The Environmental Protection Ordinance (EPO) was brought into force on Monday 29 February 2016.
Under the EPO, Governor in Council can designate Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and it is proposed to designate St Helena’s 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone as a Marine Protected Area. The type of protection that St Helena is striving to achieve is known as an IUCN Category VI status – a protected area with sustainable use of natural resources.
Category VI protected areas conserve ecosystems and habitats, together with associated cultural values and traditional natural resource management systems. They are generally large, with most of the area in a natural condition – where a proportion is under sustainable natural resource management and where low-level non-industrial use of natural resources compatible with nature conservation is one of the main aims of the area.
When a MPA is designated, a management plan shall be adopted under the EPO.
In 2014 a Marine Management Plan (MMP) was developed as an output of the Darwin-funded project Mapping St Helena’s Marine Biodiversity to Create a Marine Management Plan, which ran from 2012 to 2014. The MMP was developed with stakeholder input and public consultation. It identifies the existing and potential pressures in St Helena’s waters, which include pollution, fishing, biosecurity, tourism, construction – and specifies the management strategies that should be adopted to ensure our natural marine resources are used sustainably.
In order to bring the MMP into line with EPO requirements, some amendments have been made to the 2014 version. The revised MMP is now out for public consultation for the requisite 28 day period.
Chief Environmental Officer, Isabel Peters, said:
“The Marine Management Plan will be the first Plan to be formally adopted under the new Environmental Protection Ordinance. It clearly shows that in some areas of the new legislation we are well on the way towards implementation.
“Having a Marine Protected Area designated and its management plan in place puts St Helena in good stead for meeting both local and international commitments – and protecting local interests.”
During the public consultation period there will be radio interviews, stakeholder meetings and drop-in sessions.
Please note the following:
|Monday 18 July to Friday 22 July||11am to 2pm||Drop in sessions||Essex House|
|Wednesday 20 July||5.30pm to 7pm||Drop in session||Kingshurst Community Centre|
|Thursday 21 July||7pm||Public Meeting||Museum|
Reference copies of the MMP are available from the receptions of Essex House and Scotland, the Public Library and the Customer Services Centre. Electronic or personal printed copies can be made available on request – please contact any member of the marine conservation team at Essex House on tel: 22270 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All written comments and feedback on the MMP should be submitted to the Environmental Management Division at Essex House or via email at email@example.com by no later than 4pm on Monday 8 August 2016.
12 July 2016