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2006 SOER South Africa Environment Outlook Briefing by DEA to the Portfolio Committee 24 August 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "2006 SOER South Africa Environment Outlook Briefing by DEA to the Portfolio Committee 24 August 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 2006 SOER South Africa Environment Outlook Briefing by DEA to the Portfolio Committee 24 August 2011

2 PRESENTATION OUTLINE Global Environmental Assessments Background on State of the Environment Reporting State of the Environment for South Africa –Main messages Positives Challenges –Status and trends Blue issues, Brown issues, Biodiversity and ecosystems –Leverage points to improve the state of environment Findings of the impact study of the report

3 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS Assessing and reporting on the state of the environment is one of the mechanisms used to keep the environment under review. Global assessments –UNEPs Global Environment Outlook series –Africa Environment Outlook –Environment Outlook for Youth –Millennium Ecosystem Assessment –Scientific Assessments of climate change and ozone depletion Regional assessments –Africa Environment Outlook –SADC State of Environment Report National Assessments –National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment –State of Rivers –State of the Coast –State of Air

4 GLOBAL ASSESSMENTS Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) 60% of the ecosystem services are being degraded or used unsustainably and their degradation could grow significantly worse before 2050 due to rapidly growing demands for food, freshwater, timber, fiber and fuel. Environmental degradation and loss of ecosystem services is a barrier to the attainment of internationally agreed development goals. Global Deserts Outlook (2006) The impact of changes in precipitation and temperature patterns due to global climate change is likely to be felt hardest in desert margins and in desert montane areas. Drought episodes are projected to become even more intense and frequent in the future.

5 GLOBAL ASSESSMENTS Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 (2006) Biodiversity is being lost at all levels Only two-fifths of the worlds ecological regions reaching the 10 % benchmark set out in the provisional framework for the 2010 biodiversity target. Habitats are being fragmented, affecting their ability to maintain biological diversity and deliver ecosystem services. The average abundance of species is declining, showing a 40 % loss between 1970 and Species in rivers, lakes and marshlands have declined by 50 %. The threats causing biodiversity loss are generally increasing, and these include an increase in invasive alien species, over- exploitation and nitrogen-loading, which leads to dead zones in marine systems.

6 CENTRAL MESSAGE FROM THESE GLOBAL ASSESSMENTS Environmental degradation and loss of ecosystem services is a barrier to the attainment of development goals There are no quick fixes

7 Background: State of the Environment Reporting First national state of environment report was released in 1999 Since then various national, provincial, municipal and sectoral state of environment reports were published. The purpose of these reports is to: –Provide information on the state of the environment in accordance with NEMA Section 31 (Access to information) –Increase public awareness about environmental and sustainability issues Target audience: –Policy and decision-makers –Learners and youth –Public – civil society and private sector –Media

8 2006 SOUTH AFRICA ENVIRONMENT OUTLOOK Used latest information available –Social and economical statistics readily available –Environmental data more of a challenge: carbon emissions air quality waste information land degradation Contents of 2006 SAEO report reflect information available up to about March 2006

9 INFORMATION SOURCES –National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2004), NSBA (2004) –State of Biodiversity (2002) –State of Rivers Reports, State of Cities Report (2004), Provincial and Municipal State of Environment reports –Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) –State of the Nation Report (2005 and 2006) –Stats SA reports (various, including environmental resource accounts) –Climate Change Response Strategy (2004) –DWAFs National Water Resource Strategy (2004) –DWAFs National Groundwater Resources Assessment (2004) –DWAFs Water Management System data –State of Human Settlements Report (CSIR) –Housing Atlas (2004) –Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping System (HSRC & NDA) –Johannesburg Plan of Implementation –etc Latest NSOER based on information from recent national assessments and a variety of other sources such as:

10 MAIN MESSAGES: POSITIVES Significant progress in the area of environmental management. –Laws and strategies developed that focus on key areas, biodiversity, air quality protected areas urban and rural development waste, and disaster management. –Efforts to implement and enforce the policy framework have intensified. –Improving environmental conditions include some fish stocks, which have recovered due to good management measures, and a slowing of habitat loss in some areas of the country. –Programmes to rehabilitate ecosystems while creating jobs have received greatly increased budgets.

