Western Cape commits to biodiversity conservation with Edinburgh Declaration
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Cape Town - Efforts to promote biological diversity conservation in the Western Cape received a boost on the weekend when the provincial Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning and MEC Anton Bredell signed the Edinburgh Declaration on Biological Diversity Day.
Biodiversity and Coastal Management director Marlene Laros said while in the process of reviewing the Provincial Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, CapeNature together with the department motivated for the signing of the declaration.
“The declaration signifies sub-national governments’ collective commitment towards implementing the biodiversity conservation targets of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity,” said Laros.
The director said one of the key aims was to protect and conserve through a well-connected system of effective area-based conservation measures by 2030.
In support of the department’s commitment to the Edinburgh Declaration, Bredell announced the publishing of the Western Cape Biodiversity Bill for public comment.
“The bill acts as a legal tool that will enable the conservation, sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity to ensure an inclusive and resilient biodiversity economy in the province,” said Bredell.
CapeNature chief executive Dr Razeena Omar said the organisation fortified their commitment to monitoring and reporting on biodiversity and ecosystems as the foundation of maintaining and developing resilience for human well-being in the province with the 2020 Western Cape State of Conservation Report.
“The report launched on May 20 and will be the first in a series of annual status reports that highlights the need for innovative strategies to ensure that we strengthen partnerships in caring for nature,” said Omar.
Bredell said conserving biodiversity would ensure the long-term sustainability of livelihoods, service delivery and address other environmental issues, including climate change.