IUCN members in South Africa urged to dialogue on key conservation issues

16 May 2011 | Article

 IUCN members in South Africa have been urged to use the IUCN platform to reach consensus on conservation issues that affect the country. Speaking during the meeting held last Thursday, the Chair of the IUCN National Committee of South Africa, Mr Fundisile Mketeni informed the members that the best way to deal with controversial conservation issues is to have an open and frank discussion around such issues.

 “We need to question some of the approaches that we are using and come up with better solutions to the conservation challenges that we face,” said Mketeni after facilitating an open discussion on funding for rhino poaching, the mining activities in Mapungubwe, and the upcoming hotel in Kruger, among other things.

Hosted by the Botanical Society of South Africa at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, the meeting brought together over 20 conservation organizations from both the NGO community and government.

The Chair recognized the role IUCN members are playing in contributing to the conservation and development agenda in South Africa. “Listening to the activities of the organizations represented here, I have noted that you are all contributing positively to the Outcome 10 delivery agreement that government developed.”

The Government of South Africa has agreed on 12 outcomes as a key focus of work until 2014. Each of the 12 outcomes has a delivery agreement which in most cases involve all spheres of government and a range of partners outside government. Outcome 10 ensures that environmental assets and natural resources are well protected and continually enhanced. The IUCN Chair indicated that the delivery agreement for Outcome 10 will be on the agenda for discussion during the next meeting.

The meeting agenda also included the preparations for the UNFCCC Climate Change COP 17 to be held in Durban, South Africa at the end of the year and the IUCN World Conservation Congress to be held in Jeju, South Korea in 2011.

The IUCN Committee of South Africa was recognized by the IUCN Council in October 2000. The meeting host, Botanical Society of South Africa, has been a member of IUCN since 1984 and was established to win the hearts, minds and material support of individuals and organizations for the conservation, cultivation, study and wise use of the indigenous flora and vegetation of southern Africa.

For more information, please contact Hastings Chikoko, Head of Constituency Support and Communications/Head – IUCN South Africa: hastings.chikoko@iucn.org