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Oceans Economy Master Plan Under the Spotlight

September 3, 2020

Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries

The drawing up of the Oceans Economy Master Plan remains on track.

The environment, forestry and fisheries department revealed this in a briefing on its 2020/21 First Quarter Performance Report.

The department pointed out that a discussion document entitled “Towards a South African Oceans Economy Master Plan” has been developed and submitted to the environment, forestry and fisheries minister.

The department added that implementation of priority interventions as per the discussion document have been initiated and are underway.

The department also indicated that, in terms of the Antarctic Strategy, it was sent to different government departments and limited comments were received.

The department added that a Socio Economic Impact Assessment (SEIAS) is required for any policy, strategy or legal instrument prior to gazetting for public comment.

“The strategy has not yet been published for public comments due to delays in obtaining the provisional final SEIAS approval.”

The department also announced that consultations on the Draft Climate Change Bill with national treasury took place on 23 March 2020 and 3 June 2020.

“Further technical discussions were held with treasury officials and agreement was reached on the carbon tax and budget alignment.”

The draft bill was published for comment in February 2019.

It 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 Draft National Freshwater (inland) Wild Capture Fisheries Policy was presented at MINMEC on 12 June 2020 and endorsed for tabling at NEDLAC.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the department highlighted that comment has been invited on draft technical guidelines for validation and verification of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the department, the “purpose of the Verification Guideline is to support the implementation of the mandatory greenhouse gas reporting regime in South Africa”.

The proposed Guideline provides direction to the Competent Authority, Data Providers and Independent Verifiers on the verification process for the National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulations and sets out the responsibilities of the role players.

Comment on the draft Verification Guideline, published in Government Gazette 43644, is invited until 24 September 2020.