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November : Media release by DAFF Minister regarding National Forest Advisory Council

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1 November, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE BY DAFF MINISTER REGARDING NATIONAL FORESTS ADVISORY COUNCIL

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, met with the National Forest Advisory Council (NFAC) in Pretoria early this week to discuss how the Department could assist the forestry sector. During this meeting, three resolutions were undertaken.

Firstly, that the term of the current Council be extended until December 2013 for "coherence" and "continuity".

Secondly, that the Council is placed under the branch, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, to resolve its governance framework.

Thirdly, the Minister requested that the Department should make a formal submission so that the forest access fund can be used to fund proposed projects.

During the meeting, the Minister additionally proposed that forestry should have a support programme for community programmes, "Just like agriculture has a support system for smallholder farmers, forestry should also have a similar financial and skills scheme that will promote and facilitate growth and development," said the Minister.

The grant would also allow forestry programmes to leverage other funding. "When we talk about sectors that will drive job creation, forestry is one of them," said the Minister.

*When the Department was restructured, the NFAC oversight function and budget were relocated from the Forestry and Natural Resources Management Branch where NFAC was previously housed, to Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Branch (PPM&E). This move caused a big strain to the functioning of the Council since the branch PPM&E had no dedicated administrative support, which resulted on the activities of the Council being negatively affected. The branch, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (FNRM) later provided the required administrative support.

Kind regards
Palesa Mokomele
Spokesperson for the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Telephone: 012 319 7876 (PTA)
Fax: 012 319 6681 (PTA)
Telephone: 021 467 4502 (CPT)
Fax: 021 465 6550 (CPT)
Cell: 082 904 1908
E-mail: PalesaM@daff.gov.za

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