Water SA

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A structured ecosystem-scale approach to marine water quality management

S Taljaard, PMS Monteiro, WAM Botes


Activities and developments in the coastal zone, and in adjacent catchments, pose an increasing threat to the sustainability of the natural and socio-economic goods and services supplied by marine ecosystems. Governing authorities have had to develop new policies to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable development practices, either through legislation
and/or incentive mechanisms. These, in turn, created the need for holistic and integrated frameworks within which to design and implement environmental management programmes.
A structured ecosystem-scale approach for the design and implementation of marine water quality management programmes
developed by the CSIR (South Africa) in response to recent advances in policies and legislation pertaining to sustainable
utilisation of Southern Africa's marine environment is discussed. The framework provides an integrated scientific base within which to set, for example, wastewater emission targets, taking into account ecosystem process complexity. It also aims to support and stimulate local stakeholder empowerment and involvement.

Water SA Vol.32 (4) 2006: pp.535-542
AJOL African Journals Online