This is an excerpt from an article written by Don Pinnock and published online by Daily Maverick on 08 July, 2022
As the world’s biodiversity slips ever deeper into crisis, a ground-breaking South African White Paper demands a paradigm shift to put care of the creatures with whom we share the planet at the centre of our concern.
The White Paper on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, gazetted yesterday for public comment, is built around a set of definitions that, if implemented, have revolutionary implications for the welfare of animals in South Africa.
At its core is the contention that nature has value in its own right, independent of human uses, even if it does not benefit humans. Its intrinsic value, the paper says, cannot be calibrated against its economic worth.
The paper, issued by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, comes close on the heels of a policy document that takes aim at lion farming and the intensive breeding of rhinos.