Monday, February 19, 2007

Website for the Provincial Climate Change Response Strategy

The department has commissioned a project to develop a Provincial Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan.

A project website has been developed that contains a host of information about the project including the presentations delivered at the stakeholder engagement workshops and summaries of stakeholder feedback. THIS WEBSITE IS NO LONGER FUNCTIONAL!

HOWEVER THE FINAL Western Cape Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and Supplimentary Reports ARE NOW AVAILABLE.

The website is constantly being improved.

It is intended that a section is developed to provide lots of useful Western Cape oriented climate change facts as well as a section that will provide information on what individuals can do to mitigate climate change as well as adapt to the impacts that are already being felt in the province.

Keep an eye on this blog or the project website for further developments.

Friday, February 16, 2007

SA loosing 600bn litres of water each year

Co-incidental with Premier Rasool's announcement in his State of the Province speech today, of a major provincial water leak repair initiative as part of the Provincial Climate Change Response Programme it is staggering to see the magnitude of the water loss problem reported today on News24.

Cape Town - More than 600 billion litres of piped water supplied for domestic use is "lost" each year as a result of leaks, inaccurate meters, failing to bill consumers and theft, Water Affairs Minister Lindiwe Hendricks said on Thursday ... See the link above for all the details

Invitation to Present Proposals for Renewable Energy Projects in the Western Cape

The Department will assess and select projects that qualify for support from Provincial Government Western Cape. Project proposals are invited that will contribute to the achievement of the Province's proposed clean energy target [15% by 2015]. The closing date for proposals is 2 March 2007.

The detailed invitation document is available here.

Further details are available from:
Mark Gordon
Director: Strategic Environmental Management
Tel: +27 21 483 3966

Draft Integrated Energy Strategy for Western Cape

The Draft Integrated Energy Strategy for Western Cape has been published for comment by stakeholders.

The Draft Strategy and Comment Form are available here.

Premier's Speech

Today our Provincial Premier Ebrahim Rasool open the new session of the Western Cape Provincial Parliament.

A link to his opening speech will be posted here as soon as it is available on either the CapeGateway or the Provincial Legislature sites

The text of the Premier's State of the Province Speech

Below is an extract of the portion of the speech in which Premier Rasool addresses the impacts of climate change on the Western Cape Province and what action his government will be taking in the forthcoming year.

Further information on the Provincial Climate Change Programme is available on the climate change project website

I. Climate Change

The status quo report on climate change in the Western Cape that was commissioned by this government, reaches the following chilling conclusion:

The Western Cape faces the real possibility of socio-economic impoverishment as a result of climate change over and above the negative impact on poverty alleviation programmes.

If poverty will be exacerbated by global warming, then our task in the Western Cape is indeed becoming harder. Scientific evidence shows that the warming impact of climate change on the Western Cape is double the global average. Agriculture Minister Cobus Dowry warns that because our fruit trees require cold temperatures in winter, any further warming would potentially destroy this part of our agriculture economy.

We have invited here today, to participate in the opening of the legislature, representatives of those who are in the front line of the battle against the impact of global warming, battling the extremes of fires, floods, drought, desertification, risking their lives diving into floods waters or cleaning the high tension wires that carry electricity to us, or fight the fires on the ground or from helicopters.

We owe it to them and their families that all of us adapt our behaviours to climate change through coordinated action and lifestyle changes, while bigger decision-makers are persuaded not to continue on the path that has brought climate change to us.

In remaining faithful to our undertaking to be practical, government will act in the following priority areas:

• In a province that will experience even less rainfall and therefore greater water shortages, we will, towards 2014 intensify our search for alternative water sources such as aquafers, the recycling of waste water and the desalination of sea water. But, because 10% of our water is lost through leakages in pipes and taps, we will in 2007 launch a pilot programme in the West Coast District, where young people doing their National Youth Service in fixing leakages and saving water.

• To ensure food security and the protection of our agriculture, we are heartened that 50% of farmers have already shifted from the wasteful overhead irrigation method to the drip system. By 2010 our Agriculture Department will ensure that 70% of farmers have adopted water saving techniques towards a 100% target by 2014.

• With fires wreaking havoc and destroying both homes and vegetation, the urgency to eradicate alien vegetation has grown, necessitating the need to use the law against private property owners to remove alien vegetation. We will retain the 900, mostly women workers whose job it will be to remove alien vegetation, and towards 2010, Minister Essop will increase the number from 900.

• The cost of flooding in the Eden District due to climate change was R600 million. Some of these costs are avoidable and the Spatial Development Planning frameworks must now enforce respect for estuaries, river catchments and coastlines and the new flood lines that are being mapped. These will determine development and building permission, whether for luxury or informal purposes.

• The Western Cape has also borne the brunt of power outages, as our growing population and economy demand more electricity and our generation and distribution capacity has been found wanting. We salute the Cape Town Partnership and the Cape Chamber of Commerce for promoting retrofitting of the Central Business District with energy efficient technologies, following government's lead. Such demand-side measures must be complemented by new sources of energy. In the short-term our collaboration with Eskom will result in two Gas Powered stations coming on stream with a total of 1000 mega-watts of electricity in Mosselbay and Atlantis from the middle of this year already. Given our vulnerability to the energy crisis and power outages, we have very little choice but to welcome the announcement of a second nuclear power station in the Western Cape to stabilise our supply. However, we are now more determined to ensure that renewable sources of energy are implemented, and by 2014, 15% of our energy should be supplied through wind, solar, wave and natural gas sources.

Out of interest the Provincial Parliament adopted a new logo today

All members received a gold medalion with the logo embossed on it at the opening function this morning

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rules of the DEADP blog

Messages posted to this blog or blogs may be moderated before or after they are displayed live.

Messages may be removed if they:

- Contain email addresses or other personal contact details (valid website addresses will be passed but will be checked for authenticity);
- Appear to impersonate someone else;
- Are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others;
- Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable;
- Contain swear words or other language likely to offend;
- Break the law or condone or encourage unlawful activity. This includes breach of copyright, defamation and contempt of court;
- Advertise products or services for profit;
- Repeatedly post the same or similar messages, i.e. spam;
- Are written in anything other than the three official languages of the Western Cape Province, namely Afrikaans, English or IsiXhosa;
- Contain links to other websites which break these rules;
- Describe or encourage activities which could endanger the safety or well-being of others;
- Post personal or offensive comments about individual members of the public or people who work for the Department, Provincial Government of the Western Cape or the Western Cape Provincial Legislature.

The blog editor reserves the right to remove such messages and take action against those responsible.

Further conditions:
- Under-16s must get permission from a parent or guardian before contributing to this site;

Links to external websites:
- Neither the Department nor the Provincial Government of the Western Cape endorses the content of any website linked to from this blog and is not responsible for the content or actions of those sites.

If you break these rules:
- Your message will not be posted.
- I am unable to contact you with a reason why.
- Or your message might be edited to remove the parts that do not comply.

The blog editor reserves the right to edit, move or delete any message, at any time, for any reason.

And finally...
The blog editor's decision about the suitability of all posts is final.

Welcome to our "Sustainable Home 4 All"

Welcome to the Western Cape Province Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning Blog

We call our province the "Sustainable Home 4 All"

"Home 4 All" because we are actively engaged in making it a province where all residents can live active and fulfilled lives persuing their individual dreams and goals.

"Sustainable" because we aim to manage the wonderful environmental, cultural and economic assets of the province in a such way that does not detract from future generations being able to do the same.

If you are interested in the environment near the southern tip of Africa and would like to keep up with the latest news from the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning please visit our blog regularly.