Protecting the nature we all rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods

How we work

At Conservation South Africa we know the challenges of our day are great, but they are not insurmountable.

We, therefore, aim to transform our greatest challenges into the greatest opportunity of our time, by setting an ambitious agenda and by developing the tools necessary to protect nature for future generations.

Our scientists, field staff and policy experts are addressing these challenges in a number of ways, namely: measuring the contribution of healthy ecosystems to human well-being; assessing the implications of development decisions; putting cutting-edge, rigorously tested information in the hands of decision-makers and the public; and demonstrating through field models how economic opportunity and the stewardship of natural resources can leverage change.

Every strategy, every action is guided by ground-breaking science.

Our Priorities

Agriculture in South Africa.
© CI/Mike Matarasso

Food security and land reform

Conservation South Africa's Food Security and Land Reform Programme looks to address the very real food security challenge facing our world today. We believe that healthy ecosystems lead to healthy food which in turn leads to healthy people.


© CI/Haroldo Castro

Building resilience to climate change

We are working on the ground to promote conservation stewardship in three mega corridors, by encouraging land users to protect ecosystems required for resilience to climate change.


© Rod Mast

Greening economic development

As South Africa’s economy grows, it is making increasing demands on the country’s natural resources. Mining, agriculture and coastal developments negatively impact species and ecosystems, as do many of the people at grassroots level who rely directly on natural resources for their livelihoods. 


Where We Work

Different Erica species
© CI/Haroldo Castro

Cape Floral Kingdom

This World Heritage Site is by far the smallest and the richest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, but it is also the most threatened.


Bee pollinates a flower in the Succulent Karoo.
© Tessa Mildenhall

Succulent Karoo

Stretching from Namibia down the west coast of South Africa, the Succulent Karoo is a vast, semi-arid desert, with sweeping vistas, mountain ranges, ancient rock formations, wild coastlines and clouds of stars arching overhead at night.


© Matthew Drew

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot

The hotspot is also home to most of South Africa’s natural forests, and with nearly 600 tree species it has the highest tree diversity of any temperate forest in the world.