The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (iSimangaliso Authority) hereby invites interested and affected parties to provide input and comment on the draft Integrated Management Plan (IMP), relevant to the years 2022-2031.
The IMP is a strategic framework plan for decision making that has been drafted in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act 1999 (Act No.49 of 1999) and the South African National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (Act 57 of 2003). The draft IMP (2022-2031) builds on the previous IMP (2017-2021) and sets out the parameters for the conservation and protection of the world heritage values, and the integration of conservation, tourism development, and local economic development of historically disadvantaged communities in and adjacent to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It provides the integrated management tools for iSimangaliso, including spatial planning measures that include zonation and a 10-year implementation plan.
The IMP contains five chapters arranged as follows:
Chapter 1: Introduction
This chapter explains the purpose, structure and focus of the IMP and gives a brief overview of the listing of iSimangaliso as a World Heritage site and the resultant legal framework governing the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Chapter 2: Overview of iSimangaliso Wetland Park
This chapter provides a brief situational overview of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the surrounding region in terms of biophysical, socio-economic, infrastructural, historical, tourism characteristics and context, and addresses land restitution.
Chapter 3: Strategic Analysis (2022-2031)
This Chapter discusses the conservation, cultural heritage and economic significance of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It also presents the various challenges and threats currently facing the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, in particular threats to the natural values, constraints to poverty alleviation and empowerment, and constraints to tourism development.
Chapter 4: Strategic Plan
This chapter discusses the strategic plan for the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This includes the vision, guiding principles, management goals, the planning cycle and reporting requirements. Lastly, the implementation plan for the 2022-2031 period is presented.
Chapter 5: iSimangaliso’s Environmental Management Framework (Tools for Integrated Environmental Management)
This chapter provides a breakdown of iSimangaliso’s Environmental Management Framework, particularly the ‘Spatial Planning Measures and Controls’, ‘Policies, Strategies and Plans’ and ‘General Planning Tools and Controls’. The primary spatial planning measure is the zonation plan. This forms the basis for the activities plan, and the setting of nodal types and carrying capacities for each block, sub-zone, facility and activity. Together, these tools determine the setting of limits and form the basis for the enhancement of iSimangaliso’s core values. This chapter also addresses the Park Buffer, a requirement in terms of the World Heritage Convention Act and Protected Areas Act.
The iSimangaliso Authority has commenced with the Public Participation Process by placing newspaper adverts in the Zululand Observer, iSolezwe and the Sunday Times. The hardcopies of the Draft Integrated Management Plan have also been placed at the Bangizwe Education Centre, Manguzi Education Centre, Mbazwana Education Centre and the Richards Bay Public Library.
Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and the declared National State of Disaster the consultation strategy had to be changed and adapted accordingly, the following changes have been made:
- Due to closure of Public Libraries the Draft IMP (hard copies) have been placed at Education Centres listed above.
- Due to the regulations on social gatherings, online webinars have been included to enable engagement with iSimangaliso on the Draft IMP. Dates for the online webinars will be communicated on the 4th of September via a notice on the Indaloenhle and the iSimangaliso Authority websites: indaloenhle.co.za and isimangaliso.com.
iSimangaliso will continue with the remaining scheduled public participation exercises including sending letters to specific key stakeholders and holding engagements with specific partners accordingly as well as open day sessions for the public in St. Lucia, Hluhluwe, Mbazwana and Manguzi. The dates will be communicated via notification on the Indalo Enhle and the iSimangaliso Authority websites.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park’s vision is to create a renowned World Heritage Park where conservation, sustainable tourism and benefit sharing prevails. This IMP sets out the strategic direction and drivers for this goal over the next 10 years, 2022-2031. Our conservation strategy continues to be one of the ‘rewilding’ of iSimangaliso, which powerfully links conservation to the development and empowerment of local communities.
For more information on the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, visit our website at isimangaliso.com. Media enquiries should be directed to Bheki Manzini at firstname.lastname@example.org.