Biological Diversity, which South Africa ratified in 1995 (see 6 YbIEL 507 ( 1995)) and which came into effect during 1996. It sets out a number of goals to guide a biodiversity policy and strategy in South Africa. The intention is to follow up with a White Paper and new legislation in due course.
In the new spirit of public participation in South Africa, the Department of Environmental Affairs held a nationwide public consultative process in 1995 to formulate a new environmental policy for the country. During 1996, the Department produced two important documents in this regard: a discussion document "Towards a New Environmental Policy for South Africa" and a Green Paper entitled "An Environmental Policy for South Africa." These documents are written in an accessible style and emphasise public participation in the lawmaking process. The Green Paper's stated aim is to develop a broad policy and strategic framework to promote sustainable environmental management in South Africa. It sets out a number of different models as to how government should be structured to promote these ends. The intention is to follow up on these documents with a White Paper and subsequently with new environmental legislation in conformity with the changed needs and circumstances in South Africa.
Jan I. Glazewski
Namibia did not sign, ratify or accede to any international environmental conventions during 1996, but a number of national initiatives relevant to international environmental law occurred.
A Namibian delegation attended 9th session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Convention to Combat Desertification in New York. Domestically, the work of the Namibian Programme to Combat Desertification continued with the appointment of a coordinator for the programme and ongoing workshops. Desertification and concomitant land degradation is a significant problem in Namibia.
Namibia also began to plan its country study under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and obtained donor support toward this end.
Similarly, work on its biodiversity country study progressed well and a number of publications are expected in this regard. The environmental law project held workshops on a new nature conservation ordinance and produced a first draft of an environmental management act.
The results of these various initiatives will be evident in future years.
Jan I. Glazewski