ATC131029: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on the Annex VI to the Protocol on the Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, dated 29 October 2013
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on the Annex VI to the Protocol on the Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, dated 29 October 2013.
The Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs (the Portfolio Committee), having considered the request for approval by Parliament of the Annex VI to the Protocol on the Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (Annex VI), referred to the Portfolio Committee, recommends that the House, in terms of section 231 (2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, approve the said Annex VI.
The Portfolio Committee further notes that Annex VI creates a framework for Parties to require operators in the Antarctic Treaty area to develop and implement contingency plans and preventative measures to reduce the risk of environmental emergencies and to respond to environmental incidents when they occur. In addition, if an operator does not respond to a particular environmental emergency, any party is encouraged to take action and creates a mechanism for that party to recover the costs of response action either from the operator or an international fund which will be established.
The Portfolio Committee also notes the requirement to amend the Antarctic Treaties Act, 1996 (No.60 of 1996), to accommodate Annex VI, in order for it to become part of South African domestic law. The Portfolio Committee, however, expressed concern as to the structure of the Act and the importance of only incorporating the operative and relevant aspects of the Treaty and the Annex into the Act, as opposed to the entire text of the Treaty, as the present Act reads. The Portfolio Committee, therefore, resolves to recommend that after ratification of Annex VI by Parliament, the Department of Environmental Affairs (the Department) will amend the Antarctic Treaties Act, draft appropriate Regulations to the Act and process these amendments through Parliament accordingly. The Department must report to Parliament on progress in this matter by the end of January 2014.
Report to be considered.
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