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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: South Africa 2013

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: South Africa 2013

This report is the first OECD review of South Africa’s environmental performance. It has been carried out as part of the OECD dialogue with South Africa as Key Partner. The report evaluates South Africa's progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on policies that provide incentives to protect South Africa's exceptionally rich biodiversity and promote more effective and efficient environmental management across different levels of public administration.

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Executive summary

South Africa is among the 17 countries in the world with the richest biodiversity. It hosts some exceptional ecosystems and habitats, many endemic, and supports growing wildlife game farming and ecotourism. At the same time, South Africa is one of the most energy- and carbon-intensive economies in the world, about one-quarter of river ecosystems are critically endangered and pressures on limited water resources are high. According to WHO, approximately 16% of all deaths, and one-third of disease in children under the age of five, are environmentally related. Inadequate sanitation and indoor air pollution are two key factors.

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