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The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) published the Alien and Invasive Species Regulations on Friday 1st August, 2014. A total of 559 alien species are now listed as invasive, in four different categories. A further 560 species are listed as prohibited, and may not be introduced into the country.

The second National Famine Weed Strategy & Implementation Plan Workshop was held in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on 29 July, 2014. This workshop allowed stakeholders from Mpumalanga and Limpopo the opportunity to engage in discussions following the first workshop, which was held in KwaZulu-Natal on 26 June, 2014.

The 42nd Annual Symposium on the Management of Invasive Alien Plants turned out to be the largest symposium of its kind to date, with 187 registered delegates in attendance. The symposium was held from 18 to 20 June, 2014, at the Protea Karridene Hotel in KwaZulu-Natal.

Three exotic spiders have recently been identified as invasive in South Africa. Badumna longinqua of the family Desidae is a native spider from Australia and was introduced into New Zealand, Japan, United States, and South America where it was recorded only from Uruguay. Recently, it was recorded in Germany as well.

The 42nd Annual Symposium on the Management of Invasive Alien Plants will be held from 18-20 June, 2014 at the Protea Karridene Beach Hotel in KwaZulu-Natal. This annual symposium draws South Africa’s top weed and biocontrol scientists, as well as invasion biologists, under one roof to discuss topical issues on the management of invasive alien plants.

International Day of Forests (March 21) celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of forests. This day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, observed for the first time in 2013.

The objective of this day is to encourage international, national and local communities to organise activities involving forests and trees.

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