The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, with support from the Nairobi Convention’s Strategic Action Programme Policy Harmonisation and Institutional Reforms (SAPPHIRE) project, today launched Land-Sea Integration demonstration projects with a focus on KwaZulu-Natal.
The DEFF has identified three areas to implement a demonstration pilot within three municipalities which will be the project beneficiaries of the Land-Sea Integration demonstration projects. The three are the Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality, with a strategic focus on the Durban beach and the Port of Durban; the King Cetshwayo District Municipality, with emphasis on the Richards Bay area; and the uMkhanyakude District Municipality, with emphasis on the Umhlabayalingana municipality and Isimangaliso Wetland Park areas. These interventions are important in supporting the Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy aspirations to unlocking the economic potential of South Africa’s oceans.
The Land-Sea Integration (LSI) is the area that links the marine and terrestrial habitats. Under the LSI, the main objective is to move from a sectoral management approach to a coordinated and integrated ocean and coastal management system and align the economic sector strategies with sustainable development approaches.
South Africa has a wide range of ocean and coasts related policies and legislation that regulate uses, markets, activities, and operations under different sectors. Mostly, the Integrated Coastal Management Act (ICM Act) and Marine Spatial Planning Act (MSP Act) are important instruments that were developed to drive sustainable oceans and coastal developments. However, there’s a greater degree of policy and legislative harmonisation that is required, which will have implications on Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (SPLUMA) based on spatial planning principles and key component of the National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF) and the National Spatial Action Areas (NSAAs).
For some years now, the general approach has been to follow sectoral management strategies with clear guidelines, however a growing recognition that sectoral approach does not allow for maximizing economic opportunities, ensuring environmental protection and encouraged social activities along our coastal and marine environment. The development of the demonstration pilot project plans seek to facilitate an integrated approach with the opportunity to balance economic opportunities with maintaining environmental sustainability.
These plans will aim to coordinate the activities of marine and coastal stakeholders such as government officials from different spheres, NGOs, academia, research institutes, universities and communities and sectors, such as tourism, fisheries, transport, renewable energy, and more.
The typical scale of this planning intervention is important as it will facilitate the economic growth; understanding the goods and services; empowerment and knowledge sharing; coordination and integrations of planning within the ocean and coastal environment to deal with difficulties and complexities. It is with this in mind that these selected municipalities will greatly benefit from this type of intervention to achieve the goal of effective long-term spatial planning, marine and coastal ecosystem management approach, and alignment with the District Delivery Model (DDM) for a single coordination and integration planning. The Department expects that the lessons learned from this project can contribute to the broader implementation of South Africa´s coastal and marine Spatial Planning Frameworks and to better understand the areas of overlap in the 2 disciplines.
Additionally, if successful, South Africa hopes that its experiences could help inform other integrated planning processes in other countries in the region – thereby helping to improve management of the Western Indian Ocean as a whole.
The Nairobi Convention’s SAPPHIRE project promotes policy and institutional reform to help improve the management of the Western Indian Ocean Large Marine Ecosystems (LME). It develops capacity among governments, communities, partners, intergovernmental organisations and the private sector in sustainable resource management and ocean governance.
For further media inquiries contact:
Mr Albi Modise – 083 490 2871
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FORESTRY, FISHERIES AND THE ENVIRONMENT