TAG: Governments

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

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

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

Environment Not For Sale

Environmental law in Africa

Foreign investment can play a critical role in improving the economic conditions in developing countries. As a result, many African countries are keen to have foreign based companies invest and set up shop within their borders. Foreign investment is hardly free, in most cases foreign companies benefit in some or other way from operating in a foreign jurisdiction. They may benefit from a number of advantages including the natural resources such country has to offer, corporate tax rates, and from lax environmental laws. Where environmental laws are concerned, it may be that in the company’s country of origin there are… read more

Legal Loopholes

Legal loopholes

In contracts where two or more parties are from different jurisdictions, there usually is a choice of law stipulating which country’s laws will govern the contractual relationship. This practice is founded upon the widely recognised doctrine of party autonomy in contract law. National courts do not generally go against the wishes of the parties. There may however be instances where a court will not uphold a choice of law clause, a classic example being where the law as it applies to issues at hand is likely to yield results which are contrary to the policies of the country wherein the court… read more

Bulk Importation of Booze Causes Concern

South African Wine Industry

South African wines are reknowned the world over. Wine makers particularly of the Western Cape region of South Africa export wines to numerous overseas territories. The way in which wine has been exported over the years is being challenged by the United Kingdom one of the biggest importers of South African wine, on environmental grounds. In past years, wines have primarily been exported by South Africa already bottled. The South African Fruit and Wine Industry Initiative reports that South Africa exports 412 million liters of wine every year, with 10% – 15% of that exported to the UK alone. In… read more

Subsistence Farming

Improper farming methods

Subsistence farming is a common lifestyle in many African states. It includes the rearing of domestic animals and the cultivation of crops for home and domestic use, as opposed to doing so for commercial purposes. Farming of this kind is not a discipline one needs to go to university for, it is often passed from generation to generation, which in turn means it is not a science in the strictest sense. This then makes it open to set backs due to ignorance, and lack of proper knowledge pertaining to successful farming. One such set back is the effect that improper… read more

Lake Malawi Threatened

lake-malawi-

Lake Malawi is home to a myriad of endemic fish species. It is a world renowned tourist destination largely due to its aquatic life which makes it a popular snorkelling and scuba diving site. So important is Lake Malawi to biodiversity conservation, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation declared it a world heritage site. The status of the lake as a heritage site and the biodiversity that it accommodates may be under threat. A long simmering dispute between Malawi and Tanzania over the sovereign claim over the lake is the source of the threat. The political intricacies of… read more