Invasive Alien Species (IAS) are a multibillion rand problem for South Africa.
Currently there are 28 000 people employed in IAS management with the potential of being increased to 55 000 in the next few years. There are 383 Invasive plant species which are listed in the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) of 2004. For more information, see this Department of Environmental Affairs document: Do the NEMBA regulations affect you?
On Wednesday the 24th of June 2015, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) Biosecurity Advocacy Programme, held an information forum at George City Hall. The forum was part of a national roadshow series to inform the public and environmental organisations about the new NEMBA regulations that were released in August 2014.
There are now four categories listed under NEMBA for Invasive species. These categories are:
Category 1a: Invasive species which much be combatted and eradicated. Any form of trade and planting is prohibited.
Category 1b: Invasive species which must be controlled and wherever possible, removed and destroyed. Any form of trade or planting is strictly prohibited.
Category 2: Invasive species or species deemed to be potentially invasive, in that a permit is required to carry out a restricted activity. Category 2 species include commercially important species such as pine, wattle and gum trees. Plants in riparian areas are Cat 1b.
Category 3: Invasive species which may remain in prescribed areas or provinces. Further planting, propagation or trade is however prohibited. Plants in riparian areas are Cat 1b.” These new regulations have potentially big impacts for all landowners with invasive species on their land including local, provincial and national government organisation.
If you would like to report issues of non-compliance this may be done on the National Environmental Crimes & Incident Hotline: 0800 205 005
The presentations from the workshop can be downloaded here.