Flyers & Brochures

Flow Tracker

– Hugo Retief and Sharon Pollard

A near real-time flow and dam monitoring app for the Olifants River Catchment

Flow Tracker for the Olifants River is the first of its kind. It enables near real-time flow and dam monitoring, and includes a weather forecast facility. In the Olifants River, water quality and flow are severely compromised and likely to worsen under climate change. Although South Africa has robust water-related policies with the National Water Act (1998) being applauded internationally…

Core concepts for climate change thinking in the Olifants River catchment

– Ancois de Villiers and Sharon Pollard

A basic brochure describing the difference between climate and weather, and outlining climate change and its impacts…


Also available in Sepedi.

Climate Change

– Sharon Pollard and Ancois de Villiers

Understanding scenarios, RCPs and ppm

A more technical brochure that explores greenhouse gas scenarios and helps to understand Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) and parts of carbon dioxide per million parts of air – or parts per million (ppm). Find out what the 400 ppm figure is and why 2°C is so important…

Principles of Soil & Water Conservation in Agroecology

– Sharon Pollard and Derick du Toit

This resource is designed to support farmers and practitioners to explore – and remember – the principles and practices of soil and water conservation (SWC). SWC practices are an important part of an agroecology approach to farming. But first we need to understand what is meant by agroecology and to see how SWC ‘fits in’…

Harnessing monitoring & evaluation for learning

Resilience-building programs in social-ecological systems need monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems that respond to the complexity of the context and enable ongoing learning…

Critical Biodiversity Area (CBA) series

An overview brochure and 6 supporting brochures make up this series…

CBA series #1 Caring for Our Biodiversity – made easy

An overview of Critical Biodiversity Area (CBA) maps and their use for the Ba-Phalaborwa and Maruleng local municipalities. This brochure also describes the Biodiversity Sector Plan (BSP) handbooks and Land Use Guidelines and provides a step by step guide to using the CBA maps and BSP data.

CBA series #2 Brief Land Management Guidelines

Guidelines for land development applications (e.g. EIAs, water use licenses, mining or agricultural applications etc.)

CBA series #3 A Step by Step Guide to Integrating Biodiversity into Land Use Planning

Guidance for evaluating environmental impact assessments (EIAs), basic assessments, agricultural land use permits, water use licensing decisions and development control decisions through land use legislation (e.g. rezoning and subdivision approvals).

CBA series #4 Developing Environmental Policies

Guidance for municipalities to protect CBAs. This process could include developing policies and by-laws in terms of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act; financial measures in terms of the Municipal Property Rates Act; and, fiscal incentives in terms of the Income Tax Act.

CBA series #5 Biodiversity integration into Municipal Spatial Planning

Guidance for municipal spatial planners in biodiversity conservation – some 70% of biodiversity is estimated to occur outside protected areas (nature reserves and parks) which means that municipalities have a crucial role to play in the conservation of our natural heritage.

CBA series #6 Glossary of Biodiversity & Spatial Planning Terms

A glossary of over 80 terms including conservancies, cadastral units, ecological reserve, ecosystem services, hotspots, thresholds, red data species and many more…

CBA Series #7 Biodiversity & Climate change

What can municipalities do to increase our resilience to climate change? These guidelines assist in integrating climate change adaption into land use planning & decision-making.



Planning and Caring for Biodiversity in Land Use – A Beginners Guide

– Deborah Vromans, Stephen Holness, Derick du Toit and William Mponwana

A basic beginner’s guide to support land use planning and decision-making in Critical Biodiversity Areas and Ecological Support Areas for sustainable development. The guide highlights the importance of biodiversity and conservation-based planning in the determination of land use activities, using the example of Maruleng Local Municipality, Lowveld (Limpopo Province)…


Understanding Practice – Activity System Analysis

– Derick du Toit & Charles Chikunda

Activity theory is not a specific theory of a particular domain, with specific techniques and procedures. It is a cross disciplinary approach offering conceptual tools and methodological principles which can be used to understand and support collective human activity and learning.


