This is the first National Coastal and Marine Spatial Biodiversity Plan for the coast and ocean around the South African mainland, comprising the national Coastal and Marine CBA Map v1.0 and accompanying sea-use guidelines. It was developed primarily using the software, Marxan, to run a systematic biodiversity plan to identify the biodiversity priority areas. It is therefore based on the principles of representation, persistence and target setting, and characteristics of: complementarily and spatial efficiency; conflict avoidance; connectivity; data-driven; and explicit and repeatable, as required by the Technical Guidelines for CBA Maps. The overall goal is to safeguard a sufficient, representative sample of coastal and marine biodiversity that can persist into the future, in support of sustainable economic development. This work will continue through other initiatives, and iterative improvements of the National Coastal and Marine Spatial Biodiversity Plan are needed over the next few years.

The National Coastal and Marine Spatial Biodiversity Plan Version 1 (Beta 1) is currently available for testing, with the Technical Report available for download from the sidebar.

For details on the planned iterations and process to compiling the final Version 1 (to be released end February / early March 2021) and opportunities to contribute data, please view this page and watch presentation 10 (the last one) on this page


National Coastal and Marine CBA Map v1.0 (Beta 1)

In the national Coastal and Marine CBA Map v1.0 (Beta 1), the focus was on identifying CBAs and ESAs using primarily the updated maps of ecosystem types as a surrogate of all coastal and marine biodiversity, together with a few other features. In the next iterations of the CBA Map, the intention is to include a stronger focus on including additional biodiversity data (e.g., certain species’ distributions) that are not adequately represented by ecosystem types, and a more comprehensive suite of ecological processes (e.g., areas of high productivity, corridors for migratory species, etc), ecological infrastructure, and other fine-scale priorities that have been identified in other plans. We also plan to strengthen conflict avoidance by including unmapped areas of high value to other sectors in the cost layer of the Marxan analysis.

National Coastal and Marine CBA Map v1.0 (Beta 1)

Sea-use Guidelines

The sea-use guidelines were developed through a series of workshops, first discussed at the Biodiversity Planning Forum 2018. They build on the proposed management recommendations accompanying the proposed EBSA zoning that have been discussed at two national workshops and are still under discussion. The evaluation of activity compatibility was based on the ecosystem-pressure matrix from the NBA 2018 marine assessment.


List of all sea-use activities, grouped by their Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) zones, and scored according to their compatibility with the management objective of the Biodiversity Conservation Zone (i.e., Critical Biodiversity Area, CBA) and Environmental Impact Management Zone (i.e., Ecological Support Area, ESA). Activity compatibility is given as Y = yes, compatible, C = conditional or N = not compatible. (to be updated with the latest version)