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Environmental Studies News

Philip Lloyd – a passionate educator and energy thought leader

By: Schalk Burger     7th September 2018 Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Energy Institute researcher, South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE) Fellow, energy expert and passionate educator professor Philip Lloyd passed away last month. He championed the role of science and how one needs to learn the language of... 

Tiny beetle is killing SA's trees – and nothing can stop it

By: News24Wire      5th September 2018 A beetle smaller than a sesame seed is killing huge trees throughout South Africa, and little can be done to stop it. The polyphagous shot hole borer, a native of southeast Asia no bigger than 2mm, has found its way to South Africa and is infesting trees at an alarming rate. According to... 

Technical analytical firm offers sector-focused laboratory services

By: Schalk Burger     31st August 2018 Sci-Ba focuses on providing highly technical analytical services for commercial companies across a range of industries and has been divided into ten sector-focused laboratories to cater for the needs of specific industries, says Sci-Ba co-founder and director David Long. Developing new tests and... 

Technical analytical firm offers sector-focused laboratory services
INDUSTRIAL TESTING Sci-Ba’s scientists are specialised in chemistry, environmental science, hydrology, geology and mineralogy serving Africa, Europe and the Middle East clients

Trawling for a cleaner environment

24th August 2018 An international study has revealed that South African Hake has a low environmental impact; this and the fact that South African Hake comes from a sustainable and well managed fishery, makes it a good choice over beef and many other forms of animal proteins. According to the study − published in... 

Trawling for a  cleaner environment
HAKING ITS TOLL Hake takes less toll on the environment than most other farmed proteins

Biojet feasibility project under way

By: Paige Müller     17th August 2018 The Waste to Wing feasibility project, aimed at ascertaining the viability of waste-based sustainable aviation biofuel production and consumption in South Africa, is under way, says nature conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA). WWF-SA bioenergy programme... 

Biojet feasibility project under way
Photo by Creamer Media
PROOF OF CONCEPT Waste to Wing aims to prove that biojet fuel can be used economically in South Africa and that it can offer an inclusive value chain

Research chairs established to assist South African waste sector

By: Simone Liedtke     14th August 2018 The South African waste sector is in desperate need of change, says Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Waste Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap Implementation Unit manager Professor Linda Godfrey. Speaking at the launch of South Africa’s first research chairs in... 

Research chairs established to assist South African waste sector
Photo by Dylan Slater
University of the Western Cape professor Catherina Schenk

Retailer pilots South Africa’s first in-store recycling vending machine

By: Simone Liedtke     10th August 2018 In line with its commitment to achieving zero packaging waste to landfill by 2022, retailer Woolworths has launched the customer trial of an integrated reverse vending machine in its flagship green store, Woolworths Palmyra, in Claremont. This, Woolworths says, is good news for the many South... 

Retailer pilots South Africa’s first in-store recycling vending machine

Government considering ban on microbeads after Gauteng drinking water is found to be contaminated

By: News24Wire      10th August 2018 The government has set up a task team to look at imposing a total ban on microbeads – the tiny plastic beads used in cosmetics, toothpaste and sandblasting. This comes after a Water Research Commission study found microplastic pollution in tap water in Johannesburg and Tshwane, as well as in all... 

App monitors spread of FAW in Africa

By: Erin Steenhoff-Snethlage     10th August 2018 The Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS) application (app) can save 300-million people in Africa from food insecurity and prevent significant economic losses in maize of up to $4.8-billion, caused by the infestation of the fall armyworm (FAW), says Food and Agriculture... 

App monitors spread  of FAW in Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
PEST ARMY The invasion of the fall armyworm is threatening the food security of 300-million people in Africa

Biodegradable polymer market value to grow to $1.7bn by 2023

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th July 2018 As plastic regulations and bans on plastic bags and other single-use plastic items such as drinking straws increase globally, the demand and, therefore, market value of biodegradable polymers exceeds $1-billion and will rise sharply to $1.7-billion by 2023, says global information provider IHS... 

De Beers to move 200 elephants from South Africa to Mozambique

By: Reuters     23rd July 2018 Diamond producer De Beers said on Monday it was relocating 200 elephants from its private reserve in South Africa to neighbouring Mozambique, part of wider efforts to restore wildlife populations ravaged by conflict there. The Anglo American unit said its 32 000 ha Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve... 

