The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs gazettes the prohibition of certain restricted activities involving certain encephalartos (cycad) species and invites public comments on a further prohibition on the selling and buying of certain encephalaratos (cycad) species
17 May 2012The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa published under section 57(2) of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) the prohibition of certain restricted activities involving certain cycad species in Gazette No. 35344 of 14 May 2012 for immediate implementation.
Unless required for conservation or enforcement purposes, the Gazette states that the following restricted activities involving wild specimens of listed threatened or protected cycad species are prohibited:
Furthermore, the following restricted activities involving artificially propagated specimens of listed threatened or protected cycad species are prohibited:
- Collect, pluck, uproot, destroy
- Export from the Republic of South Africa, sell, trade, buy
- Receive, give, donate, accept, acquire, dispose
- Import into the Republic of South Africa, convey, move, translocate
- Possess, exercise physical control (except where permits have been issued, prior to the publication of this notice, for plants that form part of legally obtained parental stock)
The export from the Republic of South Africa of specimens with a stem diameter of more than 15cm, except for the following dwarf species which cannot be exported if the stem diameter is more than 7cm: E.caffer, E.humilis, E.cupidus, E.cerinus and E.ngoyanus.
These restrictions come into operation immediately.
To access the Gazette, click on the link
The Minister furthermore published for public comment, in terms of section 100 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No.10 of 2004) a further proposed prohibition on the selling and buying of certain cycad species in Gazette No. 35343 of 14 May 2012.
On 15 February 2011 in Gazette No. 34026 the department published for public comment a cycad notice prohibiting the trade in specimens of critically endangered cycad species with a stem diameter of more than 15cm, except for E.cerinus that cannot be traded with if the stem diameter is more than 7cm, for a period of five years. The notice also prohibited the sale, export or re-export of specimens of endangered cycad species with a stem diameter of more than 15cm, except for E.cupidus if the stem diameter is more than 7cm, for a period of five years unless the specimens are appropriately marked by means of micro-chips.
Comments received during the public participation process included amongst others, the prioritisation of protecting wild populations, the fact that micro-chips may damage the plants and even cause the death of plants and the concern that prohibiting trade in artificially propagated cycads will not stop illegal harvesting, but probably increase the pressure on wild populations by increasing the value of these specimens.
The department considered the comments received during the public participation process and subsequently the Minister signed two Government Gazette Notices; a prohibition notice that address the concerns relating to wild populations and the international trade in large plants; and a new notice for public comment. In terms of the new notice, the prohibition of the selling or buying of artificially propagated specimens of listed critically endangered and endangered cycad species with a stem diameter of more than 15cm, except E. cerinus and E. cupidus if the stem diameter is more than 7cm, is proposed for a period of five years or until targets in Biodiversity Management Plans are achieved.
The difference between the original notice published for comment and the new proposed notice for comment is that the provisions in the original notice are less restrictive as far as it relates to the selling and buying of artificially propagated cycad specimens.
Interested and affected parties are invited to submit written comments to the Minister within 30 days of publication of the notice in the Gazette No. 35343. Written comments or inputs can be delivered by hand, mail, email or telefax transmission.
By post to:
The Director-General: Environmental Affairs
Attention: Ms M Boshoff
Private Bag X447
By fax to: 012 320 7026, and by E-mail to MBoshoff@environment.gov.za
Hand delivered at: 315 Pretorius Street, corner Pretorius and van der Walt Streets, Fedsure Forum Building, 2nd Floor, North Tower
Comments received after the closing date may not be considered.
To access the Gazette notice, click here
Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs
17 May 2012
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