11 MAIN MESSAGES: POSITIVES Since hosting the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, South Africa has continued to play a prominent role in international environmental governance. Increased attention to environmental fiscal reform, cleaner production, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

12 MAIN MESSAGE: CHALLENGES Recent detailed assessments show that we are using up our natural capital. –The ecological footprint per person in South Africa is higher than the global average (2.8 hectares per person in South Africa compared to a global average of 2.3 hectares per person), –and increased by 2% between 1991 and In other middle- and low-income countries, the average ecological footprint declined in this period. Ecological footprint Ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on ecosystems. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to produce the resources a population consumes and absorb the corresponding waste

13 MAIN MESSAGE: CHALLENGES In general, the condition of the South African environment is deteriorating. –Increasing pollution and declining air quality are harming peoples health in some areas. –Natural resources are being exploited in an unsustainable way, threatening the functioning of ecosystems. –Water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystems are declining. –Land degradation remains a serious problem. –Up to 20 species of commercial and recreational marine fish are considered over-exploited and some fish stocks have collapsed.

14 STATE AND TRENDS Blue Issues Fresh water Water availability Water quality

15 WATER AVAILABILITY We have less water available, of poorer quality than before. Almost all exploitable sources are tapped, resulting in decreased freshwater flows in rivers. There are deficits in available water in more than half of the water management areas. There is a noteworthy amount of water transfer between water management areas, which can have adverse ecological impacts.

16 WATER QUALITY Water quality is variable, with some deterioration since the last state of the environment report. Inadequate controls over pollution and land-use practices have led to a significant proportion of our exploitable water resources being degraded. The health of river ecosystems is declining on the whole.

17 WATER AND CLIMATE CHANGE There should be sufficient water to meet all needs in the near future, provided there is careful management. Allowances for the ecological component of the reserve are not currently being met in many cases. The effects of climate change on water availability have not been factored into these calculations. Thus this prognosis may change. By 2025 at the latest, there will be a deficit in available water. Climate change could result in a 10% reduction in runoff by 2015

18 STATE AND TRENDS Brown Issues Climate change Air quality Ozone depletion Waste

19 CLIMATE CHANGE - GLOBAL TRENDS Absolute temperature has increased by about 0.6 °C over the last century. During much of the last decade, annual ambient temperatures were higher than the long-term average. Global temperatures will likely rise a further 1.1 to 6.4 °C during the 21st century

20 TEMPERATURE TRENDS SOUTH AFRICA South Africas annual mean temperature has generally risen between 1960 and 2003, although this trend is not consistent throughout the country with some areas showing little upward trend and some a small downward trend. Over this period, temperature increased on average 0.13 °C per decade (or 1.3 °C per century). Days with warmer temperatures have generally increased while days with cooler temperatures have decreased.


22 Sea Surface Temperatures and Sea Level Rise South Africa South Africas annual mean sea surface temperature also shows a general upward trend over the last century. Over this period, mean annual sea surface temperatures increased by about 1 °C. Successive IPCC reports have reduced their estimates of projected sea-level rise (currently estimated at between 0.18 and 0.59 meters by As the sea level rises, there will be increased coastal erosion, higher levels of saltwater going into estuaries and groundwater, and greater vulnerability to extreme storms.

23 CARBON EMISSIONS Our per capita greenhouse gas emissions remain high – dependence on coal The HSRCs 2007 SA Social Attitudes Survey shows that South Africans are growing increasingly concerned about climate change but are reluctant to bear the cost of initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emissions

24 CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS Climate change will have profound effects on human well-being, the economy, and the environment. –Reduced freshwater flow in rivers –Climate-induced changes to our coast will adversely affect the fishing industry, especially subsistence fishers. –Impacts of existing environmental problems such as land desertification could combine with the effects of climate change to increase their harmful nature. Responses to global warming are not expected to reverse trends in the near future. The predicted effects of climate change, such as increased floods and droughts, reduced water availability, and greater land degradation will impact very heavily on the large numbers of vulnerable South African people.

25 AIR QUALITY Results from National Economic Development and Labour Council shows: –Elevated PM10 concentrations occur across the country, with levels exceeding South African National Standard –Significantly high concentrations of fine particulates occur within fuel-burning residential areas. Health safety limits are frequently exceeded. –Increasing NO 2 concentrations along busy traffic routes within metropolitan areas have been detected over the past decade. –The SANS annual limit for benzene (C 6 H 6 ) is exceeded at all traffic-related monitoring sites. –Elevated PM10, SO 2, NO 2, and C 6 H 6 concentrations, in excess of air quality limits, have been recorded at industry- related monitoring stations.

