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Memorandum of Agreement between Department of Environmental Affairs, South African National Parks (SANParks) and Coal of Africa Limited

Amongst others, agreement intends to ensure that the commitment of the country to secure the integrity of Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape World Heritage Site is maintained into the future through “comprehensive biodiversity offsets programmes, thereby optimising benefits to local communities”. Parallel to this initiative, the South African Botanical Institute (SANBI) has been mandate to undertake a national process of development national guidelines for biodiversity offsets which once completed will influence the activities in the area as well.

In the context of the MoA that is to be signed, the parties agree to:

  • promote alliances in the management of natural and cultural resources
  • ensure compliance with the provisions of the MoA
  • encourage social, economic and other partnerships among stakeholders
  • promote integrated planning, research, education, awareness and capacitybuilding
  • collaborate in formulating detailed biodiversity offsets programmes and implementation plans, and
  • provide adequate financial, human and other resources for the effective implementation of the MoA.

Regarding the detailed biodiversity offsets programmes to be developed, the MoA states that the programmes will be underpinned by, amongst others, the following components:

  • natural heritage conservation;
  • cultural heritage conservation;
  • tourism development; and
  • water resource management.

These components for offsets will be translated into more comprehensive programmes and implementation plans. The Parties further understands the significance of a wider stakeholder engagement and in order to achieve this, the Parties agreed to the establishment of an environmentalmanagement committee or steering committee, as well as relevant sub-committees.

Further, the parties to the MoA agree to:

  • Ensure periodic review and updating of the biodiversity offsets programmes and implementation plans
  • Ensure effective participation of other key stakeholders, including government and non-governmental organisations, communities, landowners, the academic community and the private sector at international, national and local levels in the implementation of the MoA, and
  • Develop means whereby local communities sustainably benefit from the use of natural and cultural resources occurring within the world heritage site.