Ensure environmental sustainability
Where we are?
Since 1994, environmental issues have moved into the socio-political arena. They bring together human rights, access to natural resources, social justice, equity and sustainability. In the last eleven years, Government has focused on prioritising people's needs while safeguarding the country's natural assets. The range of legislative, policy and institutional developments that have occurred over this period have brought about a new environmental management approach, based on recognition of the contribution that the country's biological resources in relation to food security, science, the economy, cultural integrity and well-being make. Also, between April 1994 and March 2005, approximately 2,4 million housing subsidies were approved. During the same period, 1,74 million housing units were built.
Two important messages from a review of goal 7 are as follows. South Africa does have significant environmental challenges, specifically its dependence on environmentally harmful coal based energy production. Second, it clear that there have been significant improvements in improving to basic services and this must be assessed in relation to Goal 1. No strategy for environmental sustainability can be successful without better monitoring. Currently, however, monitoring systems for water flows and quality, air quality, deforestation, and other land degradation are inadequate. Sustained investments in strengthening environmental monitoring systems will thus be essential. An important mechanism for implementing national strategies is the set of multilateral environmental agreements and conventions, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the RAMSAR Wetland Convention, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. More funding and targeted technical support need to be made available to implement these agreements..