Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
The environment, forestry and fisheries department has highlighted the recent approval by cabinet of climate change, emissions reduction and waste management plans.
In a statement, the department pointed out that the three key actions will “contribute to an environment that is not only healthy for all South Africans, but also able to contribute effectively to sustainable economic development and job creation”.
On 9 September, cabinet approved the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission to coordinate and oversee the just transition, South Africa’s Low Emissions Development Strategy and the revised National Waste Management Strategy 2020.
The Commission will be set up through the Draft Climate Change Bill, which is being finalised.
Meanwhile, in another statement, the department referred to the recent call for comment, in Government Gazette 43699 and 43700, on the intention to declare all the indigenous forests occurring at the Grey Dell and Fort Grey areas in the Eastern Cape, as natural forest and a controlled forest area under the National Forests Act of 1998.
According to the environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, declaring the identified areas as controlled forests is an “urgent measure to avert deforestation and forest degradation caused by, amongst others, illegal activities that have reportedly taken place in the areas. It will also enable forest rehabilitation given that no person may cut, disturb, damage or destroy any indigenous tree in the controlled forest areas”.
The declaration also requires owners of the identified areas to take a number of steps such as controlling access to the land covered by the declaration to prevent entry by unauthorized persons or vehicles; removal of unauthorised structures, dwellings and artefacts associated with
informal/illegal settlement and the drafting of a sustainable management plan.