Have your say on draft conservation policy

Members of the public are invited to submit their comments on the draft Policy Position on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhinoceros.

This after the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, published the draft policy in the Government Gazette.

“The draft Policy Position is informed by the White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biodiversity, which was published for implementation on 14 June 2023, under Government Notice No. 3537, Government Gazette, No. 48785; the High Level Panel (HLP) report; the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry (CoI) that was appointed to advise on the possibility of proposing legal interventions on international trade in rhino horn to the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the Colloquium Report on captive lion breeding for hunting.

“The draft Policy Position focuses primarily on correcting unsustainable practices, promoting conservation and sustainable use of the five species (elephant, lion leopard, black and white rhinoceros), and providing policy direction for international commercial trade,” the department said.

According to the department, the draft policy proposes “three conservation and sustainable use policy objectives to enhance species management”, as well as three international commercial trade-related policy objectives.

These are:

To end the captive keeping of lions for commercial purposes and close captive lion facilities, put a halt to the intensive breeding of lion in controlled environments, and end the commercial exploitation of captive and captive-bred lions.

To phase out the domestication and intensification of management of rhinoceros.

To enhance the conservation and sustainable use of leopard.

To promote live export of the five species only to range States or any other appropriate and acceptable destinations with suitable habitats on the African continent.

South Africa will work with range States to support a proposal for international commercial trade in rhinoceros horn from protected wild rhinoceros, for conservation purposes, when conditions become favourable.

Consider international commercial elephant ivory trade only when conditions become favourable.

Members of the public are invited to submit, within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this Notice in the Government Gazette or in the newspaper, whichever date is the last date, written comments to this Notice, to any of the following addresses:

By mail: The Director-General: Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

Attention: Dr Tsepang Makholela

Private Bag X447

PRETORIA

0001

By hand at: Environment House, 473 Steve Biko Street, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0001

By e-mail to: policyposition@dffe.gov.za

Any inquiries in connection with this notice or in connection with obtaining a copy of the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Study (SEIAS) on the draft Policy Position, can be directed to Dr Tsepang Makholela at 071 608 4556.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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