What We Do

Policy and Advocacy


The BirdLife Partnership’s policy work focuses not only on domestic legislation and policies, but also regional and global laws, programmes and institutional arrangements that impact on birds and biodiversity.

At the national-level, BirdLife South Africa’s Policy and Advocacy Programme monitors relevant legislative and policy developments and provides input on these, where appropriate. We are also involved in the proactive development of strategically-important best practice guidelines aimed at supporting and strengthening the implementation of environmental laws. The Programme additionally engages and supports the South African government in respect of its international conservation commitments – including by participating in the development of national and international implementation plans for various treaties and providing input to assist government’s international reporting on implementation efforts.

Beyond South Africa, we support the policy work of BirdLife Partners in other African countries and participate in BirdLife International’s efforts to influence various international environmental processes.


Our advocacy work focuses on safeguarding priority habitats and species by reactively addressing direct threats. We submit comments on development applications that could negatively impact key habitats and species; challenge associated decisions, where appropriate; respond to instances in which problematic activities occur without the requisite authorisations; and endeavour to better capacitate other stakeholders to contribute to relevant public participation processes. We also support the advocacy work of BirdLife Partners in other African countries – including by participating in BirdLife’s African Site Casework and Emerging Threats Taskforce (ASCET).

Development and Dissemination of Guidelines

In collaboration with government, the private sector, or other civil society organisations, we look to identify and develop projects that can drive large-scale advances in safeguarding habitats and the species which depend on them. Such projects are funding-dependent and can take many months to move from concept to implementation.

Renewable energy may be clean, but it is not environmentally neutral. The Birds and Renewable Energy Project, sponsored by Investec Corporate and Institutional Banking, helps minimise the risk that renewable energy developments pose to birds.