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Environmental Studies News

Coega IDZ embarks on natural rehabilitation experiment

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th April 2013 The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), Uhambiso Consult and WBHO Construction have partnered to undertake an “environmental experiment” at the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) over the next 12 months. The baseline study, funded by the Uhambiso/WBHO joint venture, entailed a natural... 

Water, wastewater infrastructure crucial to sustaining ecosystems 

By: Schalk Burger     19th April 2013 The most crucial infrastructure for managing South Africa’s environment is water and wastewater infrastructure. The dire need to improve wastewater-treatment plants and water management skills in South Africa can also develop significant, sustainable employment, says Rhodes University Unilever... 

Transdisciplinary approach to water-resources management project hailed

By: Schalk Burger     8th March 2013 The Rhodes University Institute of Water Research (IWR) achieved success in diagnosing and creating effective engagement with water-security and water-quality concerns in the lower Sundays River Valley catchment area, in Eastern Cape by establishing relationships between the IWR, the local... 

Rhodes researchers grappling with key environmental water challenges

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2013 Researchers at the Rhodes University Institute for Water Research are conducting a number of studies on environmental water-quality and quantity issues, including water-source testing, identifying the systems that influence water quality, hydrological modelling of water resources, biomonitoring... 

Sustainable solutions needed to deal with worrying imbalances, says Saice president

By: Schalk Burger     1st March 2013 Environmentalists and demographers increasingly warn of the dire consequences of population growth, not only for present generations, but also of the decline of essential biodiversity and the environmental degradation and deterioration in the quality of life for future generations, says South... 

Second Africa CDM centre to be established

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th February 2013 The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has established a second regional collaboration centre in Africa to assist under-represented regions to realise the benefits of the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM) projects. UNFCCC executive secretary... 

2013 Indaba attracts greater interest, expects 20% growth

By: Samantha Herbst     8th February 2013 Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) organiser Siyenza hopes to further its objective of positioning Africa as the continent of energy opportunity by delivering a comprehensive event for the fifth consecutive year. Siyenza MD Liz Hart tells Engineering News that enquiry and interest levels have grown... 

Green Fund opens research project funding bids

By: Natasha Odendaal     6th February 2013 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) on Wednesday called for research and policy-development project proposals within its R34-million ‘green’ research and development initiative. The parties, through the newly formed Green Fund, aimed... 

Global monitoring system for biodiversity needed

By: Natasha Odendaal     18th January 2013 Research into biodiversity and human society could be improved through the development of a global biodiversity monitoring system similar to the system implemented to monitor climate change, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) said. Questions such as what fraction of... 

New assessment looks at global urbanisation

2nd November 2012 A new assessment by the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) highlights that global urbanisation will have significant implications for biodiversity and ecosystems if current trends continue, with knock-on effects for human health and development. The Cities and... 

Initiative to document forestry land rights under way in West Africa

By: Joanne Taylor     2nd November 2012 A US initiative to document forestry land rights is expected to promote sustainable agroforestry, environmental protection and the rural livelihoods of the upper Guinean tropical forest. Information group Thomson Reuters and the US Forestry Service (USFS) have teamed up to provide resources to... 

Honeybee foraging resources to be identified for preservation

19th October 2012 A project to identify and protect the dominant forage sources that sustain honeybees throughout the year was started by The South African National Biodiversity Institute and the Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology of Stellenbosch University, says Stellenbosch University Honeybee... 

SA’s renewable energy advantages outlined

By: Joanne Taylor     19th October 2012 At the International Infrastructure & Invest Convention in Johannesburg last month, South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) board member Christopher Haw explained that a country’s success in renewable-energy projects depended on various aspects. 

Mining industry increasingly seeking water solutions

By: Natasha Odendaal     27th September 2012 The global mining water and wastewater sector was expected to grow as the focus on sustainable water solutions within the mining industry increased, a recent report by Frost & Sullivan found. In its ‘CEO 360 Degree Perspective of the Global Mining Water and Wastewater Treatment Market’ report,... 

Green-rated buildings ‘don’t cost an arm and a leg’

31st August 2012 There is no significant difference between construction costs for green buildings and those of conventional buildings, and green buildings achieve better investment returns and higher valuations, says industry body Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) CEO Brian Wilkinson. 

Researcher to monitor impact of renewable energy on bird life

17th August 2012 A senior researcher has been appointed by nongovernmental conservation organisation BirdLife South Africa to monitor and report on the impact of renewable- energy generation on bird life, specifically regarding wind farms, says BirdLife South Africa conservation manager Dr Hanneline Smit. 

Agroecology could help green SA agriculture

By: Joanne Taylor     17th August 2012 Worldwide, agriculture contributes 30% of Greenhouse-gas emissions and consumes 50% of South Africa’s water-use. Therefore, it is critical that South Africa develop a water-efficient economy, with a social ethic of water conservation for sustainable water resource reuse, said Lindros Whole Earth... 

Satellite tracking to be used to monitor secretary birds

3rd August 2012 A collaborative satellite-tracking project of Secretary bird raptors was launched by the University of the Witwatersrand, conservation nongovernmental organisation BirdLife South Africa and the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Birds of Prey Programme (EWT-BoPP) in July. 

