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Environmental Studies News

Integration vital for construction-project life cycle

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 There is a need for integration between the engineering design and environmental processes, before the final submission stage of a project, to avoid the possibility of environmental authorisation for construction on the preferred site being denied, says environmental consultancy Environmental... 

Covid-19 could exacerbate food insecurity, malnutrition in Africa – WHO

By: Sane Dhlamini     15th May 2020 The World Health Organization has expressed concern at the potential impact of the coronavirus on food security, which it says could worsen malnutrition in Africa. WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has warned that the virus is threatening livelihoods and household economies... 

Covid-19 could exacerbate food insecurity, malnutrition in Africa – WHO

GreenCape highlights green economy growth opportunities

By: Simone Liedtke     14th May 2020 In response to changing market demand, energy services providers are broadening their market offerings, opening up opportunities for equipment suppliers, project developers, technical advisers and investors, reports nonprofit organisation GreenCape. The organisation has published online versions... 

Mistra celebrates 10 years

By: Sane Dhlamini     11th May 2020 The Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra) has hit ten years of independence and transdisciplinary research. Since May 2010, after much consultation, Mistra was founded by a group of researchers, academics, policymakers and former policy practitioners which created a platform to... 

Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection executive director, Joel Netshitenzhe
Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection executive director, Joel Netshitenzhe

Environmental studies, discourse vital to decommissioning

By: Cameron Mackay     8th May 2020 With the decommissioning of South Africa’s two nuclear facilities officially planned for this decade, consulting engineers WSP hydrology senior associate Karen King states that, with all the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) to be conducted, interested and affected party (IAP) engagement... 

KAREN KING
As with all EIAs undertaken locally, interested and affected party engagement will be essential. WSP is well-placed to undertake all of these studies
KAREN KING As with all EIAs undertaken locally, interested and affected party engagement will be essential. WSP is well-placed to undertake all of these studies

New infrastructure creates opportunities for demolition, decontamination

By: Cameron Mackay     8th May 2020 The development of new infrastructure, particularly in the expanding local mining sector, has created opportunities for demolition solutions provider Jet Demolition to be involved in sectional demolition and decontamination projects, particularly those involving radiological decontamination.... 

ION-OPENING EXPERIENCING
Radiological decontamination and demolition projects can involve a range of procedures, including radiological scanning and testing of scrap metal after ultra-high pressure washing
ION-OPENING EXPERIENCING Radiological decontamination and demolition projects can involve a range of procedures, including radiological scanning and testing of scrap metal after ultra-high pressure washing

Researchers report decrease in South African air pollution during lockdown

By: Rebecca Campbell     7th May 2020 Concentrations of air pollutants over South Africa had decreased during the national lockdown (imposed to try and counter the Covid-19 pandemic), preliminary analysis of satellite data indicated. The study was focused on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The research was being... 

Incentives needed to aid local energy tech

By: Mamaili Mamaila     1st May 2020 While there is an increased focus on local content across several South African industries, government could do more in terms of incentivising local manufacturing, says energy solutions company i-G3n co-founder and director Sydney Phakathi. 

NO FUSS WHATSOEVER 
i-G3n offers standard solutions that it can also tailor to suit the specific needs of every client
NO FUSS WHATSOEVER i-G3n offers standard solutions that it can also tailor to suit the specific needs of every client

Solidarity Fund raises R2.6bn  

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd April 2020 Government’s pro bono organisation, the Solidarity Fund on Thursday expressed gratitude to all those who have so far donated to the fund, which has received R2.6-billion in pledges to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The mandate of fund is to mobilise and coordinate financial and... 

Solidarity Fund raises R2.6bn

Covid-19 cases surpass 10 000 in Africa

By: Sane Dhlamini     8th April 2020 The World Health Organisation has reported that the number of confirmed coronavirus has surpassed the 10 000 mark in Africa, with over 500 deaths. In a statement WHO raised concerns that while the virus was slow to reach the continent, the infection has grown exponentially in recent weeks and... 

Covid-19 cases surpass 10 000 in Africa

Black rhino population doubles owing to concerted conservation

By: Donna Slater     3rd April 2020 Nature conservation organisation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), reports that the world population of black rhino has risen from about 2 500 in the 1990s to 5 600. Independent conservation organisation, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) attributes some of that... 

Black rhino population doubles owing to concerted conservation

Africa to face new challenges amid Covid-19 outbreak

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2020 The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa will probably look different from what has been observed in other parts of the world, as the continent's demographic is unique and different to other countries, according to a new publication by management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group... 

