Thobisa Simelane

Legal Backing For Environment

Legal backing

Naively, one may say, the laws of the land are there to protect us and our interests. This is true half the time, but there are times when people and communities feel that the law offers them limited or no protection at all. This may be said for laws which are silent on environmental issues, and such loopholes are abused by persons with a vested interest in doing so. When there is a contention between persons concerning a certain law, the court is tasked with the responsibility to interpret the law in question and give a verdict founded upon justice,… read more

Energy Opportunity

Energy opportunity

Many African states have committed themselves to realising milestone development goals in the near future. Development is measured by using an array of indicators, these include having clean tap water, tar roads, and electricity amongst other things. When a vast majority of a country’s population has unhindered access to these amenities, it can be said that development is on an upward trajectory. The move towards development presents numerous opportunities for new technologies and renewable energy to be introduced in these countries. For instance, there are still many communities without electricity and electric power. An article in the Economist reports that… read more

Keeping Them Honest

Compliance for Environmental Law

It is essential that a country put in place sound environmental policies and a suitable legal framework in a bid to tackle environmental challenges. However laws and policies serve no purpose at all if compliance is lacking. Monitoring whether or not environmental laws are complied with is a crucial element of environmental protection, though it be a mammoth task. Compliance is quite important because environmental laws are primarily preventative, they basically constitute rules formulated such that environmental damage is either minimised or prevented if possible. It is unimaginable that a state can trust that subjects will comply willingly, like all… read more

Model Laws For All

environmental-laws

In matters of common interest in the international community, there exists a practice wherein model laws are drafted for sovereign states to use as a blueprint for national legislation. Environmental model laws also exist, this article seeks to expose the disadvantages of using such instruments in the developing world. In principle, there is nothing wrong with using a model law as a foundation for drafting national legislation. However in a time when there is mounting pressure on all nations of the world to enact relevant environmental legislation and formulate sound environmental policies, there may be danger in using model law… read more

Forcing Change For The Future

Technology Forcing Change

Generally, technology forcing standards can be defined as the formulation in legislation, of a requirement to achieve a certain standard of operation within a specified time period. This can be achieved by using technologies that have not yet been developed for widespread commercial use, but have been shown to be feasible on an experimental basis. Technology forcing standards are quite important in the field of environmental regulation, they are a necessary nudge in the right direction for the biggest producers of environmentally corrupt substances, and large contributors to human induced climate change. The automotive and petroleum industries, for instance, were transformed… read more

Corruption Leads To Landfill

Abandoned_vehicles

It is trite to say that corruption is one of the most prevalent social ills that plague numerous governments internationally. This is especially true within African states where blatant corruption goes unpunished, thereby fostering a culture of impunity. Corruption by government officials has many dire consequences, and we will focus on the effect of such corruption on environmental obligations which a country must discharge or at least be seen to be discharging. All countries in the global community are encouraged to take part in saving the natural environment from avoidable harm, laws are passed and policies formulated to realise that end. However,… read more

Financing Change

Financing Change

Financial markets have a reputation for being the playground of the greedy and self-serving. However, this attitude towards financial markets is slowly changing as this sector seeks to become a stakeholder in the fight against global warming. In what may be said to be the development of conscious capitalism. International instruments such as the Kyoto protocol have developed a framework for financial services providers to assume a role in the fight against climate change by facilitating carbon trading, and financing climate adaptation. Furthermore, the financial sector seems to be enthusiastically involved in the fight against global warming. The involvement of… read more

Keeping Up Standards

Keeping Up Standards

Standards are an important quality protection and monitoring tool for consumer goods, amongst other things. They are there to help government ensure that consumers are assured that products sold have been tested and approved for safe and durable usage, and the products in question will bear a seal of approval if they meet set standards. Standards can be quite useful in the fight against pollution and general environmental damage, in particular standards relating to electronic goods. Many of the electronic products imported by African countries are manufactured overseas, more often than not, the importing states are not privy to durability… read more

Polluting The Seas

biofouling-on-boat-hull

If you have ever walked by a sea harbour, you may have noticed a few organisms attached to a docked large ship by the waterline. These attachments may be telling of a worse situation that lies beneath the water than the naked eye can sea. These attachments consist of micro-organism, plants, algae, molluscs and other marine organisms, and such attachment is known as biofouling. Biofouling is not a new phenomenon, it can occur on all marine vessels if appropriate anti- fouling measures are not taken. Environmental scientists have long stated that biofouling provides transportation of non-indigenous species of aquatic plant… read more

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

Environmental law

In most civilised legal systems specialised courts are established for special crimes. Examples include tax courts, labour courts, and white collar crimes courts. The importance of having specialised courts is that crimes and civil suits of a technical nature are dealt with without the delay they would suffer if put to traditional court structures. As the need to protect environmental media continues to escalate in importance, and climate change law continues to develop, environmental courts are going to be needed to deal specifically with criminal and civil matters pertaining to the environment and climate change. What must always be borne… read more