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Acidification: The acidity or pH of different aquatic ecosystems determines it’s health and biological characteristics. Domestic and industrial activities, including mining can  cause local acidification.

Admiralty reserve: Narrow strips of State land, seldom more than 60 m wide, that are spread along the coastline above the high water mark.

Anthropogenic: Primarily to do with man, or caused by humans.

Assimilation:  In the case of ecosystems, the capacity to process substances such as human waste and pollutants without incurring longterm loss of  health integrity.

Attribute:  Attribute data provides characteristics about spatial data appended in tabular format to spatial features. The spatial data is the where and attribute data can contain any additional information.

Basemap: A collection of GIS data and/or imagery that form the background setting for a map. The function of the basemap is to provide background detail necessary to orient the location of the map and also add to the aesthetic appeal of a map.

Basic Assessment: The Basic Assessment process should be undertaken for activities that are included under Listing Notices 1 and 3. Impacts are considered to be more generally known and can often be mitigated or easily managed. A full EIA process is therefore not required, but the prescribed Basic Assessment procedure must be followed and a BA Report (BAR) produced. 

Best practice: A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result. A commitment to using the best practices in any field is a commitment to using all the knowledge and technology at one's disposal to ensure success.

Biodiversity or biological diversity: The variability among living organisms from all sources including, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part and also includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystem.

Biodiversity Act:  The South African National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (10 of 2004).

Biogeographic zones: Areas that, by virtue of their biophysical characteristics, have developed a distinctive type of flora and fauna easily discernible from others.

Blue Flag Beach: The Blue Flag is a certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards. FEE's Blue Flag criteria include standards for water quality, safety, environmental education and information, the provision of services and general environmental management criteria.

Buffer and transition zones: Areas of land in which development is strictly controlled.

Catchment: The boundary that separates different river drainage basins.

Coastal access: The means and ways to gain access to the wider coastal zone that is not always explicit i.e. cannot always be mapped. Accessibility is often impeded by a lack of parking facilities, high entry fees, or in an urban context, a lack of public transportation to the beach.

Coastal access land: Land designated as coastal access land in terms of section 18(1), and section 26 of the ICM Act. Each municipality whose area includes coastal public property must designate strips of land as coastal access land for public access to coastal public property. 

Coastal activities: Activities listed or specified in terms of Chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management Act which take place (a) in the coastal zone; or (b) outside the coastal zone but have or are likely to have a direct impact on the coastal zone.

Coastal environment: The environment within the coastal zone.

Coastal erosion: The weathering of rocks, removal of beach or dune sediment as a result of wave action, tidal currents or drainage.

Coastal facilities:  Refers to packages of human made infrastructure and / or improvements in the coastal area. Examples of important facilities in the area are: recreational facilities, transport facilities, commercial facilities, waste management facilities, stormwater management facilities.

Coastal features:  Refers to the natural features of a coastal area. Examples of important features of the area are: coastal waters, coastal dunes, rocky shores, estuaries, dune forests, grasslands

Coastal hazards: Natural phenomena that can lead to loss of human life and property damage (e.g. storms, cyclones, flooding and erosion).

Coastal management: Includes (a) the regulation, management, protection, conservation and rehabilitation of the coastal environment; (b) the regulation and management of the use and development of the coastal zone and coastal resources; (c) monitoring and enforcing compliance with laws and policies that regulate human activities within the coastal zone; and (d) planning in connection with the activities referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c). 

Coastal management line: A line determined by an MEC in accordance with section 25  of the ICM Act,  in order to demarcate an area within which development will be prohibited or controlled, to achieve the objects of the ICM Act or coastal management objectives. 

Coastal management objective: A clearly defined objective established by a coastal management programme for a specific area within the coastal zone which coastal management must be directed at achieving.

Coastal Management Programme: The national, or a provincial, or a municipal coastal management programme established in terms of Chapter 6 of the ICM Act.

