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Environmental Studies News

Greenpeace calls for global oceans treaty before deep sea mining is pursued

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd July 2019 Environmental organisation Greenpeace International warns that the world’s oceans could face severe and irreversible harm from deep sea mining unless tighter environmental safeguards are put in place. A new report published by the organisation, titled ‘In Deep Water’, shines a light on the... 

Scientists want to dump hundreds of plastic blocks into the sea to solve litter mystery

By: News24Wire      27th June 2019 We know a staggering volume of plastic waste is ending up in our oceans, but where it all goes is still a bit of a mystery. A ground-breaking new study aims to shed light on the subject, but scientists have hit a stumbling block after concerned citizens launched efforts to stop it from going ahead. 

People are dying from pollution in South Africa 

By: Bloomberg     27th June 2019 In Pullens Hope, your eyes itch and your nose clogs. It’s easy to figure out why. On the right side of the main street of the dilapidated village east of Johannesburg is a fenced-off electricity substation with a red sign warning of pollutants. On the left, a power plant belches emissions from... 

Pollution on our plate: How waste is ending up in fish caught off the Cape coast

By: News24Wire      26th June 2019 The ocean around Cape Town is so polluted that pharmaceutical and industrial chemical compounds are accumulating in the flesh of fish caught off the coast, reports GroundUp . Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town's water quality reports remain hidden from the public. Scientists from the University of... 

Campaign groups accuse Total of breaching French corporate duty law in Uganda

By: Reuters     25th June 2019 French and Ugandan campaign groups including Friends of the Earth have filed a legal notification with Total, claiming it has failed to address the human and environmental impact of its Ugandan operations as required by French law. Under France's Corporate Duty of Vigilance regulation, large... 

Cape's plants are dying out – and local authorities need citizens' help

By: News24Wire      20th June 2019 Almost 40 plant species have gone extinct in the Western Cape since 1900, making it one of the hot spots for plant extinction on the planet. A new study, published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, found that across the world about 600 trees, flowers, and fruit-bearing plants have died... 

Balwin registers over 16 000 EDGE certified units

By: Simone Liedtke     18th June 2019 JSE-listed Balwin Properties has registered more than 16 000 units across seven of its built-to-sell and three of its rental developments as excellence in design for greater efficiency certified with the Green Building Council South Africa. The registration will be completed over the next six... 

Balwin Properties Kikuyu development
Balwin Properties Kikuyu development

Saving Earth with electric cars means wrecking a fragile desert

By: Bloomberg     11th June 2019 The oases that once interrupted the dusty slopes of the Atacama desert in northern Chile allowed humans and animals to survive for thousands of years in the world’s driest climate. That was before the mining started. Sara Plaza, 67 years old, can still remember guiding her family’s sheep along... 

Ugandan critics oppose Nile river power plant plan

By: Reuters     11th June 2019 A plan by South Africa's Bonang Power and Energy to develop a 360 MW power plant on Uganda's River Nile has met resistance from critics who say the project will destroy the popular tourist attraction of Murchison Falls. Located on the Nile between the Ugandan lakes Kyoga and Albert, the Murchison... 

Greenpeace study recommends Eskom sell its coal-fired power stations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th June 2019 A study commissioned by Greenpeace Africa recommends that State-owned Eskom, as part of its reform, gradually spin out its coal-fired power generation activities to new generation companies that will operate the power plants for the remainder of their operating lives. Greenpeace had commissioned... 

The Lethabo power station
Photo by Creamer Media's Terence Creamer
The Lethabo power station

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2019 Environmental justice group groundWork and community organisation Vukani Environment Justice Movement in Action have launched “landmark litigation”, demanding that government clean up the air in the Mpumalanga Highveld. GroundWork and Vukani on June 7 served papers to the High Court, asking that... 

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court

Waste is the new gold, says Gauteng MEC Ramokgopa

By: African News Agency      5th June 2019 As the world marked World Environment Day on Wednesday, Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa urged communities to recycle waste, avoid illegal dumping and constantly consider the environmental impact of their actions. "This World Environment... 

Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa
Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Anglo American Coal study shows ecological value of mining sites

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th June 2019 Anglo American Coal’s Isibonelo Colliery is emerging as a noteworthy case study for how rehabilitated landscapes can play an important role in conservation and biodiversity, including a ground-breaking study on the population of serval in the Mpumalanga coalfields. Isibonelo is home to a large... 