Multimillion-rand French funding deal for drought-stricken Western Cape still needs environmental approval

By: News24Wire      16th July 2018 A nearly R9-million joint desalination project between the Western Cape government and the French government still needs the required environmental approval for operation in November. The solar-powered desalination plant, the first of its kind, will be located in the coastal town of Witsand on... 

Low-carbon economy scenarios project under way

By: Terence Creamer     13th July 2018 Amid growing calls for South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy to be a just one, a project has been launched to map the possible socioeconomic and environmental scenarios for the transition. The initiative is being undertaken by the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection... 

Low-carbon economy scenarios project under way
Zamanzima Mazibuko

Never enough funding for the environment, says SANParks CEO

By: African News Agency      9th July 2018 Funding for nature conservation can never be sufficient, says South African National Parks (SANParks) CEO Fundisile Mketeni. "There is never enough [funding], there is always something happening in the environment," Mketeni told a group of business leaders hosted by SANParks at Skukuza in the... 

Business leaders visit Kruger Park to learn about anti-poaching measures

By: African News Agency      6th July 2018 Chief executive officers (CEOs) from various companies visited the Kruger National Park on Friday to learn about what SanParks is doing to help curb rhino poaching, with the hopes of receiving funding from the private sector. Peace Parks Foundation CEO Werner Myburgh said the park was the biggest... 

 Business leaders visit Kruger Park to learn about anti-poaching measures

Key enviro assessment launched for SA gas and power networks

By: Nadine James     6th July 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute are undertaking a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the development of a phased gas pipeline network and the expansion of the electricity grid infrastructure (EGI) corridors.... 

Saldanha Bay aquaculture development zone gets green light

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd June 2018 The proposed sea-based Aquaculture Development Zone (ADZ), in Saldanha Bay, in the Western Cape, has been granted an environmental authorisation.  

Saldanha Bay aquaculture development zone gets green light

Rhodes’ Centre for Biological Control awarded R68m contract to help control alien plants

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th June 2018 The newly-established Centre for Biological Control (CBC) at Rhodes University has been awarded a R68-million contract by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).  

Rhodes’ Centre for Biological Control awarded R68m contract to help control alien plants
DEA Deputy Director General Dr Guy Preston & Centre for Biological Control Director Professor Martin Hill

By 2050 there may be more plastic in oceans than fish – UN

By: News24Wire      5th June 2018 Plastic pollution in the oceans has reached a stage where microplastics – pieces smaller than 5mm – now outnumber stars in our galaxy, according to UN secretary general António Guterres. And by 2050, he says, if present trends continue, there will be more plastic in the world's oceans than fish.... 

Researchers suggest 100% renewable energy system is plausible

By: Nadine James     18th May 2018 A multinational group of researchers have co-authored a paper to demonstrate that there are no roadblocks to sourcing 100% of a country’s power supply from renewable sources. The researchers, from Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial... 

Biomimicry is one of the top tech trends, says expert

By: Kim Cloete     16th May 2018 Nature-inspired design – biomimicry – has been highlighted as one of the key technology trends that will shape the future and is beginning to transform industries across the world. The rapidly growing field focuses on adapting nature’s solutions to solve man-made design challenges. 

Tanzania asks bank to finance hydropower project in heritage site

By: Reuters     30th April 2018 Tanzania has approached the African Development Bank (AfDB) to finance a 2 100 MW hydroelectric plant in a World Heritage site renowned for its animal population, despite concerns from conservationists. The East African nation considers the project at Stiegler’s Gorge in the UNESCO-designated... 

Two South African women receive major international environmental award

By: African News Agency      23rd April 2018 Two South African women have been awarded a prestigious international environmental award for their work in winning a crucial court case against plans by government to proceed with a nuclear build programme. Earthlife Africa-Johannesburg’s (ELA-JHB) Makoma Lekalakala and Liziwe McDaid from the... 

NCPC-SA hosts green chemistry awareness workshop

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th April 2018 As part of a global initiative, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA), in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale University, hosted a workshop on green chemistry, in... 

NCPC-SA hosts green chemistry awareness workshop
Prof Paul Anastas Yale University, Ndivhuho Raphulu National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa and Dr Alufelwi Tshavhungwe Department of Science and Technology

Nigerian government invites tenders for environmental remediation project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th April 2018 The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is seeking to appoint environmental remedial contractors for phase one of its Remediation of Hydrocarbon Impacted sites in Ogoni project.  

