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31 March 2020 Environmental Law & Justice Watch

Environmental Focus

DEAT under fire for relaxing air emissions rule

Campaigners have slammed the government's gazetting of minimum emissions standards for noxious gas sulphur dioxide (SO2) at a higher level than initially agreed upon. They argue that it is irresponsible with the burgeoning pandemic which affects those breathing polluted ... Read More

South Africa

Timber industry under pressure to plant fewer gum trees

The timber industry is under pressure from civil society groups and government water regulators to halt ‘unauthorised’ land conversion from pine to gum trees in the sprawling Mpumalanga timber plantations because of growing concern over regional water scarcity. According to ... Read More

Go-ahead for 18-storey Bo-Kaap building

The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by a Bo-Kaap community group against a decision approving the construction of a controversial 18-storey building in the historic area. According to a Cape Argus report, the Bo-Kaap Ratepayers and Civic ... Read More

Exxaro commits to a just transition to low carbon

Coal mining company Exxaro Resources has acknowledged coal’s negative impact on climate in a 20-page publication just released, notes a Mining Weekly report. It maintains that a just transition to a low-carbon future should inform global climate action. ‘If we ... Read More

Legalbrief Policy Watch

Legislation: New emission standards a compromise

Amendments to the minimum standards to be observed by combustion installations in respect of sulphur dioxide (SO₂) emissions were gazetted last Friday and are immediately effective, notes Pam Saxby for Legalbrief Policy Watch. According to yesterday’s media statement on the new regulations, they ... Read More


Pandemic is Nature's shot across humanity's bows

Nature is sending us a message with the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis, according to the UN’s Environment Chief, Inger Andersen. Writing in an analysis in The Guardian, environmental journalist Damian Carrington quotes Andersen as saying that humanity ... Read More

Economic rescue packages must be green

The economic rescue packages to deal with the impact of the coronavirus must also be green, environmental campaigners said last week, concerned about locking the world into a high-carbon future. According to a report in The Guardian, Mary Robinson, a ... Read More


DRC and Rwandan parks close to protect gorillas

National parks in Rwanda and Congo are temporarily shutting their doors to tourists and researchers to protect Africa’s endangered chimpanzees and mountain gorillas from contracting the coronavirus. According to a report in The Independent, Virunga ​– Africa’s oldest national park ... Read More

Tanzania mulls subsidising hunting sector

The Tanzanian Government is considering reviewing the annual fee charged for hunting block licences as the hunting community reels from the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a Daily News report, the country has so far reported 12 Covid-19 cases and has ... Read More

Pangolins remain unprotected in Zimbabwe

Just as the whole world discovers that pangolin meat could have triggered the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, it has emerged that Zimbabwe's legislation offers no real protection for the species, writes Carmel Rickard for Legalbrief. This has become ... Read More


Big win for Standing Rock tribe

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled last week that the permits issued for the Dakota Access Pipeline violated the National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa). A Jurist report notes that the complaint was brought ... Read More

Judge delays gas project pending community talks

A Nova Scotia judge has ruled the operators of a project to store natural gas in underground caverns must delay their project until further talks with a Mi'kmaq community are complete. According to a CTVNews report, the Sipekne'katik ... Read More

Global wind power grew in 2019

The world’s wind power capacity grew by almost a fifth in 2019 after a year of record growth for offshore windfarms and a boom in onshore projects in the US and China. According to a report in The Guardian, the ... Read More

Enviro Briefs

Indonesia's most active volcano erupts

* Indonesia's most active volcano Mount Merapi erupted last week, shooting a column of ash some 5 000m into the air in its second major eruption this month. Authorities have not raised Merapi's alert level, however. There were no ... Read More

Side Bars

Utrecht greens its city roofs

Utrecht greens city roofs Every roof in the city district of Utrecht is to be ‘greened’ with plants and mosses or have solar panels installed under plans driven by the success of a similar scheme for the municipality’s bus stops ... Read More