Covid-19 may exacerbate the abuse of power – Corruption Watch  

By: Sane Dhlamini     31st March 2020 Not-for-profit organisation Corruption Watch on Tuesday released its yearly corruption report with executive director David Lewis  saying South Africans should not expect corruption to lessen during the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s report is themed “The Writing is on the Wall” and shows... 

Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis
Corruption Watch executive director, David Lewis

Black rhino population increases by 800

By: African News Agency      24th March 2020 The number of critically endangered black rhino in the wild have increased by nearly 800 over a six-year period, according to a statement released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The black rhino population across Africa has grown at a modest annual rate of 2.5% from an... 

Water ‘crisis’ needs private-sector intervention

By: Darren Parker     13th March 2020 It is essential for the private sector to proactively contribute more towards the upliftment of water infrastructure and services in South Africa, said water engineering company Talbot economist Mike Smith and Talbot strategic director Helen Hulett during a seminar on South Africa’s water... 

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
If the private sector invests in water infrastructure projects, it can help ensure water security
Photo by Bloomberg
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL If the private sector invests in water infrastructure projects, it can help ensure water security

Water security needs diverse, flexible systems

By: Darren Parker     13th March 2020 As climate change increasingly poses a risk to water security, the flexibility and diversity of bulk water distribution and the effective management of these systems are essential to secure future water supply. “Water security depends on the systems that are in place to manage it. Risk is system... 

A SALINE SOLUTION
One way of ensuring a guaranteed supply of clean water is through desalination, as is done in Namibia
Photo by Creamer Media
A SALINE SOLUTION One way of ensuring a guaranteed supply of clean water is through desalination, as is done in Namibia

Carbon storage vital to chemicals projects

By: Cameron Mackay     13th March 2020 With the global drive to meet climate targets and mitigate the devastating effects of climate change, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a vital emissions reduction technology for the chemicals and petrochemicals industry, says international think-tank Global CCS Institute advocacy and... 

DECARBONISING INDUSTRY

Efforts from government and industry are needed to address carbon emissions from chemical and petrochemical production and the use and disposal of chemical products
Photo by Bloomberg
DECARBONISING INDUSTRY Efforts from government and industry are needed to address carbon emissions from chemical and petrochemical production and the use and disposal of chemical products

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers 

By: News24Wire      3rd March 2020 Eskom's megapower station Medupi is suffocating South Africa in more ways than one: It is not just a financial black hole; it is also a health and environmental catastrophe. And the installation of crucial technology to make it less poisonous has once again been delayed. For years, Eskom has... 

Medupi's killer fumes: The story of a power station's missing air scrubbers

Water challenges flagged as potential deterrent to investment

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th February 2020 Amid growing uncertainty on the rising cost and scarcity of water, infrastructure gaps and the potential of water-shedding, water and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks are increasingly looming large on the radar of ratings agencies. South Africa stands at the cusp of another... 

Eskom faces closure threat at biggest working power plant 

By: Bloomberg     25th February 2020 Eskom Holdings is battling to keep all the units of its biggest operational power plant open after being served with a compliance notice by South Africa’s environment ministry because of its high levels of air pollution. The indebted power utility has failed to fully repair pollution-abatement... 

Eskom faces closure threat at biggest working power plant

South Africa's permission for ACWA plant expires, lawyers say

By: Bloomberg     19th February 2020 ACWA Power has been informed by the South African government that its environmental authorisation to build a 306 MW coal-fired power plant in the country has expired, according to lawyers opposing the project. The authorisation for the Khanyisa coal-fired plant lapsed on October 31, 2018, and the... 

Skills shortage plagues natural refrigerant sector

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 One of the most pertinent issues facing the local heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry is the lack of specialised skills needed for the systematic adoption of natural refrigerants in place of traditional synthetic refrigerants. Heightened pressure on... 

SNEAKY LEAKS
Refrigeration systems charged with odourless CO2 need to be monitored with sensors to ensure leaks do not compromise air quality in enclosed spaces
SNEAKY LEAKS Refrigeration systems charged with odourless CO2 need to be monitored with sensors to ensure leaks do not compromise air quality in enclosed spaces

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 Despite various heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry participants contesting the banning of disposable gas cylinders in South Africa for years, there is no indication of a decision on the matter being reached. South African Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning... 

TIME TO SCRAP THIS PRACTICE
Disposed cylinders create about 3 150 m3 scrap metal and can explode if not thoroughly evacuated
TIME TO SCRAP THIS PRACTICE Disposed cylinders create about 3 150 m3 scrap metal and can explode if not thoroughly evacuated

World emissions kept in check as rich nations kick coal habit

By: Bloomberg     11th February 2020 Global emissions from energy held steady in 2019 for the first time in three years as developed nations continued to move away from coal power and toward renewable energy and natural gas. Even as the world economy grew, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions remained at 33.3-billion tons.... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

By: Reuters     7th February 2020 When scientist Peter Soroye first saw the figures showing estimated bumblebee populations in North America had fallen by nearly 50% in a single generation, he thought it must be a typo. He checked the numbers - the result of a long-term analysis of bumblebee populations published in the journal... 

