South Africa: Environmental Management Plan Published for Adoption

A plan to mitigate the environmental impact of LandCare projects has been published by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.

The Generic Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) was published for adoption by Minster Barbara Creecy in Government Gazette 44341 (Notice No. 276).

The management and mitigation of environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of LandCare projects has been published for adoption.

The exclusion of LandCare projects from the requirement to obtain environmental authorisation has also been adopted.

The department said the adoption of the Generic EMPr linked to LandCare projects means that the exclusion of the requirement to obtain environmental authorisation for site specific projects will apply only if the project complies with the conditions in the Generic EMPr.

"The developer would still be required to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, and to commit to implementing the provisions of the Generic EMPr. It will be an offence should they not do so," the department said in a statement.

The Generic EMPr for the LandCare Programme was developed by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment in October 2020 to avoid, manage and mitigate the environmental impacts and risks associated with the activities of the programme.

These include activities identified by provincial MECs within a specific geographic area for which environmental authorisation is required.

"The EMPr has been developed by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists based on 23 years of experience in implementing the programme.

"Following review, it was found to meet the requirements and principles contained in the [National Environment Management] Act, thus the adoption of the instrument," the department said.

While the notice states that any activities that meet the requirements of the pre-approved EMPr, and the necessary registration requirements, are excluded from area-specific environmental authorisations, the department said this would only apply if the provincial coordinator registers that LandCare project with the competent authority 30 days prior to commencement.

"The registration must be accompanied by a declaration of compliance. Legal action will be taken if the project is not formally registered, or issued with a registration number by the competent authority," said the department.

To access the Government Gazette, click on https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/gazetted_notices/nema_adotpitongenericEMPr_lancareprogramme_g44341gon276.pdf.

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