The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has gazetted the White Paper on the National Environmental Management of the Ocean (NEMO), on 29 May 2014, for implementation.
In December 2013 Cabinet approved that the Minister of Environmental Affairs, supported by key Ministries and the National Planning Commission develop an integrated approach to ocean governance, including management plans for ocean areas, environmental variables, conflict scenarios and trade-offs, as was recommended in the White Paper.
The White Paper seeks a modern and integrated approach to ocean environmental management. The policy’s objectives encourage and support the sustainable development of South Africa’s ocean environment and focuses on methods which contribute to Habitat and Biodiversity Conservation, Marine Ecosystem Management, as well as maintaining Earth System integrity.
Furthermore the policy encourages the unlocking of economic potential presented by living and non-living resources of South Africa’s ocean space. DEA’s relevant organs of state and institutions are therefore tasked with achieving the following strategic objectives:
•Coordinating and supporting the implementation of the relevant statutory and institutional frameworks;
•Establishing mechanisms for inter-sectorial data collection and sharing;
•Creating and maintaining a shared national knowledge base on the human use, status and functioning of the ocean;
•Establishing integrated ocean sustainable development and conservation ocean plans by the undertaking of strategic environmental impact assessments and the use of spatial planning tools;
•Enhancing national human and technical capacity to better understand and utilise ocean resources and opportunities; and
•Pursuing regional and international cooperation and governance mechanisms.
The development and implementation of the White Paper puts forth an approach whereby South Africa can, in the short term, increasingly accommodate coordinated sectorial management within the existing statutory framework. It also envisages the simultaneous preparation of ocean environment legislation aimed at improving the regulation and coordination of the management and development of South Africa's ocean. South Africa’s ocean space comprises of rich resources, biodiversity and a relatively pristine environment, therefore there is a vital need to balance economic opportunities and environment integrity.
To access the, National Environmental Management of the Ocean (NEMO) White Paper, click on the link bel https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/legislations/nemo_whitepaper_no37692_gn426.pdfow: