The Knysna Basin Project

Research, education, conservation, collaboration

The Knysna Basin Project is an NGO focused on coastal system research - particularly how these systems change over time, what actions can be taken to effectively manage and conserve them, and how communities can and should live within them.

Coastal social-ecological systems are challenged by the escalating consequences of population growth, urbanisation, and climate change. Addressing these challenges requires informed management and behavioural change. Because they fuel each other, both are required if we are to sustain the flows of benefits we derive from these systems.

The Knysna Basin Project focuses on research, education, conservation, and collaboration


Develop, facilitate and promote demand-driven conservation and management-focused research aimed at maintaining and/or achieving the desired ecological state of estuarine and coastal social-ecological systems.

The Knysna Estuary is South Africa’s most important in terms of conservation. The high diversity found within this estuary generates a high degree of research interest, both locally and internationally. The Knysna basin and surrounding catchments provide a vast array of research opportunities and diverse environments, which range from natural forests, rivers, and wetlands, to sandy beaches and rocky shores.

Knysna Basin Project is the leading research institute on this system, and our aim is to increase our future research output, both as collaborative projects and in playing a supportive role to visiting researchers.

 As part of our scientific research, the Knysna Basin Project functions as a teaching institute by hosting and assisting post-graduate research.


Provide and implement relevant environmental education to stakeholders in social-ecological systems through the development of scientifically-based, goal-oriented education programmes.

We consider education to be integral in successful conservation. Since 2014 the Knysna Basin Project has established an ever-growing educational sphere where we aim to inspire, uplift and transform


Determine the occurrence, extent and effects of anthropogenic impacts on natural systems, and provide scientific guidance and resources to maintain and/or achieve the desired ecological state of a system.

To ensure sustainable conservation of the Knysna Estuary, the research we do is used to guide and assist management authorities. The time has come to use scientific research to effectively manage the environment we depend on and our ongoing aim is to bring science and management together.


Facilitate and support a Community of Practice that provides a learning platform for research, education and conservation.



Knysna Basin Project is a Non-Profit Organization (127-588 NPO).  As such, we rely on funds from the public to keep our heads above (and below) water. Please donate via:

  • Bank: First National Bank
  • Account holder: Knysna Basin Project
  • Bank code: 210214
  • Account number: 6216 1671 443

Please use your email address as your reference.