FOSAF NEWS - NEM:BA Alien & Invasive Species Update

As reported last year FOSAF became aware that the Department of Environmental Affairs (“DEA”) was intent on pressing ahead with the implementation of a regulations framework that we were led to understand (on what little we at that stage could ascertain) was entirely different from that which we had commented and worked so hard on in the past. 

We thus wrote to the Minister and the Director General of DEA expressing our concern at what appeared to be intended and requesting the opportunity to meet and discuss the matter. 

Despite an initial postponement at DEA's request, the meeting eventually transpired in early February. Present at the meeting were: Mr Fundisile Mketeni (Deputy Director-General: Biodiversity and Conservation), Dr Guy Preston (DDG: Environmental Programmes), Dr Moscow Marumo (Chief Director: Biodiversity Planning and Management), Ms Thea Carroll (Director: Regulation and Monitoring Services) (DEA) and Dr Bill Bainbridge and Mr Ilan Lax (FOSAF). After and open frank discussion where both parties were able to put forward their views, the Department agreed to provide FOSAF’s team with copies of the draft regulations on a confidential basis. 

The environmental team has had an opportunity to consider the draft regulations and have prepared a confidential comment document which will be forwarded to the Department.  We do not believe that the draft regulations are proper or lawful given the wording of the NEM: BA and will inform the DEA accordingly based on our analysis.  We will request the withdrawal of the regulations and given the differences on what we were previously consulted on, FOSAF will also continue to demand that the new proposed framework must be consulted upon in an open and public manner as required by  the Constitution, NEMA and NEM:BA. 

DEA have agreed to consider our comments and may request a further meeting with us to follow up on our suggestions.  Depending on the outcome we may need to consider litigation.  Obviously this will entail raising further funds and we would hope for your continued and valuable support.

Just in case some of you are under the impression that only trout are likely to be affected by these provisions, they are intended to apply equally to most carp, bluegill and bass species.

We will keep you all posted on further developments.

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