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People and Parks Publication launched

by Kemantha Govender
on 31 Aug 2010
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs has launched a publication that notes the progress South Africa has made around conserving its natural resources.

Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi said the People and Parks Publication provides the reader with history of land issues endured in the country, to present day where South Africa is committed to protecting and upholding the rights of communities in the conservation of natural resources.

Mabudafhasi launched the publication at the People and Parks Conference at the University of Zululand on Monday.

She explained that key stakeholders including funding institutions, conservation agencies and the private sector will benefit from the manner in which the information is presented.

"The publication will present the identified experiences in a simple, comprehensible and user friendly language," said Mabudafhasi.

The deputy minister added a synthesis of how the country is meeting some of its goals including transformation and other relevant national plans is included.

Turning her attention to the fourth People and Parks Conference, Mabudafhasi said the gathering "gives people platforms for engagement, sharing of lessons and highlighting challenges".

"It is through such engagements that we have shaped the progress of the People and Parks Programme in South Africa."

However, there are challenges that still cause concern for government - the resolution of land claims and slow place of land reform being among them.

Other issues include the delays in settlements and co-management agreements for settled land claims in protected areas, transfer of grants linked to the settled land claims.

"We need to deal with this challenge before our people grow restless with us. Our people cannot postpone their hunger," said the deputy minister.

Mabudafhasi hopes that the conference would produce some solutions to dealing with the outlined issues. - BuaNews

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