSA LEAD AUTHORS WORKSHOP     The 1st Lead Authors Workshop was held at the Pine Lodge Resort & Conference Centre, in Port Elizabeth, from the 10 - 11 November 2016, and was attended by the Project Management Team and the nine Lead Authors selected for each of the PredSA core themes (chapters) detailed below. Table 1: PredSA Core Chapters and the respective Lead Authors.   Chapter Description Lead Author 1 Introduction and background to the current Scientific Assessment. Dave Balfour & Graham Kerley 2 History of predator-stock conflict in South Africa. Jane Carruthers 3 Impacts of predators on the stock industry in South Africa. Jane Turpie * 4 Review of past and current management of predators. Jurie du Plessis 5 Biology/ecology of jackal and caracal and their interactions with livestock. Liaan Minnie 6 Biology/ecology of other predators and their interactions with livestock. Mike Somers 7 Ethical considerations in the management of livestock predator impacts. Kevin Behrens 8 Legal considerations in the management of livestock predator impacts. Marius Diemont 9 Review of international management practices for of predation of livestock: Lessons for South Africa. Phil Richardson 10 Role of meso-predators in functioning ecosystems and the potential effects of managing their populations on these ecosystems and on regional and local biodiversity. Craig Tambling 11 Synopsis of future research needs. All authors 12 Summary for Policymakers. All authors *Represented by Walter van Niekerk at workshop as she was unable to attend.   The main purpose of this workshop was to bring the Lead Authors together in a team building environment with the overall objective being to develop the broad scope, content and structure for each theme/chapter and to summarize these outcomes as a Zero Order Draft (ZOD) outline. The ZOD has been compiled and is effectively an expanded table of contents for each of the chapters.  Its purpose is to outline to the full Author team, the PCG and other stakeholders involved in the process, the scope of the assessment and general layout of assessment document. This version of the ZOD will be submitted to the PCG for a motion of no-objection, and once finalised, will form the working document for the Author teams. 
11 AUGUST 2016 – PREDSA PRESENTATION AT THE ANNUAL BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE INDABA HOSTED BY DEA   Dave Balfour, the PredSA Manager, gave a presentation at the inaugural annual biodiversity research and evidence indaba being hosted by DEA in Pretoria on the 10 & 11 August 2016. He presented an overview of the PredSA project in the session dealing with strengthening the science evidence policy interface through assessments.
24 AUGUST 2016 – PREDSA PRESENTATION AT PREDATION MANAGEMENT FORUM (PMF) MEETING   Dave Balfour, the PredSA Manager, gave a presentation at a meeting of the Predation Management Forum held at the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State.  His presentation gave an overview of the PredSA process as an evidence based approach to policy development.
28 JULY 2016 – 1st PROCESS CUSTODIANS GROUP MEETING The Process Custodians Group (PCG) is a governance structure that is in place to ensure that the Scientific Assessment process is fair and rigorous.  The PCG consists of six individuals, drawn from government, NGOs, industry and the research community as detailed in the PredSA Process page.   The group convened for the first time on 28 July 2016 at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s Centre for African Conservation Ecology.  The purpose of this first meeting was to discuss and confirm the PCG’s role as the PredSA process oversight group, and provide an overview of the PredSA approach and methodology. The minutes of the PCG meeting can be downloaded here.
2 June 2016 – PredSA PROJECT LAUNCH   PredSA was formally launched on 2 June 2016 by the Deputy Director General on behalf of the Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs at the 87th Annual Congress of the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA) in Port Elizabeth.  During his speech the DDG indicated that the scientific assessment on predation management had been identified as a priority for both government and industry, and that the Department had committed funds together with collaborating partners for this assessment. According to the DDG, this scientific assessment would serve to provide sound, scientifically-based direction to industry, and the policymakers, with the overall aim of mitigating the problems caused by predation on stock, especially by jackal and caracal.   He further stated, that “Expectations are therefore high on the impact of the outcomes of this assessment to inform industry standards, possible legislation and policy going forward.  This scientific assessment on predation management will therefore amongst other similar assessments, set the benchmark for scientifically and legally sound decision making and subsequent policy development”.
JUNE 2016 – PredSA PROCESS DOCUMENT NOW AVAILABLE The PredSA Process Document contains a detailed description of the process that will be followed for the SA.