iSimangaliso wetland Park IMP

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority is busy with their IMP (integrated management Plan) review for 2009.

Part of this process is surposed to include meaningful public participation, and the open day held at Hluhluwe on Friday 23 January 2009 (23/01/09) was interesting, but does not qualify as meaningful public participation. This meaningful public participation is required according to the regulations associated with the world heritage act, act 49 of 1999, and the NEMA as well as other related legislation.

We arrived at the HluHluwe Protea Hotel expecting to attend a meeting but got a surprise as it was an open day with a show and tell team who were not as well rehearsed in all matters as they should have been. Unfortunately I got rather upset and lost the plot.

I was actualy so upset about some issues, and the lack of depth that the consultants showed that I began to shake. Fortunately I had some friends at this show, and they managed to calm me down, so that I could speak to some of the consultants and ask some questions which need to be addressed, without shouting and behaving like a lunatic.

The issue of tourism associated with the recreational beach users is not in their plan, and the fact that the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) wish to extend the marine protected area, and apply new limitations on resource extraction methods needs to be evaluated properly to ensure that it does not have a huge negative impact on tourism, like the closure of the recreational use areas of the Elephant Coast did.

The studies done back in 2002 by the same consultants Acer Africa need to be revisited, and questions asked as to the wetlands Park Authority’s response to these reports, and their inclusion in the EIA (Environmntal Impact Assesment).

The IWPA IMP Consultants need to be invited to the Mtubatuba IDP and they need to describe and implement the methodology that will be used to integrate the Mtubatuba IDP and the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) IMP (integrated Management Plan) so that they (the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) may comply with the world heritage Act (Act 49 of 1999) in terms of chapter iv section 22 in its entireity.

The Association of recreational beach users will need to do a lot of negotiating and arrange a huge ammount of pressure on the iSimangaliso Wetland Park to ensure the law is followed, and that the economic losses associated with the absence of the recreational beach users from the Elephant Coast recreational use areas is considered.

The figures are huge, with at least 200 000 overnight visits to the park, and about 400 000 day visits being lost due to the closure of recreational use areas to motor vehicle access.

If you want to help us visit http://groups.google.com/group/arbu and register as a supporter. it is free and we will appreciate your moral support.

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Help need at public meetings

The IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) are busy with their IMP (Integrated Management Plan) and your presence at the public participation meetings will be included.

If you can be there please attend.

If you cant be there your self, perhaps you can convince a friend to be their. If we do not get enough people at these public meetings then our point of view will not be included in the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) IMP (Integrated Management Plan)

We need to get the 4×4 ban issue addressed at these public participation meetings. If there are not enough numbers at these meetings then our point will not b e taken seriously.

The Integrated Management Plan (IMP) is a tool that is used to develop and manage iSimangaliso. It is the framework for decision making over the next 5 years, and has been drafted in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act 1999 (Act No.49 of 1999) and National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act 57 of 2003). The IMP also meets the requirements of other legislation, such as the Marine Living Resources Act, 1998 (Act 18 of 1998).

The IMP sets out to integrate conservation, tourism development, and the local economic development of historically disadvantaged communities in and adjacent to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

The IMP provides the integrated management tools for iSimangaliso, including:

* Spatial planning measures, including zonation, activities plans and nodal frameworks, the intended proclamation of the entire coast off iSimangaliso a Marine Protected Area.
* A five year implementation programme.
* General planning measures and controls.

The IMP is available for your review and comment for the period from the 24 December 2008 until 18 February 2009. Holiday makers to the Park over the festive season will have an opportunity to review the Plan, making the IMP available for comment for an extended period of 8 weeks.

Hard and electronic copies of the Integrated Management Plan will be available at the venues below:

KWAZULU NATAL
Durban Central Public Library
Durban North Public Library
Mkuze – Ghost Mountain Inn
Hluhluwe Public Library
Jozini Public Library
Manguzi Public Library
Mbazwana Education Centre and Library
Mtubatuba Public Library
Mtunzini – ACER (Africa) Offices
Richards Bay Public Library
St Lucia Public Library

GAUTENG
Bryanston Public Library
Rosebank Public Library
Blackheath Public Library
Johannesburg Public Library
Pretoria Public Library

MPUMALANGA
Nelspruit Public Library

WESTERN CAPE
Cape Town Public Library

iSIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK
St Lucia Crocodile Centre
uMkhuze – Mantuma Reception
Sodwana Bay – Camp Reception
Kosi Bay – Camp Reception

The Draft IMP is also available on ACER Africa’s website: http://www.acerafrica.co.za under the “iSimangaliso IMP” link.

