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SA's Coastal Management Act short-listed for future policy award

The Department of Environmental Affairs is pleased to announce that the department's Integrated Coastal Management Act (ICM Act) has been short-listed for the prestigious 2012 World Future Policy Award.
The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. The aim of the award is to raise global awareness for these exemplary policies and speed up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. The award is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organisation that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions.

A total of 31 outstanding policies from 22 countries and regions were nominated in June 2012. The nominated policies range from national ocean policies, marine protected area programmes and integrated coastal zone management plans, to policies regulating fisheries, trade in marine products, marine litter and land-sea interactions.

As part of a comprehensive evaluation process under way, South Africa's ICM Act has been placed on the short-list, comprising six policies from five different countries. The winning policies will be announced at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in September 2012 and celebrated at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India in October 2012.

Extensive consultations were held

In 1992 the Department of Environmental Affairs embarked on a process to change the way South Africa's coast was managed from an ad hoc and fragmented approached to an inclusive and integrated approach. Negotiations with all coastal stakeholders, including the then extra-parliamentary political parties, were initiated to agree on a process that would eventually culminate in South Africa's first integrated coastal management policy.

The programme involved extensive consultations with stakeholders to identify specific coastal management issues in each of the 13 coastal regions, and to formulate a vision for South Africa's coast.

South Africa promulgated the National Environmental: Integrated Coastal Management Act that entered into force in December 2009. It is the first legal instrument of its kind in South Africa, dedicated to managing our coastline in an integrated fashion and ensuring the sustainable use of the coast's natural resources.

The Act offers a new approach to managing the activities of people in the coastal zone and is based on a national vision for the coast, which includes the socially justified sharing of benefits derived from a resource-rich coastal area without compromising the ability of future generations to access those benefits.
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