Climate Change & the Coastal Management Policy Programme: briefings


11 May 1998
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Meeting report

11 May 98


Mr Laing from the Weather Bureau stated that there was a necessity for national and international awareness of climate change. Reductions in emissions of Green house gasses was vital. Climate change has fundamental impacts on economics. While there is still some debate on climate change, most evidence and opinion agree that there is human induced change. SA is a prominent player in the contribution to gasses, around 18th on a list of contributing countries.

Increased evaporation will have affects on the limited water resources in SA. However, the potential rise in sea level will not have much of an effect on SA. The increase in natural disaster frequency and associated economic losses in low income countries is of great concern.

For these reasons there is a need for continuous monitoring. However, the department is experiencing continued cut-backs and monitoring is not occurring as it should be.

At present SA is not required to reduce emissions, but may well be required in future due to its high ranking on the list of emissions contributors.

South Africa will develop a policy on Climate Change by 1999.

It was emphasized that SA has no commitment to cut down emissions, and developed countries are not doing it . But pressures will be applied, and SA should be prepared.

Mr. Bruce Glavovic from the Coastal Management Project Management Team briefed the committee on the Coastal Management Policy Programme. He started out by saying that the CMPP was of interest both for conservation and development. SA is in a leadership position on the African continent. There was an important need for holistic and integrative approach to the policy process. The process will generate a discussion document by June 1998 for discussion and public input. The final report is planned for April 1999.

To date participation has included 22 workshops, 40 sector meetings (industry and business) and intergovernmental meetings. The technical analysis was interwoven with the public participation process. Coastal management presented an opportunity to enable good development and the need for conservation and sustainable development.

Appendix 1:
Coastal Management Policy Programme
May l997

A draft national and 13 regional visions for South Africa's coast are in the process of being distributed to coastal stakeholders. The vision reports are first products of the national Coastal Management Policy Programme

The national vision is informed by the regional visions and is the result of a workshop attended by the Policy Team, Specialist Study teams and Regional Managers.

The national vision has a number of objectives which include, "We celebrate the diversity and richness of our coast and seek an equitable balance of opportunities and benefits throughout our coast," and, "We seek to guide the management of our coast in a way that benefits current and future generations, and honours our obligations and undertakings from local to global levels."

The regional visions are the result of public workshops that were held in thirteen areas along our coast during the last three months of 1997. Stakeholders representing all sectors were invited to participate in regional visioning workshops and encouraged to voice their dreams, hopes and aims for their coastal region.

The national and regional visions are the first step in the Coastal Management Policy Programme. The programme was initiated by the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and aims to formulate a policy to ensure that South Africa's coastline is managed in an efficient and equitable manner.

The regional visions include a list of issues and concerns that form a departure point for formulating a policy. The next step in the process is the generation of policy options that will address the vision and issues identified in each region.

The final three phases of the programme include:
· Assessment of policy options;
· Selection of policy options; and,
· lmplementation steps.



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