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28 May 2017 Environmental Law & Justice Watch

Environmental Focus

All eyes on Western Cape water crisis

Scientists and politicians weighed in on the water crisis currently afflicting Cape Town at two important meetings last week, notes Legalbrief. It was the worst drought in more than 110 years, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said about the devastating ... Read More

Legal Commentary

Shale gas licences likely to be delayed by litigation

It has been reported that government intends awarding shale gas exploration licences as early as September 2017, notes Matthew Burnell, a director at Herbert Smith Freehills, in an analysis piece on the Politicsweb site. ‘While this may be the case ... Read More

South Africa

Shot rhino poacher may be Kruger employee

SANParks officials and law enforcement authorities have ‘remained mum’ on speculation that a suspected rhino poacher (48) shot and killed by park rangers was a former Kruger National Park ranger ‘gone rogue’. A News24 report notes that SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel ... Read More

Mpumalanga sets limits for trophy bull hunting

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) has confirmed that it will not issue permits to hunt trophy elephants with unlimited tusk weights. In a surprise development, MTPA permitting authority, Riaan de Lange, confirmed that no permits will be issued for ... Read More

Addo blocks elephants from waterholes

The SA National Parks (SANParks) is experimenting with an ‘elephant exclusion’ apparatus at two Addo waterholes to allow other animals better access and protect the integrity of the surrounding veld. According to a report in The Herald, SANParks regional spokesperson ... Read More


Civil society gains ground in battle to uphold green law

The SA Government has failed to uphold section 24 of the Constitution, protecting environmental rights, environmental journalist Sipho Kings writes in a Mail & Guardian Online analysis piece. ‘Mining and development regularly trump environmental rights. Those rights are not protected in ... Read More


Ghana establishes fisheries task force

An eight-member task force that will enforce fisheries law and regulations has been inaugurated in Accra, Ghana, says a report on the allAfrica site. The task force will help regulate the renewal of fishing licences for fishing vessels in accordance ... Read More

African Renewable Energy Initiative marred by conflict

More than 100 international civil society groups last week launched a statement in solidarity with their African counterparts who are concerned about the role of France and the European Commission in undermining the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). According to ... Read More


Study slams 'deadly' diesel truck and car emissions

‘Excess’ diesel truck and car emissions claimed about 38 000 lives worldwide in 2015, said a study last week that sought to quantify deaths due to pollution that car makers sought to hide. According to a News24 report, four-fifths of ... Read More

Remote Pacific island clogged up with trash

When researchers travelled to a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38m pieces of trash washed up on the beaches. A News24 report notes that almost all of the ... Read More

Global Seed Vault nearly breached by meltwater

The Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel. A report in The Guardian notes that the vault contains almost ... Read More

Enviro Briefs

* An investigation is under way after an internationally-renowned professional Japanese diver died while filming a documentary on coelacanths and leatherback turtles in the Sodwana Bay section of iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern KZN. iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis said Mitsuyoshi Tanaka ... Read More

* Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife auctioned more than 1 000 wild animals yesterday‚ injecting more than R8m into the cash-strapped conservation agency’s depleted coffers. Altogether‚ Ezemvelo sold 1 183 animals at its 28th annual action at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – including 10 ... Read More

* Abalone worth R7.8m was seized at a Cape Town funeral parlour last week. The abalone was found after police received a tip-off. A Crawford man (48) was arrested. Read More

Side Bars

Rare albino orangutan to be named 'Alba'

Rare albino orangutan to be named 'Alba' A conservation group said last week it has chosen the name 'Alba' for a rare albino orangutan rescued from captivity in Indonesia after receiving a flood of suggestions from the public. The name ... Read More

Ladybugs' folded wings hold lessons for engineers

Ladybugs' folded wings hold lessons for engineers Researchers at the University of Tokyo have uncovered how ladybirds (locally known as ladybugs) stow their wings. These common beetles were chosen because of the speed with which they can unfold and deploy ... Read More

Game reserve founder and icon dies

Game reserve founder and wildlife icon dies Former SANParks CE Dr Robbie Robinson, founder of the oldest marine protected area (MPA) in Africa, has died at the age of 77. Robinson established the iconic Otter Trail and the Tsitsikamma MPA ... Read More