Call for public comment on protected areas proposals

New norms and standards for the management of protected areas in South Africa have been published for public comment.

Two years in the making, they were developed with the objective of promoting “sustainable utilisation of protected areas for the benefit of people in a manner that would preserve the ecological character,” environmental affairs said in a statement on Friday.

Members of the public now have 30 days – from the date of publication (July 7) in the Government Gazette – in which to submit their comments.

The norms and standards can be viewed on the website: www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/gazetted_notices/nempaa_actno57of2003_protectedareas.pdf

According to the document, the norms and standards apply to all special nature reserves, national parks, nature reserves and “protected environment” areas in South Africa.

It lists 17 norms with associated standards, including that protected areas are secured in terms of legislation, their boundaries properly demarcated and their law enforcement effective.

Details on where to deliver, post or e-mail comments can be found on the department of environmental affairs website: www.environment.gov.za – Sapa

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