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DFFE Extends Comment on National Biodiversity Framework

May 19, 2021

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

The comment period for the Draft Revised National Biodiversity Framework (NBF) 2019 to 2024 has been extended.

The forestry, fisheries and the environment department published the draft framework for comment in Government Gazette 44229 in March 2021.

It was drawn up in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act.

The aim of the Draft NBF is to coordinate and align the efforts of all organizations and individuals involved in conserving and managing South Africa’s biodiversity in support of sustainable development.

The Draft NBF is described as a “short to medium-term coordination tool that shows the alignment between the strategic objectives and outcomes identified in the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP v.2, 2015) and other key national strategies, frameworks and systems that currently guide the work of the biodiversity sector, and identifies mechanisms through which this work is coordinated”.

A set of interventions are also identified that can unlock or fast-track implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

In a statement, the department points out that the extension has been granted taking into account the “sectors that may be directly, or indirectly, impacted by the release on 2 May 2021 of the High Level Panel report on the management, breeding, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros by Minister Creecy”.

The department indicates that the proposed Framework notes that “while there are a range of national policies, strategies, frameworks and other systems either in place, or being developed, to guide the work in certain areas of the biodiversity sector, an integrated, coordinated and consistent approach to biodiversity management is necessary”.

The Revised NBF addresses the biodiversity threats identified by the South African National Biodiversity Institute in the National Biodiversity Assessment released in 2019.

It showed that South Africa’s biodiversity remains under pressure from a variety of human-induced factors and disturbances including unsustainable land uses, the destructive over-harvesting of species and illegal trafficking of wild animals and plants.

Comment is invited until 28 May 2021.