07 March 2005

CEO of WWF-SA joins the National Environmental Advisory Forum (NEAF)

The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, has announced the establishment of the National Environmental Advisory Forum (NEAF). Speaking at Parliament during a joint briefing to the Parliamentary Portfolio and Select Committees for the Environment and Tourism the Minister said: "The establishment of the NEAF is one of the most important and concrete steps ever taken by Government to recognise the value of stakeholder partnerships in promoting environmental management and governance."

The NEAF will play an important role in providing the Minister with strategic advice on issues of environmental management from the wide range of stakeholder groupings represented. The objectives of the NEAF are to inform the Minister of the views of stakeholders regarding the application of the principles of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). In addition, the Forum will advise the Minister on matters concerning environmental management and governance.

In sourcing the diverse range of skills and experience of the varied stakeholder groupings that are represented on the NEAF, the Minister called for nominations through the Government Gazette and advertisements in newspapers and on radio. The MEC's of the nine provinces, as well as the committees of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces were then provided with the opportunity to comment on the list of nominees. Announcing the names of the 15 NEAF members, the Minister added: "These men and women collectively represent the broad spectrum of civil society, business, labour and academia. Their work on the NEAF will enrich our efforts to broaden the responsibility and ownership of environmental management to all sectors and communities."

The newly appointed Chairperson of the NEAF, Ms. Khungeka Njobe of CSIR Water, Environment and Forestry Technology, sees the NEAF as an important development in the field of environmental management with respect to strengthening the partnership between government and stakeholder groups. The role of Deputy Chairperson will be filled by Dr. John Ledger (SADC Environmental Solutions).

The other members of the NEAF are Mr. Max Sisulu (Sasol) and Mr. Andre Fourie (National Business Initiative) representing business.
Representing the NGO sector are Mr. Malcolm Powell (WESSA), Mr. Bobby Peek (Ground Work), Mr. Tony Frost (World Wide Fund for Nature) and Mr. Ari Seirlis (Quadriplegic Association of South Africa). Mr. Thabo Madihlaba (EJNF) and Ms Josephine Makelefane (Nqobile Women's Development Organisation) will be representing the CBO sector. Mr. Bheki Ntshalintshali (Cosatu) will be representing labour whilst Ms Vuyiswa Tulelo (National Youth Commission) will be representing youth. In addition, the specialist skills of Dr Zarina Patel (University of Witwatersrand), Ms Mariam Mayet (African Centre for Biosafety) and Ms Angela Andrews (Legal Resources Centre) will also be represented on the forum.

"During our Second Decade of Freedom the emphasis of Government will be firmly fixed on implementation and delivery," said the Minister.
"The reservoir of insight and experience that exists among business, labour and civil society groups is an essential component in enhancing that delivery. We believe that the NEAF will play a key role in helping to advance the South African environmental agenda speaking with a single collective voice. We thank all of the NEAF members for their willingness to serve and wish them every success in this important role."


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