The official response from the Minister for the Environment, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa.
Dated 15th August 2019
Signed: Ms B D Creecy, MP
6TH JULY 2019
Dear Honourable Minister Barbara Creecy,
RE: #TipsForBarbara, Your Budget Policy Speech – 11th July 2019
The undersigned organisations are part of the Wildlife Animal Protection Forum, an alliance of diverse South African NGO’s that share certain values, knowledge and objectives and that collectively comprise a body of expertise from scientific, conservation, legal, welfare, rights, social justice, faith and public advocacy sectors.
We appreciate your #TipsForBarbara initiative and your efforts to engage with the public and NGO’s.
We see the challenges the environment is facing on a global scale and the opportunity that governments have of achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets, your mandate is of incommensurable importance. It also come with tremendous responsibilities, and we congratulate you for accepting this position.
Please find a copy the document that was prepared at the request of Minister Barbara Creecy.
The newly appointed Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms Barbara Creecy delivered the Department’s budget policy statement in the South African Parliament on the 11th July 2019.
Prior to her speech Minister Creecy asked South Africans for their input. Aptly named #TipsForBarbara South Africans were asked to send emails to DEAMedia@environment.gov.za
“The doors of the Department are open for all South Africans to get involved and share ideas in designing and implementing environmental policies that will shape the future of our country. Your inputs will help us attain the aspirations of the NDP for a climate resilient and lower carbon economy and society. “
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EXCERPTS FROM THE REPORT COMPILED BY THE EMS FOUNDATION AND THE BAN ANIMAL TRADING ORGANISATION
For more than a decade, South Africa has been actively supporting and growing the international trade in big cat bones, despite local and international outrage and condemnation from conservation and protection organisations, lion scientists and experts.
In 2017, South Africa’s Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, controversially, and in the face of vociferous opposition and robust arguments against this trade, set the annual export quota at 800 lion skeletons. Even more alarmingly, Molewa, without stakeholder participation, took the incomprehensible decision to almost double the quota in 2018 to 1,500 skeletons.
On July 11th 2018, the person in charge of the quota at the Department of the Environment told us categorically that no quota had been set for 2018. A few days later the DEA was forced to make a public announcement about the 2018 lion bone quota following a public outcry when a letter from Molewa, dated 7th June 2018, informing the provinces of the new quota allocation, was leaked. The undeclared reasons behind government’s decision to conceal this information from interested and affected parties needs to be brought to light and interrogated.
Two members of the Wild Animal Protection Forum South Africa namely the EMS Foundation and the Ban Animal Trading organisation spent eighteen months gathering information and investigating South Africa’s international lion bone trade.
The data that was gathered forms the basis for this report: The Extinction Business: South Africa’s Lion Bone Trade.