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South Africa: Minister Barbara Creecy hosts a Pre-Budget Vote briefing
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South Africa: Minister Barbara Creecy hosts a Pre-Budget Vote briefing

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Ms. Barbara Creecy, Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, delivers the Budget Vote to the National Assembly for 2022/23

Climate change-related disasters are the biggest threat to people, economies, and the environment today, says Barbara Creecy, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment minister.

The Minister delivered the 2022/23 budget speech of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment to the National Assembly. He stated that the recent floods in KwaZulu Natal were a reminder of the human tragedy underlying the 6th International Panel on Climate Change report.

Climate change and the rise in natural disasters and changing weather patterns directly affect rural women and girls. They are the main providers of food, fuel, and water for their families and play an important role in South Africa’s climate change policy development.

Minister: “It is crucial that we face climate crisis. Climate resilience will need be built across all systems and special attention must go to vulnerable individuals, households, communities.

The Presidential Climate Commission is currently supporting the co-creation a Just Transition Framework South Africa. It stresses that all people must be involved in developing solutions. It also emphasizes that there must be an equitable allocation of risks and opportunities to ensure that vulnerable workers and communities don’t have to bear the burden of change. If the process helps us achieve our larger developmental objectives of economic inclusion, employment, building a more equal society, it will only succeed.

In accordance with our revised ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing green-house gases, we have developed the Sectoral emission Targets (SETs), which outline emission reduction goals for key economic sectors. The allocation of SETs will begin in the financial year 2022/23.

The Climate Change Bill will be adopted by Parliament in 2022. This will establish the domestic architecture for Climate Change adaptation and mitigation.

All 44 districts municipalities were supported by the National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in developing climate change adaptation strategies. Current work includes support for integrating climate priorities into the Integrated Development Plans.

A Presidential Climate Finance Task Team, led by Mr Daniel Mminele is leading a technical group to understand the details and offer of developed countries to raise $8.5 billion (R131billion), over the next three to 5 years to support our revised NDC implementation and begin our Just Transition.

Recent media coverage has cast doubt upon the Weather Service’s ability predict severe weather events, and protect our citizens against the impacts of climate change. These reports are false. Weather warnings were issued before the floods. They were updated with the intensity and duration of the weather event.

To ensure that, even revenue shortfalls, our forecasting capability is state of the arts, we have allocated R100million to The South African Weather Service for three years to improve its infrastructure. We started with R15million in 2021-2022.

South Africa continues to suffer from severe air pollution in three highly industrialised priority areas, Highveld, Vaal Triangle and Waterberg-Bojanala. Before the end of 2022, regulations will be published for implementing and enforcing priority air quality management plans in priority areas.

Due to the complexity of the issues in the appeals against the Department’s National Air Quality Officer’s decisions regarding requests for suspension and postponement compliance with the Minimum Emission Standards, and the issuing Provisional Atmospheric Emission Licences, nominations were invited for people to be part of a panel of experts that will review the evidence and advise Minister on the appeals. The government gazette requesting such nominations has been published.

The Department helps municipalities improve their waste management by providing assistance in the development of their Integrated Waste Management Plans. We also train local governments on sustainable waste management practices. Additionally, we donate vehicles needed to transport waste to the landfill. This includes Front End Loaders, Skip Loader Trucks, and compactor trucks.

Minister Creecy announced that Cabinet will review the White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Resources. It is a product of the policy work linked with the High Level Panel Report on managing elephant, lion and leopard hunting, trading, and handling. The White Paper on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Resources will be published for public comments.

The Minister has proposed to establish a Panel of Experts on the recommendation to close captive lion breeding industries. They will formulate and oversee implementation of a voluntary exit strategy.

Minister: “I believe that we can develop a voluntary strategic that can mitigate risks including the effects on the local economy and job creation as well as the welfare and wellbeing of the lions themselves.”

This Panel will have clear terms of reference and strict timelines so that the HLP recommendation and the 2018 Parliamentary Colloquium on Lions can be implemented.