Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Phase 1 South Africa
Developing the SARAO National Park Management Plan
In line with the adaptive management approach, SANParks and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) would like to inform you of our intention to develop the SARAO National Park Management Plan during the 2018/19 nancial year.
We cordially invite you to attend a workshop to review the “desired state” for the Park.
Introduction and background
The MeerKAT and SKA projects are part of the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) programme under the National Development Plan (2012). The National Development Plan is intended to transform the economic landscape in the country, create a significant number of new jobs, strengthen the delivery of basic services and support the integration of African economies.
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has committed to contribute to the implementation of the National Development Plan by undertaking Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) to integrate the regulatory environmental requirements for the SIPs while safeguarding the environment. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was appointed to undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the SKA Phase 1 in South Africa.
The mission statement of the SEA is:
“to provide a platform to coordinate research and data collection within the SKA Phase 1 study area and integrate the environmental authorisation process ensuring that environmental factors are adequately considered and environmental principles implemented at the strategic planning stage”
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)
As defined by Sadler and Verheem (1996), the SEA is "a systematic process for evaluating the environmental consequences of proposed policy, plan or programme initiatives in order to ensure they are fully included and appropriately addressed at the earliest appropriate stage of decision making on par with economic and social considerations."
The study area of the SEA consists of a core area and three spiral arms. The core area (red outline on the map below) consists of 38 farms. The three spiral arms (blue outline on the map below) consist of 131 land parcels.
Environmental, social and economic aspects
The strategic issues to be assessed during the SEA include biophysical, social and economic risks and opportunities of the SKA Phase 1 infrastructure and activities in South Africa.
Activities and timeframe
The SEA stakeholder engagement will focus on exchange of local knowledge in the SEA study area and the review of the draft Integrated Management Plan which will be generated during the SEA for the SKA Phase 1 South Africa.