Reporting on the State of the Environment: South African Experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The past few decades have seen an increasing demand for environmental information on which to make more informed decisions, strengthened by several international calls for improving available environmental information. In a democratic South Africa, the involvement of people in policy and decision-making processes has led to an even greater need for accessible information. In response to this demand for information, State of the Environment (SOE) reporting has gained momentum and become highly popular in South Africa. This popularity has grown despite the absence of any legal mandate for reporting in South Africa, as well as the lack of formalised institutional arrangements for reporting. The current situation has resulted in a number of challenges for SOE reporting which need to be addressed. These challenges, and appropriate solutions, are discussed. The paper aims to stimulate discussion in the field of SOE reporting, both within South Africa and internationally.

Read More:


  • Vasna Ramasar
  • Elizabeth Muller
  • Rudi Pretorius
  • Marian Patrick
  • Chantal Will
  • Michelle Binedell
External organisations
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
  • Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • State of the environment, Environmental reporting, South Africa, Sustainability , Sustainability Performance Indicator
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619
Number of pages636
JournalJournal of Environmental Assessment, Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes