Ross Wanless 0

Support South Africa's new marine parks

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Marine Protected Areas – show your support!

Our oceans are a critical life support system to humanity.:

  • The ocean provides a critical source of protein for more than a billion people
  • More than 60% of the world’s population lives on or near the coast
  • The ocean supports the greatest abundance of life on our planet
  • The ocean provides livelihoods, recreation, beauty, wonder, and untapped scientific discovery, with potential for human health, new medications, foods, and more

Despite their critical role, only 0.4% of South Africa’s mainland oceans are currently under formal protection, compared to almost 10% of our terrestrial area! With the growing human pressures from marine mining, energy supply, fishing, aquaculture and tourism, our oceans have never been in greater need of protection.

The South African government has made international commitments to increase MPAs. MPAs are an investment in our shared future: they safeguard ocean habitats to ensure that human activities like fishing, mining, and tourism are sustainable in the long term. As part of government’s Operation Phakisa, 22 new MPAs have been proposed, increasing formal ocean protection to 5% of our exclusive economic zone.

BirdLife South Africa, the Centre for Environmental Rights, I Am Water, the Save Our Seas Foundation and WWF-SA are united in their support for this process. We call on South African citizens who care about the ocean, who want to promote sustainable use of natural resources, and who support government’s move to increase protection of our ocean spaces, to demonstrate their support for the creation of these MPAs and sign this petition.

We, the undersigned, support the declaration of the 22 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Gazette No. 39646, which will lead to the protection of 5% of South Africa’s territorial waters. We commend the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and their partners for taking this important step for conservation. We support the expansion of the “ocean economy” to benefit all South Africans.

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