Nigerian government invites tenders for environmental remediation project

Renewability driving forest and paper industry

By: Victor Moolman     30th March 2018 Renewable commercial forests that supply the pulp, paper and board industry with wood fibre provide key environmental services and conserve our indigenous forests, says Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa) executive director Jane Molony. “Commercially grown trees have helped to... 

DEA orders halt to seabird handling as avian flu is detected

By: Marleny Arnoldi     23rd March 2018 The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said on Friday that it was dealing with the H5N8 strain of the avian influenza (bird flu) that has been detected in several seabird species, including Swift Terns, African Penguins and Cape Gannets on the country’s coastline.  

DEA orders halt to seabird handling as avian flu is detected

CSIR makes progress on first African climate change model 

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th March 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is making progress in developing the first Africa-based earth system model to provide reliable projections of the potential impact of climate change on the continent. The model will provide input into the coupled model intercomparison... 

CSIR makes progress on first African  climate change model
CSIR natural resources and environment executive director May Hermanus and CSIR principal researcher Dr Rebecca Garland discuss the new Africa-developed earth system model.

SA company exploring nuclear, other opportunities abroad

By: Nadine James     2nd March 2018 South Africa-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company Lesedi Nuclear Services’ current plans surrounding diversification into biomass, waste-to-energy and gas projects as well as its targeted geographical expansion is supported by the company’s niche expertise in bespoke... 

CSIR publishes latest Atlas to guide response to climate change  

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st February 2018 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has published the second edition of the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (Sarva), alongside the relaunch of the newly revamped online portal, to help business navigate current research on the risk and vulnerability of key social... 

CSIR publishes latest Atlas to guide response to climate change
CSIR Natural Resources and Environment executive director May Hermanus discusses the climate change impact on Africa and the need for accessible information to aid decision-making. 21/02/2018. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Video Editing: Christo Greyling.

Companies urged to ‘proactively’ reduce their carbon footprint as second Draft Carbon Tax Bill is released for comment

By: Nadine James     9th February 2018 In light of National Treasury’s publishing the second Draft Carbon Tax Bill for public comment in December, systems integration specialists Jasco Group’s CEO Pete da Silva suggests that companies proactively determine their carbon footprint and implement measures to mitigate the eventual effects... 

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan hope to break Nile dam talks deadlock in one month 

By: Reuters     29th January 2018 The leaders of Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan on Monday set a one-month deadline for laying out the ways to break a deadlock in talks over a mega dam Addis Ababa is building along its share of the Nile, an official said. Egypt and Ethiopia are at loggerheads over the construction of the Grand... 

High-tech vessel leaves Durban for African coastal research

By: African News Agency      26th January 2018 A Norwegian research vessel deemed the most technologically advanced in the world set out from Durban on Friday to assist coastal African countries with data collection to promote sustainable marine and fishing environments. The Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, a state-of-the-art vessel equipped with three... 

Microgrids using solar energy to meet energy demands

26th January 2018 Communities and producers in Africa are struggling with energy deficits caused by a lack of infrastructure access in some cases and poor energy quality and high-power costs in others, explains procurement and construction services provider Black & Veatch. As a result, Black & Veatch has... 

Microgrids using  solar energy to meet energy demands
SOLAR SOLUTION Providing power through solar power projects is just one of many solutions that could grant electricity access to communities

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

By: Dylan Slater     15th December 2017 The regulations and laws governing access to South African air space for remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) are sound and among the “best in the world”, according to Edenvale-based commercial drone operator Visual Air Productions director Stephen Verheul.  

Balancing rules, safety and certification will be key to drone industry success

Green building improvements needed to meet Paris agreement

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th December 2017 The energy intensity per square metre of buildings need to improve by 30% by 2030 to keep the Paris Agreement on track, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction’s ‘Global Status Report 2017’ has revealed. The report, released on Monday, found that total floor area reached an estimated... 

Authority to implement plan to protect Lesotho’s local heritage

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     14th December 2017 The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority has appointed PSG Heritage Solutions to develop and implement a comprehensive cultural heritage plan that will protect and manage Lesotho’s rich cultural heritage during the construction and operation of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands water project.... 

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