Coastal planning scheme: A scheme that (a) reserves defined areas within the coastal zone to be used exclusively or mainly for a specified purpose; and (b) prohibits or restricts any use of these areas in conflict with the terms of the scheme. 

Coastal protected area: A protected area that is situated wholly or partially within the coastal zone and that is managed by, or on behalf of, an organ of state, but excludes any part of such a protected area that has been excised from the coastal zone in terms of Section 22 of the ICM Act

Coastal protection zone: The coastal protection zone contemplated in Section 16 of the ICM Act

Coastal public property: Coastal public property referred to in Section 7 of the ICM Act.

Coastal resources: Any part of (a) the cultural heritage of the Republic of South Africa within the coastal zone, including shell middens and traditional fish traps; or (b) the coastal environment that is of actual or potential benefit to humans. This includes direct benefits such as subsistence food sources and indirect benefits such as erosion control /ecosystem services. 

Coastal roles: This refers to the functions that the various sections of the coast perform and have been described in terms of their strategic, economic, social and environmental significance. Understanding the level of significance of various roles helps to make strategic planning decisions and tradeoffs that may be necessary in the study area 

Coastal waters:  (a) The internal waters, territorial waters, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of the Republic referred to in Sections 3, 4, 7 and 8 of the Maritime Zones Act (15 of 1994), respectively; and (b) an estuary.  

Coastal wetland: (a) Any wetland in the coastal zone; and (b) includes (i) land adjacent to coastal waters that is regularly or periodically inundated by water, salt marshes, mangrove areas, inter-tidal sand and mud flats, marshes, and minor coastal streams regardless of whether they are of a saline, freshwater or brackish nature; and (ii) the water, the subsoil and substrata beneath, and bed and banks of, any such wetland.

Coastal zone: The area comprising coastal public property, the coastal protection zone, coastal access land, coastal protected areas, the seashore and coastal waters, and includes any aspect of the environment on, in, under and above such area. 

Coastal Wetland: 

Competent authority: A competent authority identified in terms of Section 24C of the National Environmental Management Act.

Cultural heritage: Any place or object of aesthetic, architectural, historical, scientific, social or spiritual value or significance.

Cumulative impacts: Impacts that individually are insignificant but together become significant.

Custodianship: A formal or informal process whereby individuals, groups or communities care for a specific locality or natural resource.

Desalination: A collective term for a wide spectrum of water treatment technologies which can separate salts from water and render a useful water product.

Development: In relation to a place, means any process initiated by a person to change the use, physical nature or appearance of that place, and includes  (a) the construction, erection, alteration, demolition or removal of a structure or building; (b) a process to rezone, subdivide or consolidate land; (c) changes to the existing or natural topography of the coastal zone; and (d) the destruction or removal of indigenous or protected vegetation.

Dumping at sea: (a) Any deliberate disposal into the sea of any waste or material other than operational waste from a vessel, aircraft, platform or other man-made structure at sea; (b) any deliberate disposal into the sea of a vessel, aircraft, platform or other man-made structure at sea; (c) any storage of any waste or other material on or in the seabed, its subsoil or substrata; or (d) any abandonment or toppling at site of a platform or other structure at sea, for the sole purpose of deliberate disposal, but dumping at sea does not include  (i) the lawful disposal at sea through sea out-fall pipelines of any waste or other material generated on land; (ii) the lawful depositing of any substance or placing or abandoning of anything in the sea for a purpose other than mere disposal of it; or (iii) disposing of or storing in the sea any tailings or other material from the bed or subsoil of coastal waters generated by the lawful exploration, exploitation and associated off-shore processing of mineral resources from the bed, subsoil or substrata of the sea.

Dynamic coastal processes: All natural processes continually reshaping the shoreline and near shore seabed and includes (a) wind action; (b) wave action; (c) currents; (d) tidal action; and (e) river flows.

Ecological integrity: A diverse, healthy and productive natural system.

Ecosystem: A community of plants, animals and organisms interacting with one another and with the non-living components of their environment (see Natural system).

