City’s State of the Environment Report, 2022, available online

The City of Cape Town’s State of the Environment Report, 2022, is now available on the City’s website. The State of the Environment Report is a critical instrument for monitoring and reporting on changes to Cape Town’s natural environment. This provides the City and external stakeholders with accurate data and information to support decision-making and management responses aimed at reducing environmental risks and degradation.

The natural environment underpins our society and economy. It provides recreational, educational and tourism opportunities, as well as direct and indirect job creation and skills development.

‘Cape Town’s natural assets provide a wide range of essential ecosystem goods and services such as clean air and water, food security, climate regulation, and protection from natural disasters such as floods, fires, sea level rise and coastal erosion. We cannot realise our social and economic development objectives in the absence of environmental sustainability. As such, the City has developed indicators to measure, track and report on environmental changes and progress towards realising environmental sustainability. The State of the Environment, 2022, reports on a wide range of environmental indicators. I invite residents and interested parties to go online and read this report, it has a wealth of information,’ said the City’s Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews.

The selected indicators were established with guidance from international and local best practice on environmental reporting, and are aligned with the City’s Integrated Development Plan for the current term of office, and the City’s Environmental Strategy, among others.

In addition to the State of the Environment Report, the City has a range of other structures to monitor and report on aspects of environmental sustainability, including the City Inland Water Quality reports, Know Your Coast reports, State of Energy and Carbon reports and Biodiversity reports.

The last City of Cape Town State of the Environment Report was published in 2019.

The 2022 report relies on data for 11 different themes, collected from 2019 to 2021. These include biodiversity, invasive species, green open space, inland and coastal water quality, water use, wastewater, climate change, air quality and solid waste. The 2022 report also includes a cultural heritage chapter.

‘The results highlight the fact that Cape Town confronts considerable environmental challenges. In particular, during this reporting period, trends related to inland water quality and wastewater are of particular concern. On the other hand, positive trends are apparent in relation to biodiversity, and solid waste. Trends in relation to coastal water quality, water use and air quality are largely unchanged,’ said Alderman Andrews.

Since the publication of the 2019 State of the Environment Report, the City has seen an increase in the frequency and intensity of major shock events and increased climate change impacts such as floods, coastal erosion, extreme heat and fires. These shocks and changes, inclusive of the Covid-19 pandemic, affect the ability of the environment to provide essential goods and services, and have an impact on human health.

Nevertheless, the City has a long track record of policy and action in pursuit of environmental sustainability and resilience. The City’s Environmental Strategy, Resilience Strategy, Water Strategy and Climate Change Strategy provide robust policy and governance frameworks for realising a more sustainable and resilient city.

‘The City has obligations and responsibilities to promoting and protecting our environmental sustainability. However, we cannot do this on our own. We need all who live and work in Cape Town – from residents, to business owners, civil society and academia – to work with us in pursuit of sustainable change. I also want to thank all of those who are already partnering with us, residents who are involved in projects in their neighbourhoods, and all others who are contributing in their areas of expertise,’ said Alderman Andrews.

Source: City Of Cape Town

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