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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate knowledge of environmental systems and ecology 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
13671  Demonstrate knowledge of environmental systems and ecology 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Environmental Educators 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 05 - Education, Training and Development Adult Learning 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04  20 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
At level 4, many environmental education practitioners may have substantial workplace experience but lack a sound foundation of knowledge of natural and environmental sciences. This unit standard contributes a significant proportion of the core credits in the National Certificate in Environmental Education, Training and Development Practice (NQF Level 4). It provides learners with a broad overview of concepts, principles and processes in the natural and environmental sciences. This necessary foundational knowledge will enable assistant or junior environmental education practitioners to understand environmental systems and apply their understanding to environmental learning programmes and action projects in familiar local contexts.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the environment as a complex of interacting biophysical, social, economic and political systems
  • Describe the Earth's physical systems in relation to energy, matter and processes
  • Describe the Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity in relation to energy, matter and processes
  • Analyse human-environment relations in terms of use of energy and matter 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The candidate will be required to demonstrate GETC or equivalent. This unit standard assumes no prior environmental learning or experience. However it does assume competence in the language of instruction and introductory knowledge relevant to the particular field in which the learner will be operating and a basic ability to access, analyse, and evaluate information relevant to the learning programme. 

    UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    This unit standard provides for a general, fundamental understanding of the concept of environment and of the Earth's major physical, biological and ecological systems. Learners are required to apply and interpret these concepts in a variety of familiar local contexts. No in-depth analysis of concepts or processes is required. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the environment as a complex of interacting systems 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the environment as a complex of interacting biophysical, social, economic, and political systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. Characteristics of the biophysical, social, economic and political components of the environment are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. A variety of familiar environmental contexts are described in relation to these components. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. Examples of interactions between different components of the environment are described in a variety of contexts familiar to the learner. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the earth's physical systems in relation to energy, matter and processes 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    Embedded knowledge:

    Introductory concepts, principles and processes relating to the earth's physical systems, namely:
  • Atmosphere
  • Soil
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Chemical (nutrient) cycling 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The earth's different physical systems and the interactions between them are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. Sources of energy and the flow and transformation of energy within the earth's physical systems are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. The basic physical and chemical properties of matter are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Phases of matter; components and properties of soil, water and atmosphere (air).
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    4. The cycling of matter within the Earth's physical systems is described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Nitrogen, carbon and water cycles.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe the earth's ecosystems and biodiversity in relation to energy and matter 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    Embedded knowledge:

    Introductory concepts, principles and processes relating to the Earth's biological and ecological systems, namely:
  • Climate and climatic regions
  • Biomes and ecosystems
  • Species and populations (taxonomic and functional perspectives) 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The distribution of radiant energy on the earth and its effect on the distribution of climatic regions and biomes is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. The function of different species (producers, consumers, etc.) in respect of the flow of energy and cycling of nutrients through an ecosystem is described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    3. The importance of species and populations in maintaining genetic diversity and the integrity of the earth's ecosystems is explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Analyse human-environment relations in terms of use of energy and matter 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
    Embedded knowledge:

    Introductory concepts, principles and processes relating to human-environment interactions, namely:
  • Energy for heat, light, transport, cooking
  • Food and feeding
  • Water provision
  • Resource use, e.g. consumptive and non-consumptive use, non-renewable and renewable resources, conservation and over-exploitation, waste production and management, pollution, etc.
  • Subsistence vs cash economies; various agricultural systems 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    1. The use of energy and matter in the local context are critically evaluated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    2. Recommendations are made about ways in which matter and energy can be used more sustainably. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Accreditation and moderation options:

    Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.

    Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA by SAQA.

    Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

    UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Refer to the specific outcomes contained in this unit standard. 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively using visual, symbolic and/or language skills in various modes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively by showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Reflect on and explore a variety of strategies to learn more effectively. 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Specified requirements:

    Specified requirements include specific legal and workplace requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:

    Relevant laws, regulations and policies, e.g. the National Environmental Management Act, Curriculum 2005

    Site specific:

    Relevant contextual information and documentation, including corporate strategic plans and workplace procedures 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  48884   Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC): Community Facilitation in Society and Environment Interactions  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2012-06-30   
    Core  22900   National Certificate: Environmental Education, Training and Development Practice  Level 4  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L4  Reregistered  2023-06-30  ETDP SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.