'Drastic' fall in bumblebee populations shocks scientists

Kruger National Park sets traps for tree-killing beetles

By: Yvonne Silaule     6th February 2020 Game reserve, the Kruger National Park, has warned tourists and residents from local communities to burn wood in the locality of where they find it to avoid the spread of the polyphagous shot-hole borer (PSHB), a type of beetle that has been spreading across South Africa and killing trees. The... 

Kruger National Park sets traps for tree-killing beetles

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand 

By: Kim Cloete     5th February 2020 Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland is capitalising on the rising need for more copper globally, with a mission to restore the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC's) position as the number one producer of copper metal in the world. Friedland told the 2020 Investing... 

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand

Creecy invites comment on extending EAP registration deadline  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th January 2020 Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy has published, for public comment, a notice of her intention to amend the Section 24H Registration Authority Regulations of the National Environmental Management Act. This is aimed at extending the date for the compulsory registration... 

EV pilot programme can help Rwanda go green

By: Cameron Mackay     24th January 2020 Electric mobility through electric vehicles (EVs) in Rwanda can help the country in its efforts to go green, says Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) CEO Thomas Schäfer.  This comes after Volkswagen launched a pilot project in the country in October last year, where it introduced its first EV in Africa. 

THOMAS SCHÄFER

Africa will develop in many ways with cooperation. We need to learn to work together across the continent, find shared value, and ways of collaborating
Photo by Creamer Media
THOMAS SCHÄFER Africa will develop in many ways with cooperation. We need to learn to work together across the continent, find shared value, and ways of collaborating

Children across South Africa learn about renewables in vernacular

By: Simone Liedtke     21st January 2020 English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Setswana speaking children across South Africa are learning about the role that wind power is playing as the world transitions to renewable power for a cleaner, healthier planet through a beautifully illustrated story book, named Let the Wind Blow. The South African... 

Children across South Africa learn about renewables in vernacular

World risks 'disaster' as reuse of natural resources declines

By: Reuters     21st January 2020 The proportion of raw materials the world is reusing has fallen, researchers said on Tuesday, warning of a "global disaster" as annual consumption of natural resources rose to 100-billion tonnes for the first time. Just 8.6% of the 100-billion tonnes of materials – including minerals, metals,... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

10th January 2020 In this opinion piece, first published in The Conversation, professors David Walwyn and Rod Crompton make the case for South Africa to pay greater research and development attention to the production of green hydrogen using a combination of wind and solar power and electrolysers. In addition,... 

South Africa has huge 'green fuels' potential. But it needs to act now

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed

13th December 2019 The second phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in South Africa proposes three additional renewable energy development zones for wind and solar PV energy projects. The renewable energy development zones support the responsible implementation... 

RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ZONES
The Phase 2 proposed zones support the responsible implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019
RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ZONES The Phase 2 proposed zones support the responsible implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019

Water project underway and making progress

13th December 2019 Last month, the official ground-breaking function for Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) took place and was attended by Kingdom of Lesotho Minister of Water Samonyane Ntsekele and South Africa Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. “Implementing Phase... 

DAM BIG PROJECT
The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam
DAM BIG PROJECT The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam

Environmental studies essential to REIPP success

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 In most renewable-energy independent power producer (REIPP) project cases, environmental sensitivities can be successfully avoided if developers embrace advice given by environmental consultants during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) stage. This enables developers to better ensure that... 

NOT WINGING IT
Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues
NOT WINGING IT Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues

4IR could lead to ‘profound changes’, says German embassy

By: Simone Liedtke     10th December 2019 The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) would “radically transform the working environment” and affect almost every industry and country and, in so doing, lead to “profound changes in systems, production and government”, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to South Africa cooperation head... 

Embassy of Germany cooperation head Fabian Kyrieleis
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Embassy of Germany cooperation head Fabian Kyrieleis

Waste management, recycling needed for sustainability

29th November 2019 Waste management and recycling practices play an important role in South Africa’s sustainability drive. With the conservation of resources being the responsibility of all governments, South Africa introduced the Carbon Tax Act with the aim of reducing carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025. 

AGAIN AND AGAIN
Nampak has undertaken to recycle and reuse plastics in their plight to produce sustainable packaging
AGAIN AND AGAIN Nampak has undertaken to recycle and reuse plastics in their plight to produce sustainable packaging
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