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Draft Richards Bay EMP Drawn Up

November 6, 2019

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

6 November 2019

Comment is sought on the Draft uMhlathuze/Richards Bay Estuarine Management Plan (EMP).

The environment, forestry and fisheries department published the draft plan in Government Gazette 42812.

It was drawn up in terms of the National Environmental Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act of 2008.

According to the notice, the EMP is an “integrated management planning tool used to understand the ecological health conditions, conservation and biodiversity aspects, and key pressures on estuaries”.

Its main aim is to coordinate the implementation of the listed key actions to boost the ecological health status of the estuary and “ensure goods and services are maintained to support socio-economic benefits”.

Major threats identified include impact of sea level rise on mangroves; deterioration of water quality and water abstraction; exploitation of resources (sand mining, harvesting of mangroves, fish) and loss of habitat.

The EMP is designed to facilitate cooperation between relevant departments and stakeholders via implementation of a shared vision and objectives.

Included in the EMP is, inter alia, synopsis of situation assessment; geographical focus for EMP; present ecological health status; ecological importance and protection status; opportunities and constraints; confirmed geographical boundaries; vision, strategic objectives and key principles; management objectives and associated actions; prioritization of management actions; proposed zonation plan and integrated monitoring plans.

Comment is invited within 30 days of the date of publication of the notice.