ARBU institutes procedings to establish a local municipal coastal committee

The Association of Recreational beach users has began the procedings to institute a local municipality coastal management committee as is required by the ICMA (Integrated CoastalManagement Act)

We have written a letter to the mayor of Mtubatuba Municipality requesting a meeting to discuss the setting up of this committee as soon as is practicaly possible so that we may proceed to establish the Mtubatuba local Municipality coastal management Committee.

If the Mtubatuba Municipalty does not have a Coastal management plan in place then one will be provided for us in which we will have no input or influence. If we have a committee in place the Act mandates

    the Minister,
    the MEC
    The IWPA (iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority)
    The national coastalanagement committee
    the provincial coastal managemenyt committee

to consult with the local municipality coastal committee on any matters effecting their coastal management plan.

This will alow us as the Association of recreational beach users to have some influence in the matters affecting our members and the potential tourism impacts which any changes to the mtubatuba municipal coastal management plan which may be forecd upon us by the higher levels of the coastal management system envisaged by the ICMA

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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.