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LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS SELECT COMMITTEE
25 June 2003
APPROVAL OF PROTOCOL ON WILDLIFE CONSERVATION; NOMINATION OF REPRESENTATIVES TO WORLD PARKS CONGRESS: DISCUSSION
Acting Chairperson: Mr V V Z Windvoel (ANC)
Documents handed out:
SADC Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement
The protocol for ratification on wildlife conservation and law enforcement in the Southern African Development Community was accepted.
It was agreed that the nomination of representatives to the World Parks Congress would be held in Durban 8-17 September 2003.
Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement in South African Development Community (SADC) was delivered by Mr Botha of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. The protocol is an effort to co-ordinate wildlife conservation and law enforcement within the SADC. It was signed by President Mbeki in 1999.
Mr Botha said an upside of ratification would be the mutual benefits for countries concerned. A downside was not knowing the financial contribution for each country.
The Chairperson agreed that finance was a concern, pointing out that in the context of NEPAD the protocol was a positive development towards transfrontier co-operation. He wondered why the Department had taken so long to ratify the protocol.
Dr E A Conroy (NNP) wondered if a similar protocol existed to deal with the issue of forestry. He questioned the word "taking" being defined as 'the hunting, killing, injuring, capturing, harassing, collecting, picking, uprooting, digging up, cutting, destruction and removal of any species of wildlife and including any attempt to engage in such conduct". Did this terminology in fact apply to wildlife, and why did it not include all forms of wildlife as well as indigenous plants? On the financial point, he felt that countries who did not contribute should not have access to the resources of the pooled fund.
Mr Botha said the definition of wildlife included animals, and indigenous plants too. As for non-paying counties, the protocol made provisions for punitive measures which would be enforced at the Heads of State summit. This was a long and arduous procedure and they were still unclear as to how exactly this issue would be successfully resolved. On the forestry issue, he was not aware of any such protocol, but assumed there would be one.
Mr A Van Niekerk (NNP) asked if there was a control mechanism to regulate the export of living animals, and how the problem of farmers killing predatory animals would be dealt with.
Mr N M Raju (Kwazulu Natal) pointed to Zimbabwe whose membership had not been ratified, was their membership confirmed, if they were indeed committed to conservation and wildlife? He said that wildlife and conservation had indeed suffered under the recent "land grabbing" practices of the ZANU-PF-led government.
Mr Botha replied that he was not aware of the intention of the Zimbabwean government regarding the protocol.
Mr Raju referred to the culling of elephants in Botswana.
Mr Van Niekerk said on a point of order that he wanted to focus on the ratification of the protocol.
Dr Conroy proposed the protocol for ratification, Mrs B Thulani (ANC) seconded the motion, and it was accepted.
Nomination Of Representatives to The World Parks Congress
The nomination of Representatives to the World Parks Congress would be held in Durban 8 - 17 September 2003.
The Chairperson said the initial five members had been altered to three members. The Department was providing payment. He proposed that the ANC as the ruling partly nominate two members and the opposition one.
Mr Van Niekerk requested a list of names of committee members who attended similar events in order to be better informed in making nominations.
Mr Raju asked about the venue, cost and details of the congress. Upon hearing it was to be held in Durban, he volunteered to attend.
The Chairperson requested that nominations be submitted as soon as possible.
The meeting was adjourned.
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