State of the environment and indicators Rudi Pretorius 3 June 2003 North West Province
Why do we need to report on the state of the environment? • World is changing faster than ever before • Climate change, desertification, loss in biodiversity to name a few • A few examples…….
What is our response? • We need to respond to the changing condition of the environment • Policies, plans programmes are all aiming to improve the environment and contribute to sustainable development. • Agenda 21 – chapter 40 • Constitution of South Africa • NEMA • As government we have responsibility to inform citizens on the state of environment
What is a state of the environment report? • Purpose: • To support sustainable development decision making through the provision of credible environmental information • Three characteristics • Interpretation, assessment and integration of data • Development of spatial and temporal trend information • Linkage between environment and socioeconomic considerations
What are the requirements for a good status report? • Must be consultative • Must address at least 3 critical elements • What is the state of the environment? • Why is the status the way it is and what are the implications and impacts? • What are we doing about it and what could/should we be doing? • Information must be scientifically sound • Content of the report must be user friendly • Different formats, media and languages • Must be integrated into planning instruments • Recommendations must be applied
Levels of reporting – global to local • Global reports • Global Environment Outlook (2002) UNEP • State of the World (2002) WWI • Continental reports • African Environment Outlook (2002) UNEP • Regional reports • Southern Africa State of the Environment (1994) • National Report • Sub-national reports • Provincial • Local/City • Sectoral reports
State of Environment reporting in South Africa • 1999 National • 1999/2000 Cities • 2000 State of Rivers • 2001State of Estuaries • 2002 Provincial initiative • 2003 Local Authority initiative
The challenge! • Integrating SoER with environmental planning and reporting regime • IDP (5-year cycle – annual reporting) • Vision (future desired state) • Assessment (SoER) • Development of priorities, objectives, strategies • Spatial development framework • Disaster management plan • Financial plan • KPIs • EMP (4 year cycle – annual reporting) • EIP (4 year cycle – annual reporting) • Need a common denominator – common currency
Indicators!......and Targets! Indicators are tools to measure progress towards a goal, a target or desired future state Environmental indicators will provide us with the hard, quantitative data to ensure a sound basis for both environmental and economic policy in the future Indicators can serve as a continuous call to arms – and ongoing protection against environmental complacency” Paul Martin, Minister of Finance, Canada 25 May 2001, Toronto Canada
Indicator initiatives • International: • Indicators of sustainable development • Millennium declaration • JPI indicators • Regional • SADC environmental indicators • National: • National environmental indicators (2002) • KPIs (IDP – 2002) • Human Rights Indicators • Local • LA21 indicators • KPIs
Water: Two billion people are dying for itJPI Targets • Half the proportion of people in poverty by 2015. • ….by the year 2015, to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. • … to halve proportion of people without access to proper sanitation by 2015.
Access to safe drinking water – South Africa • Total proportion of people that have access to safe water has increased from 78.5% in 1996 to 84.3% in 2000 • Urban 98% • Non-urban 59.6%
National targets and goals • 7 million people have access to clean, safe water • 7 million more people to be provided with clean, safe water over next 3 years