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Environmental Studies News

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Green building improvements needed to meet Paris agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th December 2017 The energy intensity per square metre of buildings need to improve by 30% by 2030 to keep the Paris Agreement on track, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction’s ‘Global Status Report 2017’ has revealed. The report, released on Monday, found that total floor area reached an estimated... 

Authority to implement plan to protect Lesotho’s local heritage

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th December 2017 The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority has appointed PSG Heritage Solutions to develop and implement a comprehensive cultural heritage plan that will protect and manage Lesotho’s rich cultural heritage during the construction and operation of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands water project.... 

CGS discovers fresh water resource in Beaufort West

By: African News Agency      13th December 2017 An unprecedented discovery of a fresh water resource has been found in Beaufort West, Western Cape, the Department of Mineral Resources said on Tuesday.  According to the department, the resource was discovered by the Council for Geoscience (CGS), a statutory science council reporting to the... 

Fourth industrial revolution brings hope to youth – Makhura

By: Thabi Madiba     7th December 2017 Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday tabled the fourth Political Report of the Gauteng provincial government and highlighted the opportunities that were arising from the fourth industrial revolution. Makhura said the unfolding of the fourth industrial revolution was shaping the economy and... 

Fourth industrial revolution brings hope to youth – Makhura
Hip hop artist Cassper Nyovest and Gauteng Premier David Makhura

Focus on environmental services boosts project sustainability

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Applying focused environmental services at every phase of any project ensures that opportunities to incorporate social and environmental aspects into the engineering design are flagged, which boosts the overall sustainability of the project, explains consulting engineering and project... 

Focus on environmental services  boosts project sustainability
SUSTAINABILITY REQUIREMENTS Sustainability requires the optimisation of environmental, social and economic outcomes

General public taking heed of environmental law

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 The general public is becoming more familiar with the tools that are available under the Constitution and environmental law to protect what is perceived as the unacceptable environmental or social impacts of businesses, says law firm Norton Rose Fulbright environment lawyer Matthew Thornton-Dibb. 

General public taking heed of environmental law
MATURED LEGISLATION South Africa’s environment regulatory system has matured since the publication of the National Environmental Management Act

Green consciousness continues to drive green building trends

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Increasing pressure on the built environment to address inadequate energy resources, carbon reduction targets and tightening building energy efficiency standards, continues to drive green building trends in South Africa, states multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa sustainability... 

Green consciousness continues to drive green building trends
GREG RICE Businesses and citizens have recently become more conscious of the importance of resilience and resource scarcity

Growing eWaste could affect ecosystem

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Electronic Waste (eWaste), if not properly processed, will eventually leach hazardous material – mainly heavy metals – into the water table, states computer support and services provider Xperien CEO Wale Arewa. 

Growing eWaste could affect ecosystem
WALE AREWA The global estimate of eWaste is about 50-million tons

Municipalities to reduce emissions by diverting waste

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Consulting engineering company JG Afrika and international specialist waste consultancy RWA have developed a strategy to help South African municipalities reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by diverting biodegradable waste from their landfills. 

Municipalities to  reduce emissions  by diverting waste
WASTE-DIVERSION STRATEGY The strategy entails waste disposal and the beneficial use for business development

Potential of groundwater in spotlight again amid Western Cape drought

By: Dylan Slater     1st December 2017 Groundwater still holds significant potential to provide water for various uses, especially to augment large-scale supply during drought, notes Geological Society of South Africa: Western Cape ground water division chairperson Dr Roger Parsons.  

Green cleaning products can pack a punch

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 Midrand-based cleaning solutions provider Blendwell Chemicals has completed the development of the company’s Enviro Waterless Car Wash, and is aiming to officially launch the product early next year. 

Green cleaning products can pack a punch
JUDY SUNASKY Companies are constantly developing products, but consumers are still hesitant to use green cleaning products

Large companies driving increase in land contamination assessments

By: Simone Liedtke     1st December 2017 With there being an increase in land-contamination assessments among large companies owing to recently promulgated environmental legislation, sustainability services and consultancy Environmental Resources Management (ERM) partner Steve McKeown says this will hold companies accountable for the... 

