for tomorrow

Scientific Assessment on Livestock Predation in South Africa

 

PredSA will be conducted as a science-based assessment to improve our understanding of livestock predation in South Africa, and to assist government in creating a framework and guiding principles that will inform responsible decision-making. This assessment will seek to translate existing scientific information into a form usable by policymakers and be characterised by an extensive, transparent review process by both experts and stakeholders.

The PredSA Process Document contains a detailed description of the process that will be followed for the Scientific Assessment (SA).


Phases of the SA

The SA has been designed in three overlapping phases, and will run over a two year period, as detailed below:

Organogram 1


Governance of PredSA

In light of the three principles of a successful scientific assessment (legitimacy, saliency, credibility), PredSA will be governed by the following governance groups, which will broadly reflect the interest of the South African public.  The structure for PredSA is illustrated below: 


Process Custodians Group (PCG)

A key element of the project governance for this assessment, designed to ensure that an appropriate process is followed, is a PCG of six individuals, drawn from government, NGOs, industry and the research community. The PCG will meet at key junctures during the assessment to ensure that the process has been fair and rigorous.  The PCG will have specific responsibilities, and they will have to evaluate the process and provide feedback to the Project Leader on various topics as outlined in the PredSA Process Document.

The PCG meets at predefined strategic opportunities to exercise their oversight role, and all reports of the PCG will be in the public domain. The composition of the PCG is shown below:

 

Sector

Organisation

Representative

Chairperson

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Engagement

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University

Andrew Leitch

Government

Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)

Magdel Boshoff

Government

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)

Victor Musetha

Industry

National Woolgrowers Association (NWGA)

Leon de Beer

 

SA Mohair Growers Association (SAMGA)

Coligny Stegmann

Research

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Luthando Dziba

NGO

Wilderness Foundation

Andrew Muir


 

The Project Management Team

The Project Leader of the PredSA is Prof Graham Kerley (Graham.Kerley@nmmu.ac.za), Director of the Centre for African Conservation Ecology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The Project Management Team consists of Dr. Dave Balfour (environ1@mwb.co.za), the Project Manager and Sharon Wilson (PredSA@nmmu.ac.za), who is the Project Administrator.  The Project Management Team will be responsible for running the assessment.
 

Overview of Writing and Reviewing Process

Multi-Author Teams

The assessment covers a range of strategic issues (broad topics which collectively cover the field of livestock predation in South Africa), each of which will be undertaken by a team of authors. The authors will need to have acknowledged expertise in the specific topic and can be drawn from a broad range of sectors. These include research institutions, government, NGOs, universities, industry, etc. They should also be drawn from across different regions of South Africa and if appropriate further afield, to ensure that a balance of interests, disciplinary background, experience and perspective is represented in the team.

Each strategic issue will be reviewed by both invited expert reviewers as well as stakeholders who may recruit themselves to this role.

Each Author Team includes one (in some cases two, where the topic has clear subtopics) Lead Author, several Authors and potentially many Contributing Authors. The various categories of authors and reviewers, their roles and the PCG role with respect to their selection are summarised below:

Role

Responsibility

PCG role

Lead Author

(1 or 2 as appropriate). Costs of attending meetings covered

Chairs the team meeting discussions, allocates writing tasks, ensures they are done on time and to specification, allocates reviewer response tasks, ensures they are done. Experienced expert in own right, part of overall chapter drafting team. Responds to reviewer comments.

Approves Lead Author selection based on expertise, experience, credibility, availability.

Authors

(1-4 per Chapter). Costs of attending meetings covered

Collate, evaluate and summarise available information. Co-writer of a chapter participates in team discussions on entire topic and takes collective responsibility for it. Contributes to responses to reviewer comments and revises drafts accordingly.

Approves Author Team based on expertise and balance, can suggest authors.

Contributing Author

(No limit: as needed). No costs covered

Provides short input text on area of narrow or special expertise. May be asked to respond to reviewer comments on the material provided.

Notified of contributing authors.

Expert reviewer

(1 or 2 per chapter)

No costs covered, may be international experts

Reads first and second draft and provides written, specific and evidence-based, referenced comments.

Approves list of expert reviewers, can suggest names, checks that their comments have been taken into account appropriately.

Stakeholder reviewer

(no limit to participants)

No costs covered. Barriers to access should be as low as possible

Reads second draft and provides written, specific comments. The degree to which they will be taken into account in the final draft depends on the evidence supplied and its credibility.

Checks that stakeholder comments have been taken into account appropriately


Review Process

The First Order Draft of each of the chapters (covering a strategic issue) will contain full (but not final) text, tables, and references and draft figures. It will be sent out for review by the Project Management Team. Review will be by two or more expert reviewers per chapter, nominated by the Project Management Team, with the approval of the PCG. Expert reviewers may not be authors. Expert Reviewers will come from National Departments, Provincial Environmental Authorities, independent experts, and academic and research institutions. They can be from South Africa and abroad.

Submissions by the expert reviewers will be collated and sent to the author teams prior to the second author meeting. The authors discuss their responses there, agree on changes to be made to the text and allocate responsibilities for doing so and documenting the response in the comments database.

The revised draft (Second Order Draft) goes back to the same experts. At the same time it goes out for broad stakeholder (which is anticipated to include many individuals in civil society, business and government) review. The comment provision and response mechanism is the same as for the First Order Draft.

The completed comment and response database will be placed in the public domain.

An overview of the writing and review process is illustrated below:


Content of the Assessment

Based on existing literature and public concerns, the strategic themes listed below have been preliminarily identified and are likely to form the chapter headings. The exact articulation of the issues may change under the guidance of the PCG.

Preliminary Chapter List

  1. Introduction and context
  2. History of predator-stock conflict in South Africa
  3. Impacts of predators on the livestock industry
  4. Review of predation management practices
  5. Jackal and caracal ecology and biology
  6. Other predators ecology and biology.
  7. Interactions between livestock and other mammalian and avian predators and scavengers
  8. Ethical considerations
  9. Legal considerations
  10. Review of international management practices for similar contexts
  11. Role of meso-predators in functioning ecosystems and potential impacts of their management
  12. Review of management options and research needs.
  13. Summary for policy makers