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Environmental Studies News

S Africa’s CCS ambitions get funding boost

By: Natasha Odendaal     20th October 2015 South Africa’s ambitions of proving the viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) have received a boost, with Norway committing to inject millions of rands into a World Bank-managed CCS fund focused on CCS projects in South Africa and Mexico. Norway Ambassador to South Africa Trine Skymoen... 

ASAQS promotes use of sustainable construction materials, techniques

By: Dylan Slater     9th October 2015 Voluntary quantity surveying association the Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) is formulating plans to accelerate not only its own but also the general construction industry’s understanding and increased use of sustainable construction techniques and materials in green... 

ASAQS promotes use of sustainable construction materials, techniques
LEADING THE WAY The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors has embarked on a study to determine a more precise cost of green building in South Africa

Local environmental head elected to IPCC working group

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th October 2015 eThekwini municipality Department of Environmental Planning and Climate Protection head Dr Debra Roberts has been appointed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II co-chair, marking the first time a South African has been selected to a co-chair position in the IPCC... 

Local environmental head elected to IPCC working group

GIBB obtains citywide EIA authorisation for Cape Town’s stormwater maintenance

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th October 2015 The City of Cape Town has successfully reapplied for an environmental-impact assessment (EIA) for its routine stormwater management activities following changes in national legislation; however, this time, the city gained citywide authorisation. The City of Cape Town originally obtained its... 

Free State launches emissions portal

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     30th September 2015 A South African atmospheric emission licensing and inventory portal (SAAELIP) was launched in addition to the existing 102 government-owned monitoring stations by Free State Economic Small Business Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Sam Mashinini, on Wednesday. Comprising the... 

Free State launches emissions portal

GIBB to expand environmental solutions footprint through acquisition

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     29th September 2015 Engineering consulting firm GIBB has acquired environmental solutions consultancy Strategic Environmental Focus (SEF), more than doubling the size of its environmental team. GIBB environmental services sector GM Dr Urishanie Govender said the move enabled the company to deliver broader... 

GIBB to expand environmental solutions footprint through acquisition

Bioregional planning important for SEZs, says consulting firm

By: David Oliveira     25th September 2015 Bioregional planning will play an important role in determining land-use limitations in special economic zones (SEZs), such as industrial development zones, says global consultancy SRK Consulting principal environmental scientist Warrick Stewart. He tells Engineering News that bioregional... 

Bioregional planning important  for SEZs, says consulting firm
SEEKING HARMONY Bioregional planning promotes effective land use for various development activities, while ensuring that biodiversity is maintained

Communities being stripped of their heritage by mining 

By: RDM News Wire      24th September 2015 Communities in Sekhukhune, in Limpopo, were not only being stripped of their dignity‚ but of their heritage too thanks to mining‚ said Trevor Malope‚ a Bench Marks Foundation’s community monitor. “Our land is an incredibly important part of our culture and integral to our lives‚ but mining has... 

Communities being stripped of their heritage by mining
Photo by Anglo-American
Anglo-American’s Twickenham mine, Limpopo.

Black-owned South African company focused on mine dump rehabilitation 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th September 2015 Black-owned green technology company G-Tech is currently running a mine dump rehabilitation project in Randfonetin, West of Johannesburg, on one of South Africa-focused gold miner Mintails’ tailings sites. 

Black-owned South African company focused on mine dump rehabilitation
Black owned South African company focused on mine dump rehabilitation

South Africans urged to become more aware of their water footprints

By: Anine Kilian     28th August 2015 It is predicted that, in the next five years, water demand could outstrip supply in South Africa, says Nedbank Sustainability Carbon Specialist Dr Marco Lotz. With increasing population numbers and urbanisation, the debate regarding the amount of investment in water and the possibility of future... 

GM crops important for food security – CSIR

By: Anine Kilian     21st August 2015 Significant developments in genetically modified (GM) crops have been made in South Africa’s agriculture sector , including increased crop yield, which has a direct impact on food production and food security, and a decrease in the use of pesticides and herbicides in fields of GM crops. This has... 

GM crops important for  food security – CSIR
Photo by Bloomberg
ENSURING FOOD SECURITY The CSIR believes that new traits in the production of GM maize will impact positively on the country's economy

Obama in political, legal storm with new power rules

By: News24Wire      5th August 2015 President Barack Obama launched the first-ever climate rules for US power plants Monday, calling for sweeping reductions in carbon emissions and provoking protests from the mining industry and Congress. The new rules dictate an overall reduction in heat-trapping gasses of 32% below 2005 levels by... 

Obama in political, legal storm with new power rules
Photo by Bloomberg
President Barack Obama

New dinosaur from South Africa gets Sesotho name

By: RDM News Wire      25th June 2015 South African and Argentinian palaeontologists have named a 200-million year old dinosaur from South Africa‚ “Sefapanosaurus”‚ from the Sesotho word “sefapano”. The researchers from South Africa’s University of Cape Town (UCT) and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University)‚ and from... 