Olifants River Catchment Civil Society Organisations Position Statement

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operative in the Olifants Catchment collectively developed a vision and from this, a collection of Position Statements on matters that affect them and those they represent in January 2018.

Training Manuals

Fieldbook for the Moletele Youth Programme

– William Mponwana and Derick du Toit

This fieldbook is made up of six modules. In each module there are a number of tasks that you have to complete. At the end of each module there is a task to complete on your own at home. At the beginning of each session you will be given an opportunity to give feedback on your homework task…


The Olifants River Catchment – A User’s Guide

About 42% of the land area in the Olifants River Catchment is endangered or vulnerable. The total population for the Olifants River Catchment is estimated to be about 4.2 million people, about 70% of whom live in rural areas. What happens upstream affects things downstream… this booklet explores how things are linked in the Olifants system…

Reducing the vulnerability of people and ecosystems in the Olifants River catchment

An overview of the Olifants River Catchment for those who live here, encouraging the view of ‘Our Olifants’ rather than ‘The Olifants’. This booklet includes an outline of threats, critical areas for action and various AWARD initiatives, and encourages getting involved…

CBA Mapbook for Maruleng

A Mapbook for the municipal area of Maruleng allowing for non-GIS users to interrogate the CBA Map categories and biodiversity features on a particular ca unit (property). Adjacent to each CBA Map /portion is the National South African vegetation map. The mapbook can be used by all sectors and professionals involved in land use planning and decision-making, including non-governmental organizations and the public…

CBA Mapbook for ba-Phalaborwa

A Mapbook for the municipal area of ba-Phalaborwa allowing for non-GIS users to interrogate the CBA Map categories and biodiversity features on a particular cadastral unit (property). Adjacent to each CBA Map portion is the National South African vegetation map. The mapbook can be used by all sectors and professionals involved in land use planning and decision-making, including non-governmental organizations and the public…

BSP Handbook for Maruleng

This handbook presents the map of Critical Biodiversity Areas and Ecological Support Areas developed for the Maruleng Municipality, as part of the Mopani District Bioregional Plan…

BSP Handbook for ba-Phalaborwa

This handbook presents the map of Critical Biodiversity Areas and Ecological Support Areas developed for the ba-Phalaborwa Municipality, as part of the Mopani District Bioregional Plan…



April 2019

This is AWARD’s first newsletter. As it is the first, it is a ‘bumper edition’ that gives an overview of programme highlights and outlines work in AWARD’s main activity areas. Future newsletters will highlight recent AWARD activities in short newsflashes…


May 2019

Mangrove Restoration, Farmer Support, Biodiversity in Spatial Planning, Water Workshop at Southern Cross…


June 2019

Olifants River level dropping, High Altitude Champs, Governance of LNR, Talking Climate Change, draft National CC Adaptation Strategy…


July 2019

Innovative water disinfection, Molotele Youth Project, Biodiversity planning…


August 2019

Mangroves in Mozambique, Farmers on climate-change, Climate change adaptation, expanded restoration partnership and more…


September 2019

Ecological Restoration Conference; Going organic; Learning to co-manage; Beneficiation; Integrated strategic planning with KNP; and more…


October 2019

Legalameetse Culture Festival, university students prepare for climate change… and so do farmers, a new CC resource…



Media Releases

A special focus on water as a human right in South Africa

A South Africa has placed the right to sufficient water as a Constitutional right in its Bill of Rights. But what does that mean? It places a legal obligation on the government to ensure that all people living in South Africa have the right to sufficient water. The Constitution does not say very much about the obligation, it leaves that to be defined and qualified in other legal instruments…




Crossroads: A game of decisions and consequences

A game of scenarios to develop decision-making skills… players need to make choices by considering social, environmental and economic consequences when making decisions about land use and natural resource use. The game frames decisions in a fun and participatory way, encouraging interaction and discussion. It is often in discussions that real learning takes place. Click to download each of the PDFs below: 1. Overview 2. Instructions 3. Cards




Process design for social learning and transformation in RESILIM O

An overview of the ‘Spiral Model’ which is a process design for social learning and transformation that has been successfully used in the RESILIM O programme.

