Environmental Services
Vision & Mission
Policies & Legislation


The South African Department of Defence (SA DOD) has been involved in environmental issues since 1977, albeit on an informal basis. In the African context, soldiers are intimately dependent on the environment in which they operate. Therefore, effective and sustainable field craft ensures survival while ignoring basic rules in this regard can prove to be fatal.

The first introduction of the SA Defence Force, now SA National Defence Force (SANDF) to take cognisance of the natural environment on its properties was issued in 1977 by the then Chief of the SADF. This resulted in the issuing of the first policy document on ‘Nature Conservation in the SADF in 1978 through the promulgation of the first SADF Order regarding conservation which was followed by a more comprehensive policy and procedure document in 1981. During 1992, a long-term strategy for Environmental Services in the SANDF was formulated and accepted by the military top management as well as the Deputy Minister of Defence. Over the ensuing years the ‘Nature Conservation function’, as it was called in those days, steadily developed to include a wide range of sub functions such as Ecological Management of training areas, Base Environmental Management, Cultural Resource Management, Environmental Research as well as Education, Awareness and Training.

Environmental Services was subsequently accepted as an official function of the SA DOD in direct support of the military mission. In 1994, Environmental Services was one of the aspects covered in the SA DOD Logistics Strategy, which was negotiated between and accepted by all parties involved during the Joint Military Co-ordinating Council proceedings.