Our Projects

Our primary data systems are developed for projects funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform (DARDLR) and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) but there are several additional collaborations and small funding streams – both locally and internationally – served by the team. Coupled with these funded projects are ongoing programmes to describe and publish earth and environmental data sets provided by SAEON and its stakeholders. 

South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA)

SARVA is an initiative of the Department of Science and Innovation and forms a 10-year Global Change Grand Challenge. It is currently in its third phase of implementation with this phase focusing on data access and value-added products for decision-making. Examples of open access data sets include land-use change, urbanisation, climate change, biodiversity loss, social and physical infrastructure, education, child health and poverty indicators.

BioEnergy Atlas

The BioEnergy Atlas is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation and coordinated by SAEON. It covers assessment of biomass potential in South Africa and the feasibility of its application. Aimed at policy makers, national, regional and local governments, and at researchers and the consulting industry, the flexible, collaborative platform and open access licenses will stimulate use of the resource and continued expansion of the knowledge in this domain.

National Climate Change Information System (NCCIS)

In partnership with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), SAEON is developing a series of decision-support tools for climate change adaptation, monitoring and reporting. The NCCIS is part of the national effort to track South Africa's overall transition to a low carbon and climate resilient economy by offering a series of decision support tools to inform policy and decision-making.

Marine Information Management System (MIMS)

The Marine Information Management System (MIMS) is an open repository that archives and publishes collections and subsets of marine related datasets for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries: Oceans and Coastal Research (DEFF:OCR), South Africa. MIMS is tasked with the long-term preservation of South Africa’s ocean and coastal data. MIMS is a component of the National Oceans and Coasts Information Management System (OCIMS) and manages the Southern African Data Centre for Oceanography (SADCO).

South African Spatial Data Infrastructure (SASDI)

SAEON has implemented data deposit, description, publication, discovery, and application components and services on its own platforms for the use of researchers, government agencies and departments, and state-owned enterprises.

South African Carbon Sinks Atlas

The Carbon Sinks Atlas is a data and information tool aimed at providing spatial distribution of carbon stocks and fluxes across South Africa. Data from the 2019 National Terrestrial Carbon Sinks Assessment are available for download directly or through the QGIS plugin.


The Expanded Freshwater and Terrestrial Environmental Observation Network (EFTEON) is a research infrastructure developed under the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR) programme of the Department of Science and Innovation. EFTEON aims to provide an instrumented platform for the South African environmental research community, focused on socially-relevant terrestrial landscapes and their coupled hydrological systems.


The Shallow Marine and Coastal Research Infrastructure (SMCRI) is one of 13 large Research Infrastructures developed by the Department of Science and Innovation as part of the South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR). The SMCRI was established in 2016 to develop an array of instruments and physical research platforms around the coast of South Africa and its sub-antarctic islands to collect long-term reliable data for scientific research to help decision makers formulate appropriate environmental policies to lessen the risk and vulnerability of the coastal zone to climate and global change.

SEACRIFOG Inventory Tool

The SEACRIFOG Collaborative Inventory Tool serves to systematically capture information on relevant variables, observation infrastructures, existing data products and methodological protocols.

Waste biomass supply for production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in South Africa

The Waste to Wing project (W2W) aimed to prove the feasibility of an inclusive, waste-based sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) value chain in South Africa with the view to replicating elements of the project in other African countries. SAEON contributed estimates of biomass availability to the project.