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Media Release: Management of the GRNP Protected Areas through cooperative governance

07 January 2010

The unfortunate situation of soil erosion on the banks of the Swartvlei estuary is a major concern for the Garden Route National Park (GRNP). This has been identified as an urgent matter for collaboration between the stakeholders (i.e. the Knysna Municipality, SANParks, Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (DWEA)) in finding a permanent solution in addressing the effects of climate change in the region.

The recent Sedgefield Emergency Repairs Environmental field trip undertaken with the Wilderness Section of the GRNP is a living testimony of SANPark's continued commitment towards cooperative governance with its stakeholders in ensuring a mutual beneficial partnership as well as a shared vision on processes and programmes aimed at conserving the diverse biomes of the GRNP.

The erosion repairs to the Swartvlei banks are a listed activity in terms of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA Act), and thus subject to a Basic Assessment in terms of Regulation 386 of the said Act. DWEA is the designated competent authority to assess any Basic Assessment to be conducted in or close to a National Park, and grant environmental authorisation for such an activity to take place.

DWEA are also in the process of formulating an Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for a section of the Garden Route, which stretches from the Kaaimans River in the west to the Noetzie River in the east. DWEA's Danie Smit said that the EMF will assist in ensuring a more responsible development in the future that will be less susceptible to the effects of climate change.

The GRNP remains committed in its drive to fullfil its mandate through cooperative governance in rolling out its management plan and conservation of our natural heritage.

Issued by:

SANParks Corporate Communications

Media Inquiries:

Zanemvula Gozongo, Communications Manager, Garden Route National Park, tel: (044) 302 5633, Cell: 071 513 8221, fax: (044) 382 4539,