Anglo American Coal study shows ecological value of mining sites

New coatings range launched in S Africa  

By: Halima Frost     31st May 2019 Specialised construction product manufacturer a.b.e. Construction Chemicals announced its partnership last month with coatings supplier Rustopak to launch the a.b.e. Rustopak range. The range consists of the a.b.e Rustopak Red Penetrant Sealant, and the Rustopak Top Coat. 

New coatings range launched in S Africa
a.b.e. Construction Chemicals CEO Warren Trew & Watsons Coatings president Gary Watson discuss the Rustopak range. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling.

New study proves penguins are key indicators of ocean health

By: News24Wire      22nd May 2019 A new study has proven that African penguins benefit when there is a greater abundance of fish available and it can be used to inform fisheries management in future. The three-year study looked at a colony on Robben Island during a period when the area was closed to commercial fishing and... 

UJ designs mobile lab to aid in water contamination testing

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th May 2019 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has created a mobile lab for water testing, amid various sewage spills in South Africa. The Transnet National Ports Authority reported earlier this month that it had prohibited angling and diving activity at the Durban port, owing to a massive sewage spill in... 

Agri SA launches court proceedings against granting of shale gas exploration rights

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2019 Agricultural organisation Agri SA has launched court proceedings in the Pretoria High Court against the granting of environmental authorisations and explorations rights for shale gas to Africa-focused oil and gas exploration and development company Rhino Oil and Gas. Although the authorized... 

groundWork opposing Minister’s plan to weaken air pollution standards

By: Simone Liedtke     6th May 2019 Environmental justice group groundWork, represented by the Centre for Environmental Rights, has launched High Court proceedings against Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and President Cyril Ramaphosa and is asking the court to set aside government’s plan to double the amount of... 

Activists slam South Africa's decision to pump water to coal mines

By: Bloomberg     30th April 2019 South African environmental groups have challenged the government’s decision to grant permission for a water project which aims to supply developments for its future coal reserves. Authorizing a part of the Mokolo Crocodile (West) Water Augmentation Project, which would pump water to the... 

Mantashe urges continued investment in clean coal tech   

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th April 2019 Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe on Friday commended Sasol for the “good work” it was doing and the opening of its new Impumelelo Colliery. He said it was notable that the opening of the mine came at a time when coal is under siege and that it should counter the narrative that coal is... 

Mantashe urges continued investment in clean coal tech
Sasol executive director and joint president and CEO Stephen Cornell provides details of the new Impumelelo colliery. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

SRK outlines environmental considerations for Brulpadda gas extraction

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th April 2019 SRK Consulting environmental assessment practitioner Sue Reuther says although news of the large Brulpadda gas find off South Africa’s southern coast holds economic potential, the project could take ten years to reach production and all environmental risks would first need to be considered for... 

Environmental plan for South African segment of SKA radio telescope gazetted

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th April 2019 The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (Sarao) has announced that the Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) for the Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array mid-frequency array (SKA1_MID) was gazetted recently by Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. The SKA is an... 

A tiny beetle is killing an urban forest and there's no solution

By: Bloomberg     3rd April 2019 A black beetle the size of a sesame seed is killing South Africa’s trees, and no one knows how to stop it. After arriving from Southeast Asia about four years ago, the polyphagous shot-hole borer has spread a thousand miles across South Africa, from the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg, where it... 

Environmental plan for South African segment of SKA radio telescope gazetted

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th March 2019 The Integrated Environmental Management Plan (IEMP) for the Phase 1 of the Square Kilometre Array mid-frequency array (SKA1_MID) was gazetted by Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on Friday, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (Sarao) announced on Monday. The SKA is an... 

An artist’s impression of the core of the South African segment of the SKA
Photo by Sarao
An artist’s impression of the core of the South African segment of the SKA

Greenpeace opposes Eskom’s application to postpone air quality legislation compliance

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2019 Nonprofit organisation Greenpeace Africa on Tuesday reaffirmed its opposition to State-owned Eskom’s application for further postponements and/or suspensions from air quality legislation. The organisation explained that, in the interests of realising the Constitutional right to a healthy... 

