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Comment Period for Protocols on Environmental Impacts Extended

February 26, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The deadline to comment on protocols for the assessment and report requirements of environmental impacts for environmental themes for activities requiring environmental authorization has been extended.

The environment, forestry and fisheries department published the extension in Government Gazette 43046.

The protocols were published in Gazette 42946 in January 2020.

Included are protocols for the assessment and reporting of environmental impacts on terrestrial animal and plant species.

Criteria for the assessment and reporting of impacts on terrestrial animal and plant species for activities requiring environmental authorization are set down.

Comment is now invited until 24 March 2020.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the department announced the extension of the West Coast rock lobster season to “support fishers affected by the dramatic drop in exports to China since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus”.

According to the department, the export price for rock lobster has dramatically declined since the outbreak of the corona virus.

The environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, indicated that the decision has been taken to extend the nearshore fishery in the Western Cape until June and the offshore and Northern Cape fisheries until September.

In a recent briefing in parliament, the department outlined amendments introduced to draft species list and regulations pertaining to Threatened or Protected Terrestrial and Freshwater Species.

Changes include re-classification of species based on IUCN Red List assessment at the time; new provisions in respect of consideration of risk factors; deletion of provisions specifying issuing authorities; revised time frames for consideration of applications and issuance of permits; new factors to be considered by issuing authorities when considering permit applications; new provisions relating to captive breeding facilities; alignment of provisions contained in norms and standards applicable to the management of elephants, and to the marking of rhino specimens and the trophy hunting of rhino and a new provision relating to a duty of care to prevent or limit damage caused by damage-causing animals.

According to the department, the final draft TOPS Regulations and species list will be published in the gazette for implementation. A commencement date will also be announced.