Effluent: (a) Any liquid discharged into the coastal environment as waste,  including any substance dissolved or suspended in the liquid; or (b) liquid which is a different temperature from the body of water into which it is being discharged.

El Nino and La Nina: Extreme phases of a naturally occurring climate cycle, resulting from interaction between the surface of the ocean and the atmosphere in and climate patterns around the globe. In turn, changes in the atmosphere impact the ocean temperatures and currents. The system oscillates between warm (El Nino) to neutral (or cold La Nina) conditions on an average of every three to five years. 

Environment: As defined in the South African National Environmental Management Act No. 62 of 2008. NEMA defines the environment as the surroundings in which humans, plants and animals exist, including the land, water and atmosphere. It also extends to  the relationships, combinations, properties and conditions of all organisms  that exist within these surroundings. 

Environmental authorisation: An authorisation granted in respect of a listed activity by a competent authority in terms of Chapter 5 of the National Environmental Management Act

Estuary: A body of surface water (a) that is permanently or periodically open to the sea; (b) in which a rise and fall of the water level as a result of the tides is measurable at spring tides when the body of surface water is open to the sea; or (c) in respect of which the salinity is higher than fresh water as a result of the influence of the sea, and where there is a salinity gradient between the tidal reach and the mouth of the body of surface water. 

Eutrophication: Enrichment of water with nutrients causing abundant algal or plant growth often leading to subsequent deficiencies in dissolved oxygen.

Exclusive economic zone: The exclusive economic zone of the Republic of South Africa, referred to in section 7 of the Maritime Zones Act (15 of 1994).

Gazette: When used in relation to (a) the Minister, means the Government Gazette; (b) the MEC, means the Provincial Gazette; and (c) a municipality, means the Provincial Gazette of the province in which the municipality is situated.

Habitat: The place or type of place where an organism or community of organisms live.

Harbour: A harbour proclaimed in terms of any law and managed by an organ of state.

Hazardous and toxic waste: A discarded substance with the potential to damage people or the environment owing to its dangerous characteristics.

High-water mark: The highest line reached by coastal waters, but excluding any line reached as a result of (a) exceptional or abnormal weather or sea conditions; or (b) an estuary being closed to the sea. 

Interests of the whole community: The collective interests of the community determined by (a) prioritising the collective interests in coastal public property of all persons living in the Republic over the interests of a particular group or sector of society; (b) adopting a long-term perspective that takes into account the interests of future generations in inheriting coastal public property and a coastal environment characterised by healthy and productive ecosystems and economic activities that are ecologically and socially sustainable; and (c) taking into account the interests of other living organisms that are dependent on the coastal environment. 

Land cover: Land cover is the physical material at the surface of the earth.

Land Development plan: means any plan that is approved in terms of legislation regulating land development and that indicates the desirable uses for areas of land but does not create legal rights to use land.

Land unit: A cadastral entity which is capable of registration in the deeds registry in terms of the Deeds Registries Act (47 of 1937)

Land use scheme: in relation to an area, means a scheme established by or under legislation and that creates or regulates the use of land in that area, and includes a land use scheme, a town planning scheme, a zoning scheme and any similiar instrument that identifies or regulates rights to use land.

Littoral active zone: Any land forming part of, or adjacent to, the seashore that is (a) unstable and dynamic as a result of natural processes; and (b) characterised by dunes, beaches, sand bars and other landforms composed of unconsolidated sand, pebbles or other such material which is either unvegetated or only partially vegetated.

Local community: Any community of people living, or having rights or interests, in a distinct geographical area within the coastal zone. 

Low-water mark: The lowest line to which coastal waters recede during spring tides. 

Marine Living Resources Act: The Marine Living Resources Act (18 of 1998)

MEC: A Member of the Executive Council of a coastal province who is responsible for the designated provincial lead agency in terms of the ICM Act.

Metadata:  A file of information that describes and captures the basic characteristics of a data or information resource.

