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Creecy Shines Light on Climate Change Bill

May 17, 2021

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

The Draft Climate Change Bill has been certified by the state law advisor and is on its way through the Cabinet system in preparation for tabling in parliament in 2021.

The forestry, fisheries and the environment minister, Barbara Creecy, highlighted this in the department’s 2021/22 budget vote speech in parliament.

A Draft Climate Change Bill was published for comment in February 2019.

The draft bill seeks to:

• build the Republic’s effective climate change response and the long term, just transition to a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society in the context of an environmentally sustainable development framework; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The minister also pointed out that the implementation of the recommendations of the High Level Panel, which reviewed policies, legislation and practices related to the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros, will be a priority in 2021.

The Report of the High Level Panel comprising 18 goals and 60 recommendations was released recently.

According to the minister, the Report “re-imagines the role of protected areas, both state and others, in contributing to ecologically sustainable rural development”.

It also places “communities living with wildlife at the centre of our thinking so we focus on enhancing human-wildlife co-existence, and transformative approaches to access and benefit sharing for communities living on the edges of conservation areas”.

The minister indicated that a programme of stakeholder feedback sessions is being set up.

A Draft Policy Position that covers the key policy implications and recommendations will shortly
be published for public comment.

A Draft White Paper on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use is also on the cards.

Other developments in the pipeline include processing the final draft of the Nationally Determined Contribution for approval by cabinet before submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; reviewing the General Policy on the Allocation of Commercial Fishing rights, the 12 sector-specific policies, the Policy on the Transfer of Commercial Fishing Rights and the Policy on Fish Processing Establishments as part of the FRAP 2020/21 process; finalizing the allocation of fishing rights by 31 December 2021; the Draft Aquaculture Development Bill to be tabled in parliament in 2021 and a National Freshwater (inland) Wild Capture Fisheries Policy under development.