Guideline for CMF Charter development

This presentation provides an overview on how to develop guidelines for developing a charter for a Catchment Management Forum

Designing back from practice: Keeping the Olifants River and benefits flowing through systemic, collective action approaches during the worst drought on record

– Dr Sharon Pollard, Hugo Retief and Dr Eddie Riddel

This abstract describes the use of a systemic, collective approach to keeping the Olifants River flowing during the worst three-year drought on record. Without this, flows in the lower catchment would have failed impacting on livelihoods and ecosystems both locally and downstream into the iconic Kruger National Park and Mozambique.




AWARD: An Introduction


AWARD: An Overview

A 6-minute video outlining the work of the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) in the Olifants River Catchment, a ‘powerhouse’ catchment for South Africa, influenced by mining and farming and affecting local communities as well as the Kruger National Park. The video highlights the frequent ‘disconnect’ between cause and effect and shows how impacts are felt downstream. The importance of working together and collective action is stressed as “one person can’t do this alone”…

AWARD: A focus on water quality

How can we monitor water quality and ensure compliance? A 6-minute video outlining the work of the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) in terms of maintaining and improving water quality in the Olifants River Catchment. The video describes the various tools available for monitoring near-real-time compliance including probes, dashboards and an app for both testing and disseminating information.

AWARD & working with Climate Change

How do we build resilience to climate change? A 5-minute video outlining the work of the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) in terms of working with issues of climate change in the Olifants River Catchment. The video considers what changes in temperature and rainfall will mean for the area. Floods and droughts are likely to increase – how do we build the capacity of the catchment and its people for resilience to climate change?…



Annual Report

2017/2018 Financial Year

This annual report covers the sixth year of the RESILIM-O Programme from October 2017 to September 2018. This marks a period of significant progress in the implementation of some 25 projects related to water and natural resources management and climate change adaptation in the Olifants River Basin. It embraces a period of deepening work with and institutionalisation of our systemic, social learning…


Award RESILiM-O Progress Report Quarter 1

October to December 2018

This report covers the period October 2018 to December 2018, the final quarter of the 2018 calendar year and the first quarter of the USAID financial year. The Annual Report for the 2017/2018 financial year was submitted on 1st November. A major focus this quarter was a reflection on the past year and strategic planning for the year ahead, within project teams and also at the level of the whole program during…


Award RESILiM-O Progress Report Quarter 2

January to March 2019

This report covers the period from January to March 2019. The close-out period begins on 1 April 2019. A couple of unexpected events tested the resilience of the team this quarter-firstly the injury of our Assistant Director Derick du Toit in a robbery, from which he has fortunately recovered. Secondly, a “ransomware” attack affected our financial software, resulting in much time spent recapturing financial information from paper records…


Award RESILiM-O Progress Report Quarter 3

April to June 2019

This report covers the period from April to June 2019. With several projects completed and the rest nearing completion within the next six months, we have started to plan for program close-out. This has included a focus on finalising RESILIM-O communications products and planning for evaluativefinal reportsfor each project as well as asprogram-wide synthesis products. The focus of the May“RESILIM-O day”was on communications materials….


Lower Olifants River Network (LORiN) Workshop Report

Inaugural network workshop for the sustainability of water resources in the lower Olifants River

AWARD, together with other partners has been working with stakeholders to support the sustainable management and use of the Olifants River. The last few years of protracted drought have illustrated how vulnerable the lower Olifants River area is in terms of surface water availability. Indeed, the drought has highlighted the fact that in times of low flows and stress, the situation has become critical and…