The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy, will launch the report by a Panel of Experts which reviewed the scientific basis for breaching the mouth of the Lake St. Lucia Estuary at the St. Lucia Eco Lodge on Thursday, 28 April 2022.
An open letter written from a group of concerned scientists citing environmental dangers stemming from the artificial breaching of the estuary mouth prompted the Minister to appoint an independent, multidisciplinary Panel of Experts to investigate. Their work – which took place between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022 – included reviewing legislation and management plans, meetings with scientific experts as well as interactions with the communities including traditional leaders in the region.
Earlier this month, Minister Creecy received the report and has studied the findings and recommendations contained in the report. The release of the report to the media will happen ahead of a Workshop on Panel Report for all stakeholders and members of the Portfolio Committee on Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site is the first South African site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999 in recognition of its superlative natural beauty and unique global values.
Working with sister government departments, including Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, Water and Sanitation, as well District, Local municipalities, and other stakeholders, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment is committed to offering solutions that will safeguard the heritage in iSimangaliso, while also supporting the livelihoods of the communities in and around Park.
Media are invited to attend and cover the launch of the report as follows:
Date: Thursday, 28 April 2022
Venue: St Lucia Eco Lodge (A link for virtual participation will be issued at a later stage).
To RSVP, contact: Peter Mbelengwa on 082 611 8197/ firstname.lastname@example.org or Noma Bolani on 066 112 3746/ email@example.com or Bheki Manzini on 060 533 2082 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For media inquiries, contact: Albi Modise on 083 490 2871