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Working for the Environment, South Africa Working for the Environment, South Africa
Working for the Environment is a publication launched by the Department of Environmental Affairs (former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism). It aims to inform and educate the general public in South Africa on the vital work currently being done by the government to protect the environment and alleviate poverty. This publication covers five ongoing programmes under the umbrella of the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP): the Social Responsibility Programme and its Working for the Coast sub-programme, Working for Wetlands, Working for Water, and Working on Fire.
South Africa population distribution South Africa population distribution
Kwazulu-Natal has the largest share of population in the coastal areas. Approximately 9 million people live in the province and they are Zulu-speakers. The Eastern Cape Province has the second largest population with 5.8 million people and they are Xhosa-speakers. Northern Cape remains the province with the smallest population, with approximately 1.1 million people, who are Tswana and Coloured.
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Working for the Coast Working for the Coast
Working for the Coast is a programme initiated under the Social Responsibility Programme, which provides jobs and training for unemployed people in coastal communities to create and maintain a cleaner coastal environment. The programme works towards protecting the coastal ecosystems which are essential in providing food and sustenance for the many people living in urban and rural coastal areas.
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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South Africa biomes South Africa biomes
South Africa is blessed with a rich abundance of biodiversity and a wide range of ecosystems and biomes. Among them are the wetland ecosystems, which occupy approximately seven per cent of South Africa’s total land area. Wetlands are regarded as one of the most productive ecosystems because of all the ecosystem services they provide. But the country’s wetlands are under pressure from both natural and human threats and approximately sixty per cen...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Selected environmental threats in South Africa Selected environmental threats in South Africa
In examining environmental challenges in South Africa, it becomes clear that environmental pressures tend to occur in overlapping geographical areas. This tendency results in amplified environmental threats in already disadvantaged regions through negative feedback loops.
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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National environmental legislation, South Africa National environmental legislation, South Africa
The Working for the Environment programmes (water, fire, wetland, coast) are all supported by important national environmental legislation including the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, the Disaster Management Act, the National Veld and Forest Fire Act, the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, and the National Environment Management: Integrated Coastal Management Act.
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Working for Water employment Working for Water employment
The Working for Water programme was launched in 1995 and is administered through the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The programme works in partnership with local communities which it provides with jobs, and also with government departments including the then Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Agriculture, and Trade and Industry, provincial departments of agriculture, conservation and environment, research foundations and...
01 Nov 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Clearing invasive alien plant species Clearing invasive alien plant species
Despite the widespread distribution and extent of alien invasive species in South Africa, actions to control such plants have had some good results. In the fight against invasive alien plant species, the Working for Water programme has used various methods including mechanical methods, chemical methods, biological control, and integrated control.
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Invasive alien plant species potential distribution Invasive alien plant species potential distribution
Alien plant species pose a major threat to South Africa’s native biodiversity. It is estimated that more than 9 000 plant species have been introduced so far. Of these, about 198 species are deemed invasive, covering 10 per cent of the country. Since the invasive plants grow by an estimated 5 per cent a year, their presence has dramatic effects on both native species and ecosystems as well as economic activities in the area. In particular, alien ...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Working on Fire programme achievements Working on Fire programme achievements
The goal of the Working on Fire programme is to protect life and livelihoods and ensure a sustainable and well balanced environment. The programme is advocating and assisting with good land management strategies and an integrated fire management regime. At the same time, the programme contributes to black economic empowerment, skills development, social equity and accelerated service delivery that work towards poverty alleviation. The empowerment...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Water scarcity in Africa Water scarcity in Africa
Wetlands are essential in providing and storing freshwater, but today more than half of South Africa’s wetlands have been destroyed or degraded and it is estimated that by 2025 South Africa will suffer from water scarcity.
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pressures on the South African coast Pressures on the South African coast
Population growth puts pressure on coastal ecosystems. Increased population means growing demand for land for housing and infrastructure, increased use of living resources for food, and more use of available freshwater resources. The negative environmental impacts of the shipping industry also harm the coastal ecosystem. Impacts from shipping include oil spills and the discharge of ballast water and waste into the sea, which affect the quality of...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Poverty and social unrest in South Africa Poverty and social unrest in South Africa
Although the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index ranks South Africa as a middle-income country, the way in which income is distributed across the population is highly skewed. Some 39 per cent of the population, estimated at more than 49 million people, lives on less than R 388 a month. One consequence of poverty and high levels of unemployment is social unrest. A large proportion of South Africa’s poor population...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Job opportunity created per focus area Job opportunity created per focus area
The Social Responsibility Programme was initiated in 1999 under the then Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and represents an important part of the Environment and Culture sector of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The programme contributes to alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment and strengthening the population’s general skill base. It aims to address the following core responsibilities of DEAT: to create job...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biodiversity threats Biodiversity threats
South Africa is recognised as the third most megadiverse country in the world. The abundance of biodiversity found within its borders covers an estimated ten per cent of the world’s plant species, seven per cent of all bird, six per cent of all mammal, and five per cent of all reptile species found on the planet. Due to various causes ranging from unsustainable land use and farming practices, to invasion by alien species and climate change, So...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Wildfires in South Africa Wildfires in South Africa
Wildfires mostly affect rural settlements, but to an increasing degree also urban areas, which have developed in fire-prone areas. The impact of wildfires in natural vegetation on the poorest groups of the population cannot be overstated. Many informal settlements are located in the transition zone between densely settled land and land carrying high fuel loads. If not properly managed such areas pose a high risk of wildfires, which may inflict se...
01 Mar 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Share of projects per focus area Share of projects per focus area
The Social Responsibility Programme was initiated in 1999 under the then Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) and represents an important part of the Environment and Culture sector of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). The programme contributes to alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment and strengthening the population’s general skill base. It aims to address the following core responsibilities of DEAT: to create job...
21 Jun 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
3