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Grey Dell and Fort Grey Forests Declared Natural Forest

December 15, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The Grey Dell and Fort Grey forests areas have been declared natural forest and controlled forests under the National Forests Act of 1998.

The environment, forestry and fisheries department announced the declarations in Government Gazette 43992 – Notices 1339 and 1340.

In a statement, the department described natural forest as a “group of indigenous trees whose crowns are largely contiguous; or which have been declared by the Minister to be a natural forest under section 7 of the National Forests Act”.

Natural forest cannot be destroyed “save in exceptional circumstances where, in the opinion of the Minister, a proposed new land use is preferable in terms of its economic, social or environmental benefits”.

The declaration of controlled forests is designed to avert degrading and illegal activities such as deforestation and will facilitate forest rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 43981, the department called for comment on the intention to declare the Thohoyandou National Botanical Garden in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act.

Comment is invited within 60 days of the date of publication.

In Notice 706, the department published the South African National Botanical Garden Expansion Strategy 2019 -2030.

According to the notice, the Strategy provides a strategic approach for the establishment, expansion and maintenance of a network of botanical gardens across South Africa and is aligned with the National Development Plan, 2030 timeframe.

In a statement, the department indicated that the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Strategy will be published in the Gazette and a series of workshops to inform and engage stakeholders/role players on its implementation will be conducted.

This follows cabinet’s recent approval of the Strategy.

According to the department, the Strategy provides for the “coordination and implementation of the Antarctic Treaties Act, relating to research, conservation, sustainable resource use and environmental management in support of the African agenda”.