10 April 2017 - NW741
Steenkamp, Ms J to ask the Minister of Environmental Affairs
(a) Why does her department’s consultative Wildlife Forum exclude key stakeholders in the wildlife conservation and protection sector, (b) has she found that the exclusion of other interested and affected wildlife stakeholders is constitutional and (c) what plans does she have to ensure that all stakeholders are included in the forum?
(a) The department’s consultative Wildllife Forum does not exclude key stakeholders in the wildlife conservation and protection sector nor are we aware of any such exclusion. The Wildllife Forum was established in 2008 based on the following understanding:
- That there are national issues pertaining to wildllife management that need to be addressed by the Minister on a continous basis;
- the establishment of an operational partnership with the national hunting and national wildlife industry is required in recognition of the sector’s contribution in addressing such issues;
- the establishment of a national wildlife forum to generate soultions and design strategies for conservation through sustainable use, creates the best opportunity to ascertain continous consultation and interaction between the Minister, the department, the provincial conservation departments, and the wider wildllife and hunting industry; and
- the establishment of such a Wildlife Forum will create a platform for the industry, relevant organised bodies and government to interact on issues of mutual and common interest resulting from the implementation of national environmental legislation and other legislation, relevant to national and provincial management of the wildlife industry and all forms of hunting in its widest context.
The Term of Reference (ToR) for the Wildlife Forum was developed and adopted on 12 June 2008. The objective of the Wildlife Forum is to work as a collective towards promoting:
- conservation through sustainable use of renewable natural resources;
- a responsible, self-regulatory and practical wildlife and hunting industry;
- creating conditions for, and implementing transformation in the whole sector; and
- sector related sustainble tourism growth and development.
The ToR provides that representative bodies of the organised national wildlife and national hunting industries, and of related fields of endeavour, who were not yet members of the forum after the adoption of the ToR, may apply to become members, upon which the forum will decide to award such body membership.
On 1 July 2009, the Wildlife Forum agreed that the following information should be submitted by interested bodies/organisations:
- Application in the form of a signed letter on the organisation’s letterhead;
- organisation’s profile;
- code of conduct;
- contribution to bioidversity conservation; and
- membership, including affiliates.
(b) The consultative Wildlife Forum operates within the scope of the ToR developed and accepted on 12 June 2008. As mentioned in response to question (a) the ToR provided for other interested and affected representatives or industries that could contribute to the objectives of the forum to apply to participate in the forum.
(c) The Department of Environmetal Affairs has embarked on the process of re-positioning the Wildlife Forum to, in future, serve as a structured interdepartmental/industry platform with a mandate to specifically direct the implementation of the projects flowing from the Biodiversity Economy Lab, as well as future identified projects relevant to the wildlife industry, based on the Biodiversity Economy orientation.