Barbara Dallas Creecy, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, has invited members of the public to comment on the Approach to Spatial Management System Report for South Africa’s Marine Planning Areas. This is a potentially significant document with far-reaching ramifications unless it is to exist within a legislative structure that properly acknowledges the needs of protected marine areas. It is especially vital considering that the sea is a space largely uninhabited by humans and there is minimal awareness or visibility of damage. The role of the oil and gas sector in this report is hopelessly understated, at a time when climate change is a rapidly growing and global threat.
More than 90% of our ocean has already been assigned to marine mining and offshore oil and gas development. The only public information concerning the allocation of these Licence Blocks was a notice inviting applications. In the light of “improved transparency in permit and licensing procedures for ocean resources” the public needs to know:
- Who identified the offshore oil and gas license block selection?
- How was this primary zoning /marine spatial plan decided?
- What authorities were involved in this process?
- What public participation process was there in the allocation of the marine commons to the oil and gas sector and mining?
Submitted comments by Oceans Not Oil in the next blog.
Copies of the “The Approach to Spatial Management System for South Africa’s Marine Planning Areas” report can be downloaded from the department’s website at: https://www.environment.gov.za/legislation/gazetted_notices or can be obtained electronically upon request by email to email@example.com.
Comments need to be submitted by 21 September 2019