Large companies driving increase in land contamination assessments
STEVE MCKEOWN Companies that have a global footprint are more committed to assessing their impact on the environment

Power and utilities drone market worth more than $9bn

By: Dylan Slater     24th November 2017 The international drone market comprising solutions that use drones for the power and utilities industries is worth as much as $9.46-billion a year, according to a report published by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  

New DNA barcoding kit to stifle illegal animal trade

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     21st November 2017 Aimed at sharpening conservation efforts, the international Barcode of Life (iBoL) project on Monday launched its Lab-in-a-Box portable deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) barcoding kit, which enables rapid species identification for port of entry officials within a few hours. The launch took place... 

New DNA barcoding kit to stifle illegal animal trade

Third biennial food and drink exhibition to be held in 2018

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Conceptualised as a “for Africa by Africa” event, exhibition company Messe München South Africa (SA) will host the third biennial food and drink technology Africa (fdt Africa) exhibition from September 4 to 6 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, next year. 

Third biennial food and drink exhibition to be held in 2018
FDT AFRICA 2018 The aim of fdt Africa 2018 is to consolidate the existing target groups of exhibitors and visitors

Industry still suffers effects of drought

By: Simone Liedtke     17th November 2017 Although innovative production practices and a diversified geographic production area helped to buffer the effect of the drought on the 2017 harvest, wine industry body VinPro explains that insufficient rainfall in the winter months will undoubtedly have an effect on vine functionality and yield... 

Industry still suffers effects of drought
DROUGHT EFFECTS As a result of the drought, the Western Cape has received 30% less rainfall than the amount needed at this stage

SKA site doubles as environmental observatory 

     16th November 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to senior journalist Keith Campbell about the Integrated Environmental Management Plan for Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array. 

SKA site doubles as environmental observatory
SKA site doubles as environmental observatory

Better regulations needed to prevent tailings dam failures – UNEP

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th November 2017 In the last decade, there have been over 40 mining waste failures, killing some 341 people and damaging hundreds of kilometers of waterways, affecting drinking water sources and the livelihood of communities, a new report entitled ‘Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident’, reveals. The... 

Better regulations needed to prevent tailings dam failures – UNEP

Reforms, business models key to unlocking private sector investment for climate change – IFC

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd November 2017 Smart policy reforms and innovative business models can unlock the trillions of dollars in private investment that is needed to ensure Africa meets its climate targets as agreed to in the landmark Paris Agreement. The private sector, boasting innovation, the financing and resources, is considered... 

UCT’s business school to participate in UN programme research council

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th October 2017 The University of Cape Town’s (UCT’s) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has been named as one of nine leading universities to be part of a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to develop a research agenda that will better leverage private investment to finance the... 

Apartheid Museum to honour Advocate Bizos

By: Sane Dhlamini     24th October 2017 The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg will on Thursday commemorate stalwart anti-apartheid icon Advocate George Bizos by launching a new gallery in his honour a few weeks before his 90th birthday, and by launching his memoir, detailing his friendship with Nelson Mandela and titled 65 Years of... 

Apartheid Museum to honour Advocate Bizos
Advocate George Bizos

Renergen secures onshore petroleum production right in South Africa; will locally produce LNG

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th October 2017 The Petroleum Agency of South Africa has granted integrated alternative and renewable energy business Renergen’s Tetra4 subsidiary environmental authorisation for its Free State natural gas development. The authorisation, the processing of which has taken more than two years and has involved... 

Renergen secures onshore petroleum production right in South Africa; will locally produce LNG
Renergen CEO Stefano Marani

El Nino contributes to new high in carbon dioxide levels

By: News24Wire      16th October 2017 The amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) in our world is likely to top 410 parts per million (ppm) this year. The CO2 measured at the Mauna Loa Baseline Atmospheric Observatory in Hawaii hit 405.1 ppm in 2016 - an increase of 3 ppm over the previous year, marking five consecutive years of... 

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance

     13th October 2017 The growing funding gap to keep up with the rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of ageing water infrastructure is a global concern, particularly in the current age of austerity, says global engineering firm Aurecon. The firm emphasises that new water systems need to be built to cope with... 

