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‘Healthy Coasts Supporting Ocean Economy’ launched

‘Healthy Coasts Supporting Ocean Economy’ launched

Mar 24, 2015

The Department of Environmental Affairs’ Deputy Director General: Oceans and Coast Dr. Monde Mayekiso officially launched the National Coastal Management Programme (NCMP) on 14 March 2015 in East London.

The NCMP is aimed at facilitating a co-ordinated and integrated coastal management effort. It thus provides direction and guidance towards a structured and standardised approach to coastal management in South Africa. The NCMP brings together the various spheres and sectors of government, private sector and community activities on the coast. 

The theme for the launch was: “Healthy Coasts Supporting the Ocean Economy” which is fitting with the Operation Phakisa initiative. The National Environmental Management of the Oceans, was approved by Cabinet as a White Paper in December 2013. It highlighted that South Africa had not fully exploited the economic potential, and livelihood opportunities that the oceans in our country had to offer. As a result Operation Phakisa will be a useful tool in unlocking the economic potential of the oceans.

In his key note address the DDG: Oceans and Coast Dr. Mayekiso explained some of the objectives for the NCMP policy. “The NCMP is to ensure that the public has safe and equitable access to coastal public property through the establishment of sufficient coastal access land that is cognisant of the sensitivity of coastal ecosystems, the needs and livelihoods of coastal communities or other socio-economic considerations, as well as the removal of inappropriate and unsafe coastal access points.

“The policy also ensures the effective management of waste and effluent into the coastal zone and minimising adverse effects on the health of coastal communities, and on coastal ecosystems and their ability to support the sustainable uses of coastal resources in a manner that is socially, economically and ecologically justifiable,” he said

Coastal zones throughout the world have historically been among the most heavily exploited areas because of their rich resources. In coastal countries today, an estimated half of the total population live in coastal zones, and migration from inland areas to the coast is increasing.

Not surprisingly, there is also a rising conflict between the need for immediate consumption or use of coastal resources and the need to ensure the long-term supply of those resources. The enjoyment of the coastal zone by a wide variety of users and the view of the coast as a national asset and legacy for future generations is of the utmost importance for the promotion of its current and future sustainable use.

The event provided an excellent opportunity and platform for various non-governmental organisations and Integrated Coastal Management Institutional structure representatives to recognise the importance of integration that is principal to the NCMP’s development and objectives.

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