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Environmental Studies News

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... 

Public comment invited on plan to enlarge five national parks

By: Henry Lazenby     8th March 2012 Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has gazetted a declaration that sections of adjoining land become part of five South African national parks, effectively enlarging these parks. The five national parks benefitting from the declaration included the Agulhas, Addo Elephant,... 

SKA SA teams up with IBM to explore space using data analytics

By: Henry Lazenby     7th March 2012 The Square Kilometre Array South Africa (SKA SA) on Wednesday said it planned to work with global computing firm IBM to develop a next-generation big-data analytics platform with self-tuning and self-learning capabilities, to better analyse large volumes of radio astronomy data. The proposed... 

Determining carbon tax rate a fine balancing act – Treasury  

By: Henry Lazenby     29th February 2012 Determining the correct rate for a carbon tax in South Africa is a fine balancing act, National Treasury deputy director-general Ismail Momoniat said on Wednesday. Speaking at the launch of conservation organisation Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) South Africa’s discussion paper on carbon tax... 

Super Group implements carbon accounting solution

By: Dimakatso Motau     17th February 2012 Supply chain management and fleet services business Super Group announced its implementation of carbon solutions company Greenstone’s carbon management and accounting solution to measure, manage and reduce its environmental impact, early this month. 

Infant space agency says foundations being laid for launch of SA programme 

By: Keith Campbell     17th February 2012 The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) was formally launched on December 9, 2010 but began operations on April 1, 2011.  

Construction team finds shipwreck at V&A Waterfront 

By: Henry Lazenby     16th February 2012 Construction company WBHO has found a wooden shipwreck during excavation works for a new office block in the Clock Tower precinct of the V&A Waterfront, the South African Heritage Resources Agency (Sahra) said on Thursday. Workers last week uncovered a section of wooden wreck covered by ballast,... 

Transnet Ports continuing talks with UAL on Saldanha lease

By: Henry Lazenby     10th February 2012 State-owned Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) this week continued negotiations with shipping company Universal African Lines (UAL) to save an investment deal at the Saldanha port. Last week it was announced the Dutch-headquartered group would withdraw from the Saldanha Oil and Gas Service... 

Agriculture key to climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions 

By: Schalk Burger     10th February 2012 The world’s agriculture sector can contribute to climate change mitigation, while at the same time helping countries to adapt to climate change, say 14 scientists writing in the January 20 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Science. Members of the contributing team are drawn from from 12... 

TCTA calls for prequalification bids to build KZN water infrastructure

By: Henry Lazenby     9th January 2012 State-owned bulk water provider the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) has invited companies to prequalify for the construction of a new 8.5 MW pump station and 14 km pipeline as part of the Mooi Mgeni Transfer Scheme Phase 2 (MMTS-2) project in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The MMTS-2 involves... 

Census data processing to start in January 

By: Henry Lazenby     12th December 2011 Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has trained about 880 people to deal with a new methodology to capture the data from the Census 2011 questionnaires, with processing set to start in January, project director Calvin Molongoana said on Monday. Minister in the PResidency responsible for National... 

Power utility strives to minimise environmental impact

By: Joanne Taylor     28th October 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom continues to act on its sound management principles to ensure that it minimises the impact of the construction of its Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme on the surrounding environment, says environmental services company NCC Environmental Services. 

New setback lines to be drafted for WC coastline

By: Joanne Taylor     28th October 2011 New coastal development setback lines are being drafted for the Overberg district municipality coastline, in the Western Cape. 

SA approves climate policy, confident on COP 17 

By: Sapa     13th October 2011 Cabinet has approved the National Climate Change Response Policy, government spokesman Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday. "Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa will update the media about this policy next week," he told reporters after Wednesday's regular Cabinet meeting. The policy... 

Biotechnology research needed to bolster food security, create jobs

By: Dimakatso Motau     16th September 2011 It is imperative for governments to explore the use of agricultural biotechnology to produce healthy food and create employment, said the National Research Council Canada executive director Dr Jerome Konecsni. 

Consultancy urges exploration of new waste treatment methods

19th August 2011 Ground engineering and environmental consultancy group Golder Associates says waste management in South Africa, as in most developing countries, is heavily reliant on landfilling, with alternative waste treatment technologies, including recycling, anaerobic digestion, mechanical biologic... 

COP 17 carbon footprinting contract awarded

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th August 2011 Engineering and management consultancy Arup has been contracted by the eThekwini municipality to assist in calculating the carbon footprint of the seventeenth international Conference of the Parties (COP17) event, which will be held in Durban from November 28 to December 9. 

Acsa, Transnet negotiating sale of portion of old Durban International Airport site

By: Eleanor Seggie     5th August 2011 Negotiations between the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) and Transnet on the sale of a portion of the old Durban International Airport site are continuing, says ACSA group communications manager Solomon Makgale. 

Consultancy targets Africa for further growth

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th July 2011 Consultancy firm SRK Consulting South Africa is focusing on developing its latest ventures in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ghana, while building its capacity in Zimbabwe and Angola, says MD Peter Labrum. 

Waste offenders face stiff penalties, but enforcement capacity questioned

By: Eleanor Seggie     22nd July 2011 While the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, No 59 of 2008 brings with it abundant opportunities and regulatory tools, it also introduces severe criminal liability for directors and companies.  

Joint venture aiming to deliver enviro-friendly taxiing system

By: Eleanor Seggie     1st July 2011 Diversified technology and manufacturing company Honeywell and French aerospace leader Safran have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture (JV) company which will deliver an innovative, ‘green’ taxiing system for new and existing aircraft.  

New publication outlines ‘sustainable concrete’ protocols

24th June 2011 The Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) has produced the first in a series of new, free publications on the sustainability of concrete. 

New toolkit aims to help municipalities improve waste performance

By: Eleanor Seggie     24th June 2011 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) unit has launched a toolkit entitled ‘Municipal waste management – good practices,’ to help improve practice in waste management in municipalities. 

R225m for acid mine drainage not enough, Parliament hears 

By: Jean McKenzie     21st June 2011 The R225-million set aside to deal with acid mine drainage (AMD) would not be enough, and closer to R750-million would be needed to address the problem successfully, Johann Claassens from the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) said on Tuesday. Claassens was addressing Parliament’s Portfolio... 

US researchers find high levels of methane contamination in wells near fracking sites, but think-tank doubts accuracy of study 

By: Eleanor Seggie     27th May 2011 A study by Duke University (Duke) researchers has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites, reports ScienceDaily.  

Competition seeks ‘concrete’ sustainable designs

20th May 2011 The Future African City is the theme of the fifth yearly Cement & Concrete Institute (C&CI) architectural sustainable design competition.  

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