26 CONSUMPTION OF OZONE DEPLETING SUBSTANCES Consumption of several ozone-depleting substances decreased from 1998 to 2001 –but has been increasing since 2001, with an increase in HCFC- 124 consumption since Almost completely phased out the use of ozone-depleting substances such as CFCs and carbon tetrachloride. –However, a small amount of legal CFCs are imported and exported to fill asthma inhalers as well as air conditioners and refrigerators manufactured before HCFCs still used in air conditioning systems

27 CONSUMPTION OF OZONE DEPLETING SUBSTANCES The CFC methyl bromide (used as a pesticide in the agricultural sector) is still being imported and used.

28 REFUSE REMOVAL Number of households not receiving adequate refuse removal in SACN cities increased by between 2001 and 2004 This is an increase of 13,3 % an a reversal from the declining trend between 1996 and 2001 This has serious implication for environmental sustainability



31 STATUS AND TRENDS Biodiversity and Ecosystems Aquatic ecosystems Rivers Marine and coastal resources Terrestrial biodiversity

32 POSITIVE TRENDS In parts of the country habitat loss is slowing due to: –stock removal programmes, –conversion from stock to game farming, –removal of incentives for vegetation clearing Working for Water Programmes budget increased significantly – important programme with regard to poverty alleviation Several contractual parks were established. SA played leading role in the establishment of transfrontier conservation areas Spatial Biodiversity Assessment completed

33 AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS Aquatic ecosystems are in the worst shape, and are experiencing a rapid loss of functioning. –When the river ecosystem status outputs are compared with those of terrestrial ecosystems, it becomes clear that the state of river biodiversity in the country needs urgent attention. Wetlands: –Estimated 50% of South Africas wetlands have been destroyed or converted. –Only 10% fully protected –There is no available information on about 66% of them, which is a serious impediment to our ability to protect and manage this valuable resource adequately.

34 RIVERS The health of river ecosystems is declining on the whole, with effluent pollution continuing to grow. –Generally in good to fair condition in the upper reaches and tributaries –In fair to poor condition in the lower reaches. –Most rivers in highly urbanized areas are in poor condition Rivers: 48% are moderately modified, 26% are largely to critically modified, while 26% are intact.

35 MARINE AND COASTAL RESOURCES As much as 40% of South Africas population lives within 100 km of the coast. There is substantial development pressure for infrastructure In the main healthy due to strong management measures Several new MPAs established Greater emphasis on public awareness and education Pelagic resource is recovering Number of blue flag beaches generally increasing (but 5 beaches had their status removed in 2007/08)

36 ESTUARIES Some estuaries are in poor state of health and is declining. –The condition of 28% of them is considered to be excellent; that of another 31% is good; 25% is classified as fair and 15% as poor. The overall level of protection of South African estuaries is low. –Estuaries around intensively developed areas (Cape southwest coast, Port Elizabeth, and southern KwaZulu-Natal) are in the poorest condition.

37 WASTE WATER INTO THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT Daily wastewater discharge is 62% greater than five years ago, even though the number of discharge points has only increased by four, which indicates a significant increase in wastewater volume per discharge point – most released in surf zone.

38 MARINE AND COASTAL RESOURCES - CHALLENGES MPAs are not representative of marine and coastal biodiversity. Many of the marine zones on the west coast lack protection and are among the most severely threatened ecosystems in the country. Extractive use is the main threat to marine biodiversity. A recent evaluation indicated that up to 20 species of commercial and recreational marine fish are considered over-exploited or collapsed. By catch remains serious problem Wastewater discharge into marine environment has increased substantially Reduced freshwater flow have adverse impact on estuaries Climate change impacts:Sea-surface temperatures off southern Africa appear to have increased by about 0.25°C per decade over the last four decades - can severely affect marine ecosystems and productivity The potential impacts of sea level rise on coastal environments include increased coastal erosion, inundation, increased salt water intrusion, raised groundwater tables, and increased vulnerability to extreme storm events.

39 TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY Generally in a better state than that of river and marine ecosystems. Areas of high biodiversity unfortunately coincide with areas facing the greatest pressures – namely the southwestern Cape, the central grasslands, and the eastern coastal regions. Widespread land degradation is causing loss of functioning of ecosystems and reducing the productivity of land, which has serious consequences for the livelihoods of the rural poor. Recent assessments indicate that almost 10% of South Africas birds and frogs, and 20% of our mammals, are threatened.

