Western Cape Government strengthens commitment to biodiversity conservation by signing the Edinburgh Declaration. - News | DEA&DP

Western Cape Government strengthens commitment to biodiversity conservation by signing the Edinburgh Declaration.

22 May 2021

Marking the International Day for Biological Diversity (22 May 2021), the Provincial Minister, Anton Bredell, for Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) in conjunction with CapeNature has signed the Edinburgh Declaration.

The Declaration signifies and further strengthens subnational governments’ collective commitment towards implementing the biodiversity conservation goals and targets of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

Today, the International Day for Biological Diversity, is being celebrated under the theme: We're part of the solution #ForNature. Bredell echoed this sentiment and added that, “biodiversity and ecosystem services are fundamental to resilience and human well-being.”

“We are pleased to announce that the Western Cape Biodiversity Bill has been published for public comment. This powerful legal tool will enable the conservation and sustainable and equitable use of biodiversity. The Western Cape Biodiversity Bill will directly support our commitment to the Edinburgh Declaration,” said Bredell.

CapeNature CEO, Dr Razeena Omar said: “The launch of the 2020 Western Cape State of Conservation Report today, the first in a series of annual status reports, fortifies CapeNature’s commitment to monitoring and reporting on biodiversity and ecosystems as the foundation of maintaining and developing resilience for human well-being in the province.  This report highlights the need for innovative strategies to ensure that we strengthen partnerships in caring for nature.”

The Declaration gives greater prominence to the role subnational governments, cities and local authorities, such as the Western Cape Government and CapeNature, play in delivering a new global framework of targets contained in the soon-to-be finalised Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, a strategic plan of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

Bredell adds that conserving biodiversity will not only ensure the long-term sustainability of livelihoods and service delivery, but also address other challenges such as climate change. The Provincial Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, currently being reviewed, will align provincial targets to national and global targets, which are to be agreed in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at the Conference of the Parties later this year.

The Draft Biodiversity Bill currently out for comment can be accessed athttps://www.westerncape.gov.za/eadp/files/atoms/files/Western%20Cape%20Biodoversity%20Bill%202021.pdf