One of the bill’s highlights was the stewardship and partnership idea of CapeNature in conserving areas as a joint partnership with private landowners, said Biodiversity and Coastal management director Marlene Laros. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
One of the bill’s highlights was the stewardship and partnership idea of CapeNature in conserving areas as a joint partnership with private landowners, said Biodiversity and Coastal management director Marlene Laros. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Western Cape Biodiversity Bill to guard the province’s ecosystems

By Kristin Engel Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

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Cape Town - The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning has called on the public to make submissions on the Western Cape Biodiversity Bill.

Biodiversity and Coastal management director Marlene Laros said a few of the bill’s objectives include the protection and conservation of the province’s environment and unique biodiversity, long-term ecological sustainability and resilience of ecosystem services and ecological infrastructure.

“This is to ensure human well-being and the long-term resilience of society and the economy through the conservation of protected areas.”

Standing Committee on Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning chairperson Andricus van der Westhuizen said one of the bill’s highlights was the stewardship and partnership idea of CapeNature in conserving areas as a joint partnership with private landowners as they did not have the funds to purchase large tracts of land for conservation purposes.

CapeNature Biodiversity Capabilities executive director Coral Birss said stakeholders affected by the bill’s implementation included the global community, Western Cape residents, local government, regulated communities entrained for sustainable use, natural resource user groups, the agricultural sector, non-government organisations, community organisations and landscape initiatives

“This bill is intended to be dynamic, value-based, resilience-focused and future-proofed to proactively address the threats to biodiversity in the province, whilst promoting and enabling biodiversity, green and blue economies,” said Birss.

Those interested in engaging on the bill may submit written or oral submissions on WhatsApp (082 877 7477) before August 10 to the standing committee on Agriculture, Environmental Affairs & Development Planning.

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