At the end of January 2009, Open Days will be held to provide an opportunity for the public to discuss the content of the IMP.

KWAZULU-NATAL
23 January 2009 – Protea Hotel Hluhluwe – 09h00 to 13h00
27 Janaury 2009 – Durban Botanical Gardens – 15h00 to 19h00

GAUTENG
28 January 2009 – Protea Hotel Midrand – 15h00 to 19h00

Comments can be submitted in one of the following ways:
By mail: ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants
IMP Consultation Public Participation Office,
PO Box 503,
Mtunzini, 3867
By fax: 035 – 340 2232
By email: IMP@acerafrica.co.za

The comment period commences on Wednesday, 24 December 2008 and ends at the close of business on Wednesday, 18th February 2009. Please make sure that ACER has received your comments.

All those with an interest in iSimangaliso Wetland Park are encouraged to review the draft IMP, attend Open Days and/or submit written comment. Comments received will be considered in the finalisation of the IMP.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Public Participation Office.

iSIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK
DRAFT INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PLAN – PUBLIC CONSULTATION PROCESS
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION OFFICE DETAILS

Ms Bongi Shinga or June Mottram
ACER (Africa) Environmental Management Consultants
P O Box 503, Mtunzini, 3867
Tel: 035 340 2715
Fax: 035 340 2232
E-mail: IMP@acerafrica.co.za

REVIEW PERIOD: 24 December 2008 – 18 February 2009

For more information email roland@iSimangaliso.com

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority plans missing ?

On Wednesday 3 December 2008 the Mtubatuba IDP (Integrated Development Plan) held a meeting of the Public Representatives Forum as part of their public participation process in the development of their IDP.

The subject of the IWPA iSimangaliso Wetland Park and integration of their IMP (Integrated Management Plan) came up, where the facilitator said that she had been trying for more than 6 years to acquire a copy of their IMP.

I have also personally been on the hunt for this plan, as I want to know what the IWPA is doing about the significant losses suffered when the recreational beach users along the Elephant Coast simply stopped coming to the Elephant Coast.

I am tired of being Mr. Nice Guy and so requested that the PRF (Public Representatives Forum) request that the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) produce a copy of their Integrated Management Plan (IMP) or face the music.

The forum then took a resolution to request that the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) produce their plan within 14 Days. This is a start, and we will keep up the pressure.

It must be remembered that the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) is the Successor of GSLWPA (Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park Authority) and as such is liable for not implementing policies as per instructions of the world heritage Act clauses 21, 22, 23 and 24

IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) is the new name for GSLWPA (Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park Authority) and the name change was quite a serious affair, as this name change affects UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) which is the world body in control of world heritage sites and their marketing to the public.

Read more –

Government Notice of estbling GSLWPA

The government Notice establishing GSLWPA (Greater St. Lucia Wetands Park Authority) may be found here

The world heritage convention act may be found here

It Must be remembered that the GSLWPA (Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park Authority) underwent a name change and is now known as IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority)

This name change came about because of a branding issue relating to the Island of St. Lucia in the in the Caribbeans which now has its own world heritage site which leaves some confusion in the world travelers mind.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority IMP unavailable!

The fact that the IMP (integrated Management Plan) of the iSimangaliso wetland Park Authority (IWPA) is unavailable for public scrutiny was brought up at last weeks meeting of the Public representatives forum of Mtubatuba Local Municipality’s IDP (Integrated development Plan)

I personally requested that the forum take a resolution to request the Mtubatuba Municipality to request this IMP (Integrated Management Plan) be made available to the IDP so that we can align the Mtubatuba Municipality’s tourism strategy with that of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority.

This received strong support from all forum members and a resolution to request the plan from IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) was adopted.

The IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) is obliged to produce an IMP (Integrated Management Plan in terms of the world Heritage Act as per clauses 21 to 25.

Failure to have these plans available for public scrutiny is a criminal offense, and I will be pressing for charges to be laid against both the CEO of IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) and the Minister of DEAT (Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism) if these plans are not available at the next PRF (Public Representatives Forum) of the Mtubatuba IDP Review Process.

At the end of the day we want to know how the IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority) plans to mitigate the economic losses caused by the 4×4 ban, and what their future tourism strategy entails.