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Centre for Environmental Rights - Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Our Programmes:



This project aims to improve the transparency, compliance, monitoring, enforcement and effectiveness of South Africa’s biodiversity, conservation and welfare laws relating to wild animals to help protect ecosystems and species for the benefit of current and future generations.

We do this through:

  • legal representation and litigation, including amici curiae interventions and assistance with the institution of the criminal prosecution of offenders who violate our laws;
  • reviewing the legal and practical regulation of the welfare of wild animals in SA, with a view to making recommendations for reform;
  • tracking the application of biodiversity, conservation and welfare laws relating to wild animals, in particular the transparency and proper implementation of the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) permit system; and
  • generally working to improve compliance with biodiversity laws.

In this project we work closely with other civil society organisations with similar objectives, in particular the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Wilderness Foundation.

Looking ahead, the Centre is also increasingly responding to the impacts of a now inevitably and irreversibly warmer planet due to climate change, and what this means for South Africa’s biodiversity and iconic wild animals. This includes protecting ecosystems and habitats that our wild animals need to survive.

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Report a Violation

National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline (24 hours): 0800 205 005

In addition, there are a number of national and provincial hotlines that may be useful.

Contact us

  • Address:Cape Town: Second Floor, Springtime Studios, 1 Scott Road, Observatory, 7925, Cape Town - View map
  • Address:Johannesburg: Ninth Floor, Southpoint Corner, 87 De Korte Street, Braamfontein, 2001, Johannesburg - View map