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Antarctic and Southern Ocean Strategy in Place

March 26, 2021

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The Antarctic and Southern Ocean Strategy has been published in Government Gazette 44293.

The Strategy was drawn up under the auspices of the Antarctic Treaties Act.

It was published for comment in March 2020.

Cabinet gave the green light to the Strategy on 2 December 2020.

In the statement, cabinet declared that the “strategy provides for the coordination and implementation of the Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996 (Act 60 of 1996), relating to research, conservation, sustainable resource use and environmental management in support of the African agenda”.

Cabinet also pointed out that the Strategy “contributes to climate action and ecological integrity by promoting the establishment of specially protected and managed areas”.

In an earlier statement, the environment, forestry and fisheries department described the Antarctic Treaty area as one of the “last remaining jewels of the Earth with minimal anthropogenic influence or impact, and thus ideal outdoor scientific laboratory for all sorts of research, e.g. climate variability, bioprespecting / study of extremophiles (for medicinal – health, food production – agriculture) oceanography, drought and geological sciences”.

The department also pointed out at the time that a series of workshops to inform and engage stakeholders/role players on implementation of the Strategy will take place following publication in the Gazette.

The Strategy focuses on South Africa’s national Antarctica programme; South Africa’s investment and footprint in Antarctica, Sub-Antarctica and Southern Ocean; rationale, vision, goal and strategic objectives for continued participation in Antarctica; governance and institutional arrangements and implementation plan.