South Africa presents green economy initiatives

Pretoria – South Africa has presented some of its sustainable development, green economy initiatives to the Gaborone Declaration on Sustainability in Africa Secretariat (GDSA).

On Tuesday, the Department of Environmental Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism of the Government of Botswana and the GDSA hosted a roadshow in Pretoria to update a wide range of stakeholders on progress and developments on the roll-out of the implementation of the GDSA.

The GDSA emanated from a summit on sustainability in Africa which was held in Gaborone, Botswana, to stimulate high-level dialogue among selected African leaders on matters related to sustainable development and Africa’s natural capital.

The GDSA has ten participating African nations which include South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Liberia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Gabon, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda.

South Africa did a presentation on initiatives such as the Green Economy Modelling Report, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Goods and Services programmes.

Government stakeholders presented five proposed outcomes to be pursued under the GDSA, about initiatives being undertaken in other participating countries that contribute to the Gaborone Declaration. These are as follows:

· Sustainable Development Planning, including the incorporation of sustainability in sustainability objectives in national development planning and decision-making processes;

· Natural Capital Accounting, where the value and contribution of ecosystems and natural resources is fully integrated into decisions and policies

· Environmental-Economic Monitoring, to ensure that decisions are supported by evidence-based systems and measures that respond to and reflect environmental impacts and contributions

· Demonstration of best practices and scaling up of environmental programmes which support and contribute towards other economic sectors

· Corporate leadership, where all sectors, including public, private and civil society are engaged to accelerate transformation of business models and processes towards sustainability

“The meeting concluded by reaffirming the GDSA as an instrument to advance sustainable development, promote green economy and support natural resource accounting programmes in signatory countries and within Africa as a whole and undertook to enhance implementation of key objectives of the Declaration,” the department said.