Transforming Thinking. Addressing the Challenges to Create a Sound Environment

By admin on May 18 in Local news, SAPFIA news.

Source : Transforming Thinking. Addressing the Challenges to Create a Sound Environment · Fishing Industry News SA

Government department budgets are under strain but they usually reveal what the thinking is. The South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment had an opportunity to address the National Assembly today about the challenges of creating a sound environment. This is what came out of the presentations…

“…WE WANT TO FOCUS ON RE-BUILDING AN ECONOMY THAT WOULD AGAIN BE RESILIENT, LOW CARBON AND SUSTAINABLE, AFTER THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC RAVAGED OUR COUNTRY’S, CONTINENT’S, AND WORLDWIDE, ECONOMIES AND LIVELIHOODS.

“BY UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL THAT EXISTS WITH TRADITIONAL COMMUNITIES, RURAL POVERTY WILL BE REDUCED, AND TRADITIONAL COMMUNITIES WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE FULLY AND EFFECTIVELY IN THE SOUTH AFRICA’S AND AFRICAN CONTINENT’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY.”

Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Hon. Ms Makhotso Sotyu (MP), during the budget vote 32 Plenary for the DFFE for 2021/22

Job creation and transformation of the fishing industry

Minister Barbara Creecy’s focus is to protect natural resources while growing a post COVID-19 economy. Key to this recovery is the Green Stimulus Recovery programme.

At its’ heart is strong emphasis on job creation, especially those people living in marginalised communities and growing economic sectors reliant on the environment without destroying it.

It’s not quite as simple as it sounds. The Minister makes no bones about it that “the transformation of the South African fishing industry is a constitutional and legislative imperative.

“The fishing rights allocation process (FRAP) and the management of commercial fishing rights are an important site for industry transformation,” she says.

At its’ heart is strong emphasis on job creation, especially those people living in marginalised communities and growing economic sectors reliant on the environment without destroying it.

It’s not quite as simple as it sounds. The Minister makes no bones about it that “the transformation of the South African fishing industry is a constitutional and legislative imperative.

“The fishing rights allocation process (FRAP) and the management of commercial fishing rights are an important site for industry transformation,” she says.

To support regulatory certainty, consultations on the Aquaculture Development Bill are also being finalised.

“We hope to table this Bill in Parliament in 2021,” she says.

Rethinking the Revival of SA’s Aquaculture Sector

A National Freshwater (inland) Wild Capture Fisheries Policy is also in development.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is helping address issues around market diversification for the aquaculture and fishing sector affected by Covid-19 related market restrictions.

Saving the Forgotten Freshwater Fish

Environmental crimes

With regards to environmental crimes, the integrated compliance and enforcement programme of Operation Phakisa – Initiative 5, will be scaled up this year.

This includes introducing an administrative penalty system across the environmental regulatory regime.

An integrated information management system will also be rolled out through the newly-established Environmental Enforcement Fusion Centre.

A balancing act

While anything to do with fishing might take up our time, for the Minister her greatest challenge is balancing her time between the huge matter of climate change and moving the country and its people to becoming more climate resilient, conservation of species and biodiversity, and waste pollution.

All overlap the fisheries environment in different ways and include, amongst others:

  • Finalising the long-awaited Climate Bill which has been certified by the state law advisor and will be tabled later this year.
  • Negotiating the Global Biodiversity Framework on behalf of the African Region for the 15th Convention on Conservation and Biodiversity in China in October.
  • Implementing the National Waste Management Strategy 2020 which is considered a top priority. This included new requirements for plastic carrier bags published in April 2021, and  addressing marine litter through an expanded Source-to-Sea Programme in 16 coastal districts where an additional 1600 jobs are being created.
  • Developing Integrated Waste Management Plans with municipalities. Norms and standards for organic waste treatment that will enable biogas generation and assist with organic waste diversion from municipal landfills, are being finalised.
  • Broadening Extended Producer Responsibility plans in the 2021/22 financial year to include pesticides, lubricant oils, and batteries.

So if you want to know why the Minister is not hearing the calls of the fishing industry, it is probably wise to talk directly to the Sue Middleton in the future. She has just been officially appointed as Deputy Director-General (DDG): Fisheries Management at the Department of Forestry and Fisheries and the Environment.

Lucky for the industry is that Middleton is well known and has been around a long time. Fishing Industry News wishes her well in her new (formal) position.

You can read the Minister’s full Budget Vote speech here:

https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-barbara-creecy-forestry-fisheries-and-environment-dept-budget-vote-202122-14-may

 

Source : Transforming Thinking. Addressing the Challenges to Create a Sound Environment · Fishing Industry News SA

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