The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is the custodian of South Africa's agriculture,
fisheries and forestry resources. It is primarily responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies governing the agriculture,
forestry and fisheries sectors
The vision of the department is to be 'a leading, dynamic, united, prosperous and people-centred department,
leading to the effective management of the nation's natural resources,
to meet the needs of current and future generations'.
To fulfill its mandate and obligations, the department has nine branches. Forestry and Natural Resources Management
is one of these branches with three Chief Directorates, namely: Forestry Development and Regulation, Forestry Operations and Natural Resources Management.The main purpose of the Forestry and Natural Resources Branch within the department is to develop and facilitate the implementation of policies and targeted programmes to ensure management of forests, sustainable use and protection of land and water as well as managing agricultural risks and disasters. It addresses South Africa's framework for sustainable development, cooperative governance and participation of local communities in forest management, as provided for by the White Paper on Sustainable Forest Development (1996),
the National Forestry Action Programme (1997), the resultant National Forests Act (1998) and the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (1998).
Forestry has been recognised as one of the key sectors with the potential to contribute to poverty alleviation, and economic growth and development. As a result, Forestry is part of the National Industrial Policy Framework (NIPF), and the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (ASGI-SA).
In line with the vision of the department, the Forestry and Natural Resources Management Branch has embarked on various programmes aimed at meeting the social and economic needs of the current and future generations whilst benefiting the environment. A brief description and purpose of these programmes are provided below.