Minister: The Minister responsible for environmental affairs.

Municipality: (a) A metropolitan, district or local municipality established in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act (117 of 1998); or (b) in relation to the implementation of a provision of the ICM Act in an area which falls within both a local municipality and a district municipality,  (i) the district municipality; or (ii) the local municipality, if the district municipality, by agreement with the local municipality, has assigned the implementation of that provision in that area to the local municipality. 

Municipal Systems Act: The Local Government: Municipal Systems Act (32 of 2000)

National Environmental Management Act: The National Environmental Management Act (107 of 1998) is an environmental framework legislation which provides for environmental management.

National estuarine management protocol: The national protocol concerning the management of estuaries contemplated in Section 33 of the ICM Act

National ICM Act:  The Integrated Coastal Management Act 24 of 2008.

National Water Act: The National Water Act (36 of 1998)

Operational waste: (a) Any waste or other material that is incidental to, or derived from, the normal operation of a vessel, aircraft, platform or other man-made structure and its equipment; and (b) excludes any waste or other material that is transported by or to a vessel, aircraft, platform or other man-made structure which is operated for the purpose of disposing of that waste or other material, including any substances derived from treating it on board, at sea.

Organ of state: Has the meaning assigned to it in Section 239 of the Constitution.

Orthophoto: An orthophoto, orthophotograph or orthoimage is an aerial photograph or image geometrically corrected ("orthorectified") such that the scale is uniform: the photo has the same lack of distortion as a map.

Pollution: Has the meaning assigned to it in Section 1 of the National Environmental Management Act

Polygon: A closed 2-dimensional shape formed with three or more straight sides.

Port: A port as defined in the National Ports Act (12 of 2005)

Prescribe: Prescribe by regulation. 

Protected area: A protected area referred to in section 9 of the Protected Areas Act.

Protected Areas Act: The National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (57 of 2003)

Provincial lead agency: A provincial organ of state designated by the Premier of the province in terms of Section 38 of the ICM Act as the lead agency for coastal management in the province. 

Public participation process: A process by which potential interested and affected parties are given opportunity to comment on, or raise issues relevant to  an assessment of the environmental impact of any application for an environmental authorisation.

Ramsar: The process of artificially creating new land within coastal waters, and includes the creation of an island or peninsula, but excludes beach replenishment by sand pumping for maintenance purposes.

Reclamation: Convention on Wetlands of International (Importance Especially as Water Fowl Habitat, 1971).

Sea: (a) The high seas; (b) all coastal waters; and (c) land regularly or permanently submerged by sea water, including (i) the bed, subsoil and substrata beneath those waters; and land flooded by sea water which subsequently becomes part of the bed of coastal waters, including the substrata beneath such land. 

Seashore: Subject to Section 26 of the ICM Act, refers to the area between the low-water mark and the high-water mark. 

Special management area: An area declared as such in terms of Section 23 of the ICM Act

Waste: Any substance, whether or not that substance can be re-used, recycled or recovered (i) that is surplus, unwanted, rejected, discarded, abandoned or disposed of; (ii) that the generator has no further use of, for the purposes of production, reprocessing or consumption; and (iii) that is discharged or deposited in a manner that may detrimentally impact on the environment.

Wetland: Land which is transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface, or the land is periodically covered with shallow water, and which land in normal circumstances supports or would support vegetation typically adapted to life in saturated soil.



Means a scheme that— (a) reserves defined areas within the coastal zone to be used exclusively or mainly for a specified purpose; and (b) prohibits or restricts any use of these areas in conflict with the terms of the scheme. 
Means a scheme that— (a) reserves defined areas within the coastal zone to be used exclusively or mainly for a specified purpose; and (b) prohibits or restricts any use of these areas in conflict with the terms of the scheme. 
Means a scheme that— (a) reserves defined areas within the coastal zone to be used exclusively or mainly for a specified purpose; and (b) prohibits or restricts any use of these areas in conflict with the terms of the scheme.