SA recognised for seal protection

26 August 2011

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has been presented with the Shining World Compassion Award from the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association in recognition of its efforts to protect seals.

Receiving the award on behalf of the department and South African government in Pretoria on Thursday, Environmental Affairs Deputy Director-General Fundisile Mketeni said the country’s seal population was growing because of the government’s decision to protect them.

Mketeni said government was committed to preserving nature. “We feel it’s our duty and mandate to protect the seal species,” he said adding that the country would continue to do so “until we are comfortable with the numbers”.

Mketeni said more support was needed from other countries to support the protection of seals.

South Africa harvested seals until the late 1980s, but stopped the practice in 1990. This was done on the best scientific advice and following extensive public participation. A policy decision was taken by government to only use seals for non-consumptive use and to protect seals against natural and anthropogenic threats.

The policy aims to minimise threats to seals posed by pollution such as ingestion of plastics and entanglement in discarded material such as plastic or strapping cord used to offload tuna from fishing vessels.

There has been a resultant 75 percent increase in the number of breeding colonies in South Africa, from 23 in 1971 to 40 in 2009.

Supreme Master Ching Hai International is the corporate entity behind Guanyin Famen/Quan Yin. It is affiliated with World Peace Media, Oceans of Love Entertainment, Supreme Master Television, and several cable television series, all groups and businesses established by Ching Hai.

Supreme Master Ching Hai is a world-renowned The Department of Environmental Affairs was today presented with the Shining World Compassion Award from the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association in recognition of its efforts to protect seals.

Receiving the award on behalf of the department and South African government, Environmental Affairs Deputy Director-General, Fundisile Mketeni, said the seal population is growing because of the decision taken by government to protect them.

Mketeni said government is committed to preserving nature.

“We feel it’s our duty and mandate to protect the seal species,” he said, adding that government believes in the conservation of the environment.

He said government is doing enough to protect seals and the environment. “We will continue protecting seals until we are comfortable with the numbers,” he said.

Although seals are protected in the country, Mketeni said more support is needed from other countries to support the protection of seals.

South Africa harvested seals until the late 1980s but stopped the practice in 1990. This was done on best scientific advice and extensive public participation. A policy decision was taken by government to only use seals for non-consumptive use and to protect seals against natural and anthropogenic threats.

The policy aims to minimise threats to seals posed by pollution such as ingestion of plastics and entanglement in discarded material such as plastic or strapping cord used to offload tuna from fishing vessels.

There has been a 75 percent increase in the number of breeding colonies from 23 in 1971 to 40 in 2009.

Supreme Master Ching Hai International is the corporate entity behind Guanyin Famen/Quan Yin. It is affiliated with World Peace Media, Oceans of Love Entertainment, Supreme Master Television, and several cable television series, all groups and businesses established by spiritual teacher, artist, and humanitarian Ching Hai.

Source: BuaNews