FOSAF NEWS - Update on NEM:BA Alien & Invasive Species Regulations

The protracted process of finalising the draft NEM:BA alien and invasive species ("AIS") regulations drags on.

Since 2009 DEAT has changed its name to the Department of Environmental Affairs ("DEA").  Much to the frustration of those of us on the FOSAF Environmental Committee and chapter committees elsewhere throughout the country, who have contributed to the process, there appears to be no immediate end in sight.

Our Chairman, Ilan Lax wrote to Ms Magdel Boshoff of DEA, who is the official presently co-ordinating the process, to request an update and was informed that due to possible constraining provisions of NEM:BA legal advice has been sought by DEA as they cannot publish and implement regulations that may be in conflict with the provisions of the Act. For this reason, the legal opinions are of vital importance to determine the contents of the draft regulations and the maps.

So there you have it!  While all the legal deliberations are obviously necessary, the length of time that this process has taken continues to be very frustrating for ordinary anglers and other stakeholders.  Precisely what the concerns are is not stated but stakeholders need to remain vigilant.

We have heard whispers that the department is concerned about implementation issues.  We in FOSAF have had similar concerns and drew this to the attention of the DEA and the officials with whom we engaged in the mapping workshops.  Specifically, our concerns relate to the possibility that the process will result in a complicated administrative system which given the enormous capacity and resource constraints will bedevil practical implementation.  It remains to be seen whether our fears are well founded or not.

In conclusion, we believe that the contributions made by FOSAF to the process have been very important, and we trust that all of our hard work will not have been in vain.

Dr W R Bainbridge,

Chairman, National Environmental Committee

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