New dinosaur from South Africa gets Sesotho name
Sefapanosaurus

South African companies gain German insight into energy efficiency

By: Pimani Baloyi     19th June 2015 With South Africa seeking ways of mitigating the country’s ongoing power challenges, the Southern African–Germany Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC), in cooperation with the Germany Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, hosted a South African delegation on an industrial energy... 

South African companies gain  German insight into energy efficiency
IMPROVING EFFICIENCY The SAGCC's building, in Forest Town, Johannesburg, has been fitted with solar panels to improve energy efficiency

S Africa adds two new biosphere reserves to portfolio

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     10th June 2015 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation has designated the Magaliesberg and Gouritz cluster ecosystems, in South Africa, as biosphere reserves, bringing the country’s portfolio of such reserves to eight. Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said the... 

S Africa adds two new biosphere reserves to portfolio

Greener energy sources for groundwater projects in KZN

By: Mia Breytenbach     29th May 2015 Clients are looking towards greener energy sources to drive groundwater abstraction and reticulation schemes in the rural parts of KwaZulu-Natal, according to the KwaZulu-Natal office of consulting engineers and scientists, SRK Consulting SA. SRK tells Engineering News that appropriate energy... 

Greener energy  sources for groundwater projects in KZN
Photo by Reuters
IMPERATIVE USE Private individuals in KwaZulu-Natal are largely using solar and wind technologies owing to their improving affordability

Position of strategic transmission corridors confirmed

By: Mia Breytenbach     15th May 2015 South African research institute the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in collaboration with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) and State-owned power utility Eskom, has confirmed the final position of the five strategic transmission corridors in the... 

Position of strategic transmission  corridors confirmed
FUTURE BACKBONE The transmission corridors were identified in support of Strategic Integrated Project 10 pertaining to electricity transmission and distribution

Environmental groups take eThekwini municipality to court

By: RDM News Wire      5th May 2015 Environmentalists have turned to the Durban High Court to force the eThekwini Municipality to release oil companies Engen and Sapref's atmospheric emission licenses and compliance reports. The Durban South Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and the Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance... 

Environmental groups take eThekwini municipality to court
Sapref refinery

Industry lacks water security awareness, requires risk navigation

By: Mia Breytenbach     27th March 2015 Despite a global understanding and emphasis on water as a scarce resource, South Africa is not taking sufficient cognisance of the future risk of water security and its potential impact on business, and the domestic, industrial and mining sectors, says research and consulting firm EY climate... 

Industry lacks water  security awareness,  requires risk navigation
Photo by Bloomberg
DRAINING RESOURCE The World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Risks 2015’ report rates water crises as “the greatest risk” worldwide, with water scarcity also being a key risk

Gains made in fight against rhino poaching

6th March 2015 South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) secured a conviction rate of 61% in criminal cases related to rhino poaching during the 2013/14 financial year, said Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa. Speaking at a media briefing in January on the measures being taken to combat rhino... 

DST, Water Research Commission develop mobile water lab

By: Keith Campbell     20th February 2015 The Water Research Commission (South Africa’s national funding agency dedicated to water research and development) and the Department of Science and Technology are jointly running an innovation programme known as the Water Technologies Demonstration Programme (Wader). “Wader started last year,”... 

Renewable-energy projects necessitate careful planning – Birdlife SA

By: Dylan Slater     13th February 2015 Establishing electricity generation facilities, including renewable-energy facilities, necessitates careful planning to mitigate the risk to birds, other wildlife, the natural ecosystems and area-specific habitats, says bird conservation organisation Birdlife South Africa (SA).  

Renewable-energy projects necessitate careful planning – Birdlife SA
Photo by Reuters
COLLISION RISK Birds can be killed or injured if they collide with wind turbines or associated infrastructure such as power lines

Rhino ambulance to save poaching survivors  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      11th December 2014 Rhino conservation initiative Saving the Survivors has received more than R3-million from Dubai-based air services provider dnata – part of the Emirates Group – to acquire and operate a rhino ambulance.  

Rhino ambulance to save poaching survivors
Rhino ambulance to save poaching survivors

SA to double electricity generated through wind farms 

By: Bruce Montiea     28th November 2014 South Africa is creating the capacity to generate close to 2 GW of electricity from wind farms and, “within the next five years, this will more than double”, says Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies director, Professor Wikus van Niekerk. “South Africa was... 

SA to double electricity generated through wind farms
GENERATING ELECTRICITY The Jeffreys Bay wind farm started operating this year

The engineering and nonengineering challenges behind the salvaging of Costa Concordia

By: Keith Campbell     21st November 2014 The story of the salvage of the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, which took place from May 2012 to July 2014 (the refloated ship was towed into Genoa harbour on July 27, and is now being scrapped) is well known in general outline, as is the fact that the Salvage Master for the operation was... 