Global water insecurity calls for water infrastructure maintenance
Photo by Bloomberg
FOOD INSECURITY Food is heavily reliant on water supply. Scarce water supply puts crops and livestock at risk

WWF, AfDB partner on Africa Nationally Determined Contributions Hub

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Conservation organisation the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have collaborated to advance the work of the Africa Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) Hub in addressing the impacts of climate change on the continent. The AfDB Climate Change and Green... 

WWF, AfDB partner on Africa Nationally  Determined Contributions Hub
Photo by Bloomberg
FOCUS AREA The Africa Nationally Determined Contributions Hub focuses on fostering of long-term climate action

Water solutions company active at World Water Week

     6th October 2017 International water pump technology company Xylem Water Solutions attended and participated in the annual World Water Week event, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden from August 27 to September 1, where the company coconvened several forums and workshops to showcase its dedication in developing... 

Water solutions company active at World Water Week
Photo by Stockholm International Water Institute
FULL HOUSE Visitors from around the world attended World Water Week 2017

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Legal fight over R4.5bn logistics park in Durban

By: News24Wire      15th September 2017 Residents of Clairwood are expected to turn out in their numbers at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday when their lawyers challenge the provincial government’s approval of a massive R4.5-billion logistics park at the old Clairwood Racecourse - once the only green lung in the area.... 

Study urges South Africa to find energy storage niche

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st September 2017 With energy storage considered to be the “new wave” in the energy sector and increasingly becoming a reality, South Africa needs to prepare itself if it wishes to take advantage of the energy storage growth opportunities within the energy storage stationary value chain and the mobility value... 

Experts unpack their experience in desalination solutions

By: Kim Cloete     31st August 2017 Gathering this week at the Water Desalination Symposium Africa 2017, water experts have offered their experience and insight into building and operating desalination plants in South Africa, with some saying the real cost of desalinated water has worked out to between R7/m3 and R10/m3.  The price... 

Licensing rules for large desalination plants remain challenging

By: Dylan Slater     18th August 2017 With increased debate around water security in South Africa, as a result of growing surface-water scarcity and future uncertainty, the prospect of implementing large-scale desalination of seawater is also increasing.  

Licensing rules for large desalination plants remain challenging
SHARON JONES Desalination may be the most sustainable source of water in the absence of natural recharge of surface and groundwater resources

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use

By: Robyn Wilkinson     11th August 2017 Through intensive research, the Agricultural Research Council’s Institute for Agricultural Engineering has developed a framework to improve water efficiency in agricultural irrigation systems in South Africa, which reassesses the methods traditionally used to measure a system’s efficiency and... 

Agricultural irrigation efficiency framework improves water use
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT With effective water management and good subsurface drainage, soil health conditions can be created for irrigation farming to assist with food security in South Africa

S Africans satisfied with improvements in metros – survey

By: Sane Dhlamini     3rd August 2017 South Africans have seen a marked improvement in the performance of local government aside from the metropolitans Cape Town and Buffalo City, according to an Ipsos survey conducted after the local government elections on August 3. The Khayabus study, for which 3 598 South Africans 15 years and... 

S Africans satisfied with improvements in metros – survey

Company to hold short courses and workshops this year

By: Simone Liedtke     28th July 2017 Environment solutions company I-CAT plans to hold a range of external, environment-oriented short courses and workshops at its Pretoria-based training facility by the last quarter of this year, as a means to keep the industry updated on legislation changes and the responsibility of industry players. 

Company to hold  short courses and workshops this year
Photo by Duane Daws
LOURENS JANSEN VAN RENSBURG I-CAT uses highly qualified and experienced facilitators to provide competency-based specialised training programmes

Nuclear is essential to Africa’s energy mix – Rosatom 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2017 If Africa is to ensure it places itself on its expected path of becoming the future growth market of the world, nuclear energy needs to be included into its plans, as a lack of energy access is a major hurdle for the continent, Rosatom regional VP of sub-Saharan Africa Viktor Polikarpov said on... 

Control system minimises dust escape during grab discharge

By: Simone Liedtke     7th July 2017 Materials handling equipment supplier BLT South Africa’s Samson travelling Eco-Hoppers have an effective dust control system that minimises the escape of dust during the grab discharge cycle. 

Control system minimises dust escape during grab discharge
DUST CONTROL The grab discharge cycle includes transferring materials down the line using handling systems
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