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16 Aug 2017

Marine planning bill needs input

Dave Savides (Zululand Observer)

 

Parliament seeks input for new Marine Spatial Planning Bill

Public input is being sought for a proposed new Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) Bill that will impact on those who use the ocean for economic or recreational purposes.

A team representing parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs is presently conducting public hearings with interested and affected parties as governance of the use of the ocean by multiple sectors is workshopped.

Besides protecting the ocean from over-exploitation, pollution and climate change, the MSP Bill seeks to harness the ocean as ‘a new economic frontier’ in job creation and betterment of lives.

Co-ordination of all the regulations governing the use and management of ocean resources is deemed paramount ‘based on what is best for the economy, the environment and society, not political considerations’.

Besides providing for the documentation, mapping and understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes and opportunities in- and threats to – the ocean, the Bill will also give effect to South Africa’s international obligations.

A national working group has been established to drive the Bill.

In addition to public hearings, written submissions will be accepted and copies of the Bill are available. Email: tmadubela@parliament.gov.za