WWF welcomes government’s notices on new MPAs



Posted on 08 February 2016
Stilbaai was declared a marine protected area in 2008. It was the 20th MPA declared in South Africa.
© WWFSA
WWF South Africa welcomes the Department of Environmental Affairs’ proposal to declare new offshore and inshore marine protected areas (MPAs) that will contribute towards securing these key areas which are the foundation of healthy and productive oceans.

The proposed MPAs are the result of over six years of work led by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and supported by WWF-SA.

The department recently published notices and draft regulations for the 21 new MPAs, which form part of government’s Operation Phakisa, an initiative aimed at unlocking the potential of our country’s vast coastline. The proposed MPAs are open to comments from the public for 90 days and have already gone through an extensive stakeholder engagement process over the last two years to find the most appropriate areas which meet the dual goals of protecting important and vulnerable habitats and supporting sustainable economic development in our oceans.

This stakeholder engagement process has been key to the development and support of the proposed areas and WWF hopes that the department will show similar commitment to such a process with regards to the current proposed rezoning of the Tsitsikamma MPA.

When proclaimed, these new MPAs will take South Africa’s marine protected area estate to approximately 5% of our oceans. This is still significantly less than our national target of 10%, but a meaningful step in the right direction.

Find out more here.
Stilbaai was declared a marine protected area in 2008. It was the 20th MPA declared in South Africa.
© WWFSA Enlarge