Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
The management of cross-border roaming elephants is in the pipeline.
The environment, forestry and fisheries department revealed this in a briefing in parliament on the draft amended Norms and Standards for the Management of Elephants in South Africa.
Briefing the select committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy, the department pointed out that the process to amend the Elephant Norms and Standards commenced in 2014 with a stakeholder workshop.
The process was temporarily suspended to prepare for the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora hosted by South Africa in 2016.
A specialist workshop was conducted on 3-4 July 2018 and proposed amendments published in the Government Gazette on 2 November 2018 for public comment.
The comments were assessed by a panel of elephant specialists.
According to the department, the aim of the draft amendments is to address implementation and enforcement challenges mainly related to management issues.
Other areas identified for further amendment going forward include the management of elephants as a meta-population and the implementation of Minimum Standards for the Management of Captive Elephants.
Meanwhile, in a recent briefing to parliament on its proposed allocations in terms of the supplementary budget, the department pointed out that funds were cut from international travel and accommodation and reprioritized to climate change and air quality to ensure that the air quality monitoring network is functional and stakeholder engagements to continue virtually in relation to policy development and the Draft Climate Bill.
The department also indicated that the Fisheries Branch will reprioritize its existing budget to cover key strategic objectives such as the 2020/2021 Fishing Rights Allocation Process, development support programmes for small-scale fishing cooperatives and the activities associated with the management and protection of fish resources.