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Principles of Environmental Policy

1. Broad Policy Statement

The ANC believes that all citizens of South Africa, present and future, have the right to a safe and healthy environment, and to a life of well-being. The broad objective of our environmental policy will be to fulfil this right. In this context, growth and development within South Africa will be based on the principles of sustainability.

2. Guiding Principles

The ANC subscribes to the following principles:

2.1 the principle of sustainable development;

2.2 equitable access to resources;

2.3 public participation in planning, development and management of resources;

2.4 an integrated approach to environmental issues that relates to all sectors of society;

2.5 public right of access to information and the courts on issues of environmental concern.

3. Objectives

3.1 Adequate protection, conservation and restoration of resources, based on the following:

3.1.1 The integration of environmental principles into planning and development - using Integrated Environmental Management procedures.

3.1.2 The rehabilitation and maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems.

3.1.3 The sustainable utilisation of renewable resources.

3.1.4 The rational utilisation of non-renewable resources.

3.1.5 The conservation of biological diversity and the protection of endangered species.

3.1.6 The establishment of mechanisms to ensure safe and healthy living and working environments.

3.1.7 A hierarchical system of waste management with the emphasis on pollution prevention and the precautionary principle.

3.2 The development of appropriate environmental awareness programmes for all sectors of our society that would reinforce harmonious and traditional links with the environment, and which would empower people to participate in the planning, development and management of natural resources.

3.3 The development of formal environmental education programmes for our children in order to promote a love for nature and the environment.

3.4 The encouragement of community-based projects that will increase the involvement of people in environmental programmes (eg. home gardens, parks tree planting, clean environment etc).

3.5 The alignment of the ANC with international initiatives aimed at protecting the global environment with particular reference to nuclear proliferation, toxic waste, C02 levels etc.

3.6 The development of a democratic legislative and administrative mechanism to ensure effective implementation of the stated principles and objectives.

3.7 The elimination of the negative environmental impacts of apartheid on our society, particularly in relation to women in the rural areas.

3.8 The promotion of regional cooperation and exchange of information with a view to promoting a broad-based, sustainable, ecological security.

4. Functional Priorities

Bearing in mind the national development priorities (namely employment creation, housing, food security, rural and urban development, macro-economic balances, peace and stability), the ANC's environmental programme will initially focus on:

4.1 A comprehensive land reform programme which ensures equitable redistribution, restoration and rehabilitation;

4.2 Environmental education and awareness programmes that are linked to research and information sources from within the country and abroad;

4.3 A call for the prohibition of the import or export of nuclear and toxic waste in any form;

4.4 The monitoring and countering of any covert land uses that are a threat to environmental safety and stability of citizens;

4.5 The introduction of measures and campaigns intended to curb pollution generated by agriculture, mining, industry and any other activities;

4.6 The introduction of measures to counter the privatisation or removal of public rights to common natural resources such as forests, the coastline, water, mountains and wildlife resources:

4.7 The establishment of an inventory of our natural resources;

4.8 An investigation of the potential of eco-tourism to make a contribution towards rural development;

4.9 The initiation of measures that would contribute towards the immediate building of appropriate, community-based environmental institutions:

4.10 The initiation of a programme aimed at sensitising the ANC (local, regional and national ) structures, sectors and allies on the importance of the environment, and on the question of growth and sustainable development within our country.