Minister Creecy: Play your part in restoring and protecting SA’s biological resources

As the world celebrates International Day for Biodiversity (IDB), the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, calls on all South Africans to play their part to restore and protect South Africa’s biological resources.

The minister said that this year’s theme, “Be Part of the Plan”, reminds “us of our” commitment to preserve our biodiversity as well as to stop and reverse biodiversity loss.

She states that the recently Cabinet approved White Paper on the Conservation and the Sustainable Use of South Africa’s Biological Diversity is the guiding framework which sets out the goals and objectives aligned with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

“South Africa is rich in biodiversity, which is crucial for our ecosystems to function effectively, providing us with clean air, water, medicinal resources amongst the many benefits we derive.”

The minister said the White Paper is a milestone achievement for South Africa as it is aspirational and advocates for a society where all people have a high quality of life, a voice and a nurturing earth supporting them.

“It promotes the equitable benefits of biodiversity for South Africa’s current and future generations. Strategic objectives have been established and these include enhancing the management of biodiversity assets to bolster the economy, rural development, job creation, and social wellbeing.

“The IDB celebration complements South Africa’s initiatives aimed at realising the White Paper’s objective for the conservation and sustainable use of our biodiversity to have an inclusive, transformed society living in harmony with nature,” said Minister Creecy.

As the date for the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention to Biological Diversity (CBD COP16) to be held in Colombia later this year approaches, Creecy said it is imperative that “we also remind the international community of their commitments to the GBF”.

“This includes adequately funding and capacitating developing countries to ensure they are able to implement their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). Our NBSAP includes mobilising the public towards practices that sustain biodiversity’s long-term benefits by incorporating indigenous knowledge and citizen science which are essential to support the sustainable management and use of biodiversity.

“I encourage business, environmentalists, academia and civil society to engage with the policies and strategies to determine how each can contribute to the targets of conserving our precious natural assets. Your actions, no matter how small, can make a significant impact on preserving the diversity of life on our planet for current and future generations,” added Minister Creecy.

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