The much anticipated event took place in the beautiful town of Concordia on the 23 November 2011, as MEC Sylvia Lucas of the Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (DENC) officially launched the Namakwa Environmental Management Framework (EMF) Report and the Nama Khoi Waste Recycling Project.
Too often, planning disciplines neglect environmental constraints and opportunities owing to a lack of information or of knowledge with regards to the resources and services that the environment of a particular area offers. With this in mind, an EMF and Strategic Environmental Management (SEMP) was commissioned by DENC and the Namakwa District Municipality (NDM) for the entire area of the NDM.
The project started in 2008, and was successfully completed in 2011. The aim of the EMF is to facilitate decision-making that will ensure sustainable management of natural resources. The EMF will be used as an input to the revised Namakwa Spatial Development Plan as well as the Northern Spatial Development Framework and will provide a basis for co-ordinated decision-making between the local and district municipalities to manage sustainable development.
The EMF will include a biophysical assessment of the status quo of the environment in the Namakwa District Municipality (NDM) and an assessment of the factors affecting the natural environment.
Ikwela Recycling Project, is a recycling project of R730 000 to roll out in which 21 settlements in the Namakwa area stand to benefit. Recycling Projects are intended to encourage waste recycling in order to prolong the lifespan of landfills and create jobs through selling and buying of waste material.
An EMF and SEMP plan aims to ensure that environmental limits to development are included in spatial planning documents. The need for spatial environmental information is critical both as a guide to areas that should be protected from excessive development, as well as to highlight to other planning disciplines the opportunities those environmental resources present to enhancing development. A challenge facing the Northern Cape Province is to engage in a multi-dimensional approach to spatial planning and development that goes beyond single perspectives to, both space and time.