Greenpeace global air pollution unit lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Greenpeace global air pollution unit lead analyst Lauri Myllyvirta

'No tomorrow' for many unless consumption falls – UN

By: Reuters     13th March 2019 Global exploitation of natural resources – from water, sand and timber to oil, coal and gemstones – has more than tripled in 50 years, the United Nations (UN) said on Tuesday, warning of devastating environmental impacts unless demand is reduced. Surging consumption of natural resources –... 

Ramaphosa takes Good Green Deeds environmental programme to the people

By: African News Agency      7th March 2019 President Cyril Ramaphosa will, on Friday, International Women's Day, officially launch the national Good Green Deeds programme in East London, Eastern Cape, at the Sisa Dukashe stadium in Mdantsane.  Provinces are expected to host similar Good Green Deeds activities simultaneously, the... 

DEA to undertake R7m water quality testing project in PE

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd February 2019 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) will lead a R7-million water quality testing project, titled ‘Improving Ocean Governance in the Benguela Current Large Marine Econsystem’ (BCLME III) in the Swartkops area, in Port Elizabeth. The project is being implemented by the Benguela Current... 

UJ study provides glimpse into early stages of species formation in the sea

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th February 2019 The University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Wednesday reported findings of an international study published in “Proceedings of the Royal Society B”, substantiating that warm and cool water temperatures over a long stretch of coastline cause new species of marine fish to evolve without being isolated... 

UCT scientists part of international study of Antarctic waters

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th February 2019 University of Cape Town (UCT) scientists, Dr Marcel du Plessis and Isabelle Giddy, are part of an international study team that is attempting to occupy and collect vital measurements of the frigid ice-covered waters of Antarctica – the least studied place on the planet. During winter, Antarctic... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland 

By: Martin Creamer     6th February 2019 Mining can and will deliver massive benefits if all stakeholders work together, Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday Speaking on the third day of the Investing in African Mining Indaba, he outlined the huge potential of collaborative government,... 

Working together can deliver mining’s massive benefits – Friedland
Ivanhoe Mines executive co-chairperson and founder Robert Friedland speaks about the winds of change blowing in South Africa and the DRC and the benefits mining companies, African governments and communities can reap if all parties work together. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Research shows West Africa is facing more frequent severe storms

By: Rebecca Campbell     1st February 2019 A multinational research consortium of British, French and West African institutes and scientists, funded by the UK Government, has ascertained that “mega storms” in West Africa occur three times more frequently today than they did 35 years ago. The results of the research are being applied to... 

Could alien tree clearing near dams be Cape Town's solution to saving water? 

By: News24Wire      31st January 2019 Cape Town is losing 50-billion litres of water every year to thirsty alien trees surrounding the region’s supply dams – equivalent to two months’ water supply effectively going down the drain. For those who doubt the hydrological models that have come up with this figure, there will soon be hard... 

Rhodes University to lead £20m international collaborative ocean project

By: African News Agency      29th January 2019 Rhodes University is set to lead a £20-million international collaborative project to influence ocean health and integrated ocean governance for equitable and inclusive sustainability. The One Ocean Hub is one of twelve innovation hub programmes approved by the UK Research Innovation’s Global... 

SAIIA, Brookings launch Foresight Africa report   

By: Sane Dhlamini     28th January 2019 The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative (AGI) launched the Foresight Africa report on Monday, in Johannesburg, highlighting the top priorities for the continent in 2019.  AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly... 

AGI senior fellow and director Brahima  Coulibaly
AGI senior fellow and director Brahima Coulibaly & ISS senior research consultant Liesl Louw-Vaudran on the Foresight Africa report (Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling)

UCT researchers selected for research hubs to address global challenges

By: Sashnee Moodley     24th January 2019 Funding agency United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) have selected University of Cape Town (UCT) researchers to establish research hubs at UK universities, to tackle some of the development challenges facing the world. The hubs offer five... 

UCT researchers selected for research hubs to address global challenges

How the cargo ship industry is cleaning up its filthy act

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2019 Air pollution from cars and factories has been regulated in much of the world since the 1970s. When it comes to the smoke-belching ships that carry global trade, the rules have been a lot looser. Big changes start next January, though, when long-debated standards from the International Maritime... 

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