A launch event for the establishment of an overarching environmental body for the Southern Cape – the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF) – will be held in Mossel Bay on Tuesday 11 December.

GARDEN ROUTE ENVIRONMENTAL FORUMThe establishment of an overarching environmental body by the Garden Route District Municipality and partners, aims to coordinate regional conservation efforts, serve as a catalyst to drive climate adaption practices in the Southern Cape and will strive to establish a better-coordinated approach to environmental management.

The Southern Cape is vulnerable to increased risks associated with threats to the environment, including water security, wildfire, loss of biodiversity, all resulting in a reduction of economic opportunity and well-being and putting vulnerable communities under pressure.

A steady and continuous influx of population, a greater demand for fresh water and development land, an increased risk of wildfire and human pressure on a sensitive Garden Route ecology, imply that mechanisms to better coordinate the environmental sector is a key solution to create a climate-ready environment.

Says Cobus Meiring of the GREF Secretariat: “An all-out effort to ensure a climate-ready future, and a mind shift in the way we adapt and manage our environment, is urgent and should dominate the social and political narrative if the region aims to develop sustainably. An environment free of invasive alien plants and cleared waterways and catchments, will take the region a leap forward in risk reduction, and all authorities, landowners and land managers must heed the call.”

“With climate change, the spread of invasive alien plants and the intricate and long-term effects these environmental threats bring to the region, regional and local authorities, land managers and conservationists will have little choice but to plan around what nature will impose upon the region in years to come.”

For more information contact Cobus Meiring: cobus@naturalbridge.co.za

 

Written by Marti Kirstein