Proactive industry becoming reactive

By: Dylan Slater     14th November 2014 The professional planning part of the civil engineering industry is becoming increasingly reactive in terms of preplanning, instead of its primary, and preferred, focus of being proactive, says multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm GIBB. 

Proactive industry becoming reactive
CHARLOTTE VAN DER MERWE Planning-related professions need to bear accountability

Private sector urged to join global humanitarian interventions 

By: Sashnee Moodley     7th November 2014 The global capacity of the humanitarian community to meet the needs of communities affected by natural disasters, chronic emergencies, conflict, political crisis and the threat of new and recurrent diseases is being expended and it has become essential for the humanitarian community to not only... 

  Private sector urged to join global humanitarian interventions
UN World Humanitarian Summit chief secretariat Jemilah Mahmood discusses business participation in humanitarian efforts.

Industry body offers environmental impact assessments

By: Mia Breytenbach     31st October 2014 To raise awareness of the requirements of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations, as well as offer support to companies that are required to implement them, industry body the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) conducts these assessments for... 

Industry body offers environmental impact assessments
Photo by Bloomberg
INCREASING AWARENESS The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa started offering environmental impact assessments to industry in July

Industry increasing mass-balance approach – consulting firm

By: Mia Breytenbach     31st October 2014 The local engineering industry is increasingly undertaking a mass-balance approach for its production and environmental impacts, where it analyses resources at source or input level, calculates the outputs and weighs the difference against the impact reduction costs, states consulting engineering... 

Industry increasing mass-balance approach – consulting firm
Photo by Duane Daws
NEW IMPERATIVE The environmental legislations and practices are to assist and enhance the opportunities of development in the economy

Lions, elephants in need of database similar to rhino project, urges DNA pioneer

By: Irma Venter     28th October 2014 There is a need to develop a database for every threatened species in the world – not just rhinos, says Dr Cindy Harper from the University of Pretoria’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. Harper heads up the Rhino Index System (RhODIS), which houses DNA samples of thousands of dead, poached and... 

Lions, elephants in need of database similar to rhino project, urges DNA pioneer
Photo by UP
Dr Cindy Harper, at a fridge filled with rhino horn samples

Underground coal gasification roadmap on the way – FFF

By: Martin Creamer     27th October 2014 A roadmap for underground coal gasification (UCG) is on the way with its own association and charter, Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF) stalwart Professor Lionel Falcon said at the weekend. Speaking at the FFF’s 20th anniversary awards banquet, Falcon said the UCG initiative followed the finalisation... 

Underground coal gasification roadmap on the way – FFF
Photo by Duane Daws
Fossil Fuel Foundations' Lionel Falcon

Big decline in vertebrate species over last 40 years, WWF warns  

By: Schalk Burger     24th October 2014 The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that there has been a 52% decline in vertebrate species since 1970. The Index tracked the trends of 10 000 discrete populations of over 3000 vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010. 

     Big decline in vertebrate species over last 40 years, WWF warns
WWF South Africa CEO Dr Morné du Plessis tells Engineering News' Schalk Burger about the WWF LPI 2014.

Particulate matter pollution problematic in some cities – DEA

By: Schalk Burger     17th October 2014 Particulate matter pollution remains a problem in major cities and industrial zones in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. The most populated and industrial areas are consistently above the Air Quality Act standards for particulate matter and significantly above new air-quality standards set... 

Asset management key to longevity

By: Dylan Slater     10th October 2014 Managing risk in the water services sector is key to the longevity and cost efficiency of South Africa’s water infrastructure, according to multinational professional services firm Arup. 

Asset management key to longevity
WATER IMPORTANCE The major problem with the current management of water infrastructure is a lack of uniformity

Stormwater infrastructure lacking

By: Dylan Slater     10th October 2014 A significant amount of stormwater infrastructure in South Africa is insufficient to handle the country’s rapid urbanisation, according to consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting South Africa. 

Stormwater infrastructure lacking
PETER SHEPHERD South Africa’s big cities have had a severe impact on river systems, with increasing urbanisation compounding the situation

Parties sign Vele colliery biodoversity offset agreement

By: Anine Kilian     9th October 2014 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), South African National Parks (SANParks) and Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) on Wednesday signed a historic biodiversity offset agreement (BOA) for CoAL’s Vele colliery, in Limpopo. The biodiversity offset was aimed at strengthening cooperation between... 

Parties sign Vele colliery biodoversity offset agreement
Photo by Duane Daws
Vele colliery

DEA to tackle air monitoring station deficiencies

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th October 2014 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is setting up an asset management system to ensure the optimal performance of the stations monitoring South Africa’s air quality, Environmental Affairs Deputy Minister Barbara Thomson said on Monday. According to the recently released 2014 State of... 

DEA to tackle air monitoring station deficiencies

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