LITTLE PARADISE: Dappat se Gat, near Gordon’s Bay, is popular with bodyboarders. Picture: Gallo Images
South African expertise in environmental management, particularly as regards its coast and oceans, has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2012 World Future Policy award.
The Integrated Coastal Management Act of 2008 has been named as one of six contender policies from five countries out of an initial list of 31 from 22 countries.
The Future Policy award is a World Future Council honour for decision makers who provide effective policy solutions aimed at creating better living conditions for current and future generations.
Nominated policies cover marine-protected area programme, laws regulating fisheries, trade in marine products, marine litter, land-sea interactions and integrated ocean and coastal policies.
“South Africa has been addressing the daunting challenge of promoting human wellbeing while maintaining ecological integrity along its diverse coastline,” the council said.
“The Integrated Coastal Management Act is the result of highly participatory and consultative process, the signature of the transition from apartheid to democracy. Central to the Act is reinstating historic common property rights to the coast that were denied during apartheid.
“It also defines coastal zone for the first time and sets guidelines for management plans at local, provincial and national levels. Complementary programmes support the Act’s goals by employing vulnerable people to conserve the environment.”
Welcoming the short-listing, Monde Mayekiso, Department of Water and Environment Affairs’ deputy director general: oceans and coasts, said the process of changing coastal management started in 1992.
“We gave ourselves 20 years to move from no system to an inclusive and effective one. It is rewarding to be short-listed for the award exactly 20 years after the process started.”
He also praised the US, Namibia, Palau and the Philippines on making the shortlist.
“Only by working together across the globe can we ensure the future of our oceans and coasts.”
The award winner will be announced later this month at the UN headquarters in New York.