40 PROTECTED AREAS About 6% of SA is formally protected and the protected area network does not sufficiently represent all habitat types – –110 of 447 vegetation types are not protected at all –Only 10% of wetlands are protected –9% of coastline fully protected

41 ALIEN INVASIVE SPECIES The rate of spread of invasive plants is increasing more rapidly than can be managed through existing programmes for their removal. Significant adverse consequences for biodiversity and reduces stream flow in rivers, which in turn has a negative influence on aquatic and estuarine biodiversity. Invasive alien plants have invaded over 10 million ha. One million hectares of land have been cleared of invasive alien plants during the past eight years Controlling them is currently costing South Africa an estimated R600 million a year. A similar investment will need to continue over the next 20 years to be successful.

42 Will be difficult to attain the goal of reducing the rates of biodiversity loss by 2010 Aquatic ecosystems in poor condition and some west coast ecosystems are regarded as critically endangered Wetlands continue to be destroyed – need full assessment of wetlands in South Africa Over-harvesting of indigenous plants for subsistence and commercial use. There remain some critical indicators for which we have no adequate data and without which our assessment of the current situation is incomplete –land cover –finer scale information on habitat degradation/sensitive areas. TERRESTRIAL BIODIVERSITY: CHALLENGES

43 LEVERAGE POINTS FOR IMPROVING THE STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT Information for decision-making Building capacity Strengthening implementation and enforcement Mainstreaming the environment

44 INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING Improve access to environmental information Use appropriate technologies such as remote sensing and the Internet to provide access to information Integrate the collection, management and sharing of information and reports on environmental and other related matters across all government departments and research institutions Set in place mechanisms to fill data gaps for environmental priority areas: –areas of air quality, carbon emissions, –Waste, –some aspects of water quality, –groundwater use and recharge, –spatial aspects of land and habitat degradation, –cultural heritage, –human vulnerability, and –certain aspects of biodiversity. Continue the ongoing development of appropriate environmental indicators and indices. Ensure the appropriate translation of environmental science and research into practical policy and into public information that is useable and understandable.

45 BUILDING CAPACITY Increase investment into sustainability-focused research and development Target and develop civil society education and awareness around the value of natural capital for human well-being Assist current land-use planning and administration to deal effectively with priority environmental issues. Focus capacity-building efforts for environmental management at the local level on the priority environmental issues including air quality, biodiversity, and climate change Establish partnerships to improve access to information. –Special attention should be given the organizations representing women, youth and vulnerable groups. Extend the application of information and communication technology

46 STRENGTHENING IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT Roll out national environmental capacity-building programme for local government. Facilitate implementation and enforcement in key environmental priority areas. Improve the capacity within regulatory authorities to effectively manage, implement and review the various Integrated Environmental Management procedures and tools, notably the new EIA Regulations. Mobilize sufficient resources and ensure appropriate, adequate, and continuous training for Environmental Management Inspectors throughout the country. Train the judiciary in the principles of environmental management and sustainable development and build legal capacity within the relevant national and provincial departments.

47 MAINSTREAMING THE ENVIRONMENT Bringing environmental sustainability principles into the mainstream of all aspects of governance, planning, decision- making and operation. Incorporate the depletion and degradation of natural resources into national economic systems. Increase focus on the value of natural capital to human well- being. Create a shift from a model of weak sustainability to one of strong sustainability which recognizes the heavy dependency of our economy and our society on the services produced by the natural environment.

48 ARE THE SOE PRODUCTS BEING USED? Do people know of the SAEO and associated products? How do people gain access to the products What is the preferred way to access the information on the state of the environment? How often is the information in the report referred to? Media coverage? How many people use the website? Survey sample profile




52 HOW OFTEN IS THE PRODUCT USED? Most popular sections: Water, Atmosphere, Biodiversity, Marine and Coastal, Statistics and Graphs, Scenarios Least popular sections: Land, Waste, Human settlements, Governance

53 MEDIA COVERAGE The SAEO was covered in more than 20 newspaper, magazines and journals with 8 supplements devoted to the findings of the report. –Covered both the mainstream press such as the Pretoria News, Mail and Guardian) and specialized publications such as Legalbrief, Construction World and South African Journal of Science. One chapter of the State of the Nation 2008 report now devoted to the State of the Environment. Programmes such as 50/50 often quotes information from the Outlook report. SA sets new trend in environmental reporting Environment in trouble National Environmental Report Maps Green Road, Brown Road State of the Environment. A shared responsibility SAs eco-prophecy

54 THE INTERNET PORTAL The portal has been active for the past six years and receives in excess of 2000 visits per month Currently populating provincial state of the environment reports The site can be accessed via:

55 Thank You

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