Western Cape Biodiversity Bill open for comment ahead of International Day for Biological Diversity.
Biodiversity Bill aims to “futureproof” the Cape’s natural resources.
In the lead up to International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on 22 May, the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning is proud to announce that the Draft Western Cape Biodiversity Bill has been published and is available for comment.
The newly released Biodiversity Bill provides for the framework and institutions for nature conservation and the protection, management and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems in the Province.
The Province is endowed with world-renowned biodiversity and natural resources. Together with this unparalleled endowment comes international responsibilities as well as significant opportunities for our people and the biodiversity economy. The Province is home to the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest and most diverse of the six global Floral Kingdoms, and one of the 34 globally-recognised biodiversity hotspots. Of the Succulent Karoo hotspot, about 31% also occurs within the Province.
Marlene Laros, Director for Biodiversity and Coastal Management at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning says “Ecosystem goods and services are the foundation of our economy in the Western Cape and are necessary for inclusive economic growth and the sustainable delivery of basic services. The Province’s dependence on ecosystem services, including but not limited to water resources, highlights the need which people have to ensure long term ecological resilience which underpins ecosystem services.
“The draft Bill enables strategic alignment and improvements in governance across relevant institutions in the Province, including CapeNature, Biosphere Reserves and partners and represents much-needed modernisation and rationalisation of the existing legal frameworks” said, Karen Shippey, Chief Director for Environmental Sustainability at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.
The theme this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is: Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health. It aims is to share knowledge and awareness of the dependency of food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
The draft bill was published in the provincial gazette on 7 May and is open for comment until 8 July 2019.
Link to Western Cape Biodiversity Bill: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp/files/atoms/files/prov-gazette-Extra_8094-biodiversity-draft-bill-May-2019.pdf
For more information on International Day For Biological Diversity visit https://www.un.org/en/events/biodiversityday/index.shtml
For Media Enquiries:
Rudolf van Jaarsveldt
Head of Communication
Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Telephone: 021 483 4051
Fax: 021 483 3211
Cell: 076 319 5027