South Africa declares 20 marine protected areas
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) officially declared 20 marine protected areas (MPAs) in South Africa last week.
The department said in a statement on Monday that the declaration of these MPAs was similar to an insurance policyfor the benefit of the current and future generations.
The DEA also aims to ensure successful conservation outcomes by managing development pressures and ensuring conservation objectives are met.
The department consulted a number of State conservation agencies that decided that those MPAs with a coastal boundary would be managed by the adjacent management agencies of the South African National Parks, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, the Provincial Agencyof KwaZulu-Natal and the Provincial Agency of the Eastern Cape.
For those MPAs that lie further offshore, the DEA will use its surveillance capabilities and cooperative compliance programmes with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Greenpeace Africa, in a separate statement, commented that, by deliberately protecting 20 designated marine areas, the DEA was displaying commendable leadership that would guide the way for other African countries to protect the world’s oceans.
“Greenpeace Africa celebrates this move by the department while negotiations with the United Nations around establishing a global treaty to create a network of ocean sanctuaries are ongoing.”