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National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998)

Chapter 6 : International Obligations and Agreements

25. Incorporation of International Environmental Instruments


(1) Where the Republic is not yet bound by an international environmental instrument, the Minister may make a recommendation to Cabinet and Parliament regarding accession to and ratification of an international environmental instrument, which may deal with the following:
(a) Available resources to ensure implementation;
(b) views of interested and affected parties;
(c) benefits to the Republic;
(d) disadvantages to the Republic;
(e) the estimated date when the instrument is to come into effect;
(f) the estimated date when the instrument will become binding on the Republic;
(g) the minimum number of states required to sign the instrument in order for it to come into effect;
(h) the respective responsibilities of all national departments involved;
(i) the potential impact of accession on national parties;
(j) reservations to be made, if any; and
(k) any other matter which in the opinion of the Minister is relevant.


(2) Where the Republic is a party to an international environmental instrument the Minister, after compliance with the provisions of section 231(2) and (3) of the Constitution, may publish the provisions of the international environmental instrument in the Gazette and any amendment or addition to such instrument.


(3) The Minister may introduce legislation in Parliament or make such regulations as may be necessary for giving effect to an international environmental instrument to which the Republic is a party, and such legislation and regulations may deal with inter alia the following-
(a) the co-ordination of the implementation of the instrument;
(b) the allocation of responsibilities in terms of the instrument, including those of other organs of state;
(c) the gathering of information, including for the purposes of compiling and updating reports required in terms of the instrument and for submission to Parliament;
(d) the dissemination of information related to the instrument and reports from international meetings;
(e) initiatives and steps regarding research, education, training, awareness raising and capacity building;
(f) ensuring public participation;
(g) implementation of and compliance with the provisions of the instrument, including the creation of offences and the prescription of penalties where applicable; and
(h) any other matter necessary to give effect to the instrument.


(4) The Minister may prior to a recommendation referred to in subsection (1), publish a notice in the Gazette, stating his or her intention to make such recommendation and inviting written comments.