Technique developed to see pollutants through cloud formations

27th July 2012 A satellite technique to better estimate concentrations of pollutants, such as soot, through cloud cover has been developed by University of Iowa (UI) scientists, the university said in a statement. 

Input sought on ecosystem biodiversity management plans

20th July 2012 Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa invites public comment on the norms and standards for biodiversity management plans for ecosystems (BMP-E), says the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. 

Scientists urge collaboration on endangered water resources

20th July 2012 Water Research Commission scientists are urging collaboration after the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment has found that 82% of South Africa’s river ecosystems are threatened and 44% are critically endangered, say Water Research Commission aquatic ecologist Dr Jackie King and Council for... 

Study suggests solution for encroaching Nelson Mandela Bay dunes

20th July 2012 A study conducted on the Noordhoek dune fields, southwest of Nelson Mandela Bay, to determine the impact of dune migration on nearby infrastructure has revealed that the rate at which the dunes are advancing has nearly doubled from 14 m a year in 1989 to 25 m a year in 2009.  

DEA breaks ground on R8bn ‘green’ head office 

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th July 2012 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on Thursday broke ground on its new R8-billion head office in Pretoria, which will be South Africa’s first government-owned green building. The building, which was designed to meet the green output specifications outlined in the Climate Change... 

Despite concerns, work advancing on next Lesotho Highlands Water Project phase 

By: Joanne Taylor     13th July 2012 Some concern is already being expressed about the possibility for corruption in tender processes for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project’s (LHWP) Phase 2 crossborder water project, as was the case during the earlier phases.  

SA aims to double domestic tourist trips to 54m by 2020

By: Jean McKenzie     25th May 2012 With domestic tourism already having contributed 76% of South Africa’s total tourism volume and R20-billion to the economy in 2011, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk has unveiled a strategy to grow domestic tourism even further. 

WWF warns of over-consumption, calls for sustainable policies 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     15th May 2012 The ever-growing demand for resources, driven by a growing global population, which could hit 10.9-billion by 2050, is putting “tremendous” pressure on the planet’s biodiversity and is threatening South Africa’s future security, health and well-being, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said in... 

R7.7bn green projects push to create thousands of jobs - Molewa 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd May 2012 The R7.7-billion budgeted for environmental programmes between 2012/13 and 2014/15 will provide 205 877 work opportunities and 102 603 full-time equivalent jobs, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa told lawmakers on Wednesday. She said the focus being given to the green economy... 

SA to unveil new mining, biodiversity planning tool this year 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd May 2012 The South African government will launch a new ‘National Mining and Biodiversity Guideline’ later this year, which will provide the mining sector with a tool for integrating biodiversity considerations into planning processes. Addressing lawmakers on Wednesday, Water and Environmental Affairs... 

Study of extreme organisms in SA mines may hold answers to extraterrestrial life and some real pollution threats

By: Irma Venter     27th April 2012 Around 1.3 km in the earth’s crust, at the Beatrix gold-mine, in the Free State, the “devil” lives in a small pocket of fissure water. Or, to be more accurate, it is here where a small microorganism named Mephisto has its home. 

Omnia CDM project to receive over a million emission credits

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th March 2012 Chemicals producer Omnia has been issued more than a million emission credits for the clean development mechanism (CDM) project at its nitric acid production facility, in Sasolburg. The JSE-listed company reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions from the plant by 98%, after the incorporation of the... 

Study into R20bn Umzimvubu dam, power project under way 

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd March 2012 A detailed feasibility study for the Umzimvubu water project, in the Eastern Cape, was started in January, Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said in a written response to a Parliamentary question posed by the Democratic Alliance’s Gareth Morgan. The dam is intended to supply... 

Comment sought on new regulations for site assessments

By: Henry Lazenby     23rd March 2012 Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has invited public comments on proposed regulations for site assessments and reports under the National Environmental Management Waste Act of 2008. The proposed regulations, which were published in the Gazette on March 19, would seek to... 

Small wind market has big potential, report shows 

By: Henry Lazenby     16th March 2012 The small wind power market holds “enormous potential”, especially for nonelectrified areas in developing countries, yet only a handful of governments are offering specific support policies for small wind generating capacity, the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) said in a report this week.... 

South African businesses urged to assess water supply risk  

By: Henry Lazenby     12th March 2012 About 85% of water-intensive users among the JSE’s Top 100 companies are exposed to water-related risk, with 70% believing that their operations could be directly affected in the near term, a report revealed on Monday. However, most companies still needed to identify water risk in their supply... 

Consultancy undertaking multiple WC projects

By: Leandi Kolver     9th March 2012 Consulting engineers and scientists SRK Consulting has been appointed by the West Coast district municipality (WCDM) to develop an integrated coastal management programme (ICMP) to determine the current state of the West Coast region’s coastal environment and identify strategies to deal with... 

South Africa 2011 satellite imagery mosaic now available

By: Keith Campbell     9th March 2012 The Earth Observation division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) recently launched the latest edition of its mosaic of satellite imagery of the whole of South Africa, using data from the Spot 5 Earth observation satellite. Assembled from imagery taken and collected from January... 

SA to sign new biotechnology agreement with the ICGEB

By: Henry Lazenby     8th March 2012 South Africa will sign a new operation agreement with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Cabinet said on Thursday. The ICGEB is an international organisation that was established by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in 1987 and is... 

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