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Environmental Studies News

How the cargo ship industry is cleaning up its filthy act

By: Bloomberg     18th January 2019 Air pollution from cars and factories has been regulated in much of the world since the 1970s. When it comes to the smoke-belching ships that carry global trade, the rules have been a lot looser. Big changes start next January, though, when long-debated standards from the International Maritime... 

There’s a tiny plastic enemy threatening the planet’s oceans

By: Bloomberg     11th January 2019 Environmentalists have identified another threat to the planet. It’s called a nurdle. Nurdles are tiny pellets of plastic resin no bigger than a pencil eraser that manufacturers transform into packaging, plastic straws, water bottles and other typical targets of environmental action. 

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence

By: Cameron Mackay     14th December 2018 The website application Mzansi Amanzi (isiZulu translation of Water South Africa), has the capabilities to monitor and provide insight on surface-water resources across South Africa on a monthly basis, says Mark Thompson, the director of the earth observation technology company GeoTerraImage. The... 

Water monitoring platform one-stop shop for S Africa water intelligence
THEEWATERSKLOOF DAM WESTERN CAPE Water is going to be the kingpin in just about every decision-making sector

The $3bn map – scientists pool oceans of data to plot Earth's final frontier

By: Reuters     6th December 2018 For experts in the field of ocean mapping it is no small irony that we know more about the surfaces of the Moon and Mars than we do about our planet's sea floor. "Can you imagine operating on the land without a map, or doing anything without a map?" asked Larry Mayer, director of the US-based... 

Nema to ensure mines are held accountable, adhere to legal duties – law firm

By: Simone Liedtke     27th November 2018 The gazetting of the overhauled National Environment Management Act (Nema) will ensure more mines are held accountable and meet their obligations in terms of financial provisioning for environmental rehabilitation, says law firm Webber Wentzel environment and natural resources partner Garyn... 

Nema to ensure mines are held accountable, adhere to legal duties – law firm
Webber Wentzel environment and natural resources partner Garyn Rapson

Countries urged to embrace greener energy sources 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st November 2018 Amid rising global energy demand, University of the Witwatersrand visiting adjunct professor Adam Luckos urges developing countries to embrace greener energy principles. To do this without jeopardising economic growth, he suggests that developing countries, where coal is the most viable... 

Countries urged to embrace greener energy sources
Photo by Dylan Slater
University of the Witwatersrand visiting adjunct professor Adam Luckos

Court sets aside decision allowing coal mine in Mabola Protected Environment

By: News24Wire      9th November 2018 The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has set aside a 2016 decision allowing a new coal mine to be developed in the Mabola Protected Environment near Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga. The decision had been made by of former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane and late environmental affairs... 

New oil, gas opportunities emerge in Sudan, Niger

By: Kim Cloete     7th November 2018 Some countries in Africa are emerging as potentially exciting players in the oil and gas space – from Sudan, which has emerged out of the clutches of civil war, to Niger, which is rising up as a new producer of petroleum products. Sudanese Petroleum and Gas Minister Azhari Abdalla Abdelgader on... 

Local cleaning product supplier receives GreenTag certification

By: Halima Frost     2nd November 2018 Cleaning chemicals manufacturer Blendwell Chemicals is the first South African company to be awarded the international GreenTag certification for its Enviroblend range.  GreenTag, which is recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa, is an international certifying body that claims... 

Local cleaning product supplier receives GreenTag certification
GREEN GREASE Green degreaser chemicals supplied for industrial applications are available from Blendwell Chemicals

Industries must address legacy contamination – firm

By: Paige Müller     26th October 2018 Despite a significant improvement in the parameters outlined by current environmental policy – often diligently upheld by the local chemicals and petrochemicals industries – multidisciplinary engineering consultant SRK Consulting states that historic practices caused by lack of knowledge have... 

Industries must address  legacy contamination – firm
CONTAMINATED SITE Significant harm has arisen from a legacy of poor waste management, particularly within the chemicals industry

EnviroServ returning to its roots following Shongweni malodour issue

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2018 After acknowledging that its KwaZulu-Natal-based Shongweni landfill was a contributor to malodour, waste management company EnviroServ has returned to its “old way of disposing of waste”, which comprises using lime to raise the alkalinity (pH) levels at its landfill sites. This decision,... 

EnviroServ returning to its roots following Shongweni malodour issue
Shongweni landfill, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Opportunities abound for Italian entrepreneurs expanding into Africa

By: Shannon de Ryhove     12th October 2018 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries says Italian companies are becoming increasingly positive about the opportunities offered by South Africa, which is being acknowledged as a hub from which to expand and invest into surrounding African countries, says Italian-South African... 

Unesco ready to help protect Kogelberg biosphere amid drilling programme

By: News24Wire      8th October 2018 Unesco has offered South Africa "technical support" to protect the Kogelberg biosphere and preserve the Unesco status of the reserve, which has one of the highest levels of biodiversity and endemism on the planet. Unesco chief of media services George Papagiannis said this week that "Unesco was... 

Marine waste a pressing issue, but few solutions in sight

By: Dylan Slater     5th October 2018 Plastics have become the “ubiquitous workhorse material” of the modern economy, combining unrivalled functional properties with low cost, and its use has increased twenty-fold in the past half-century, according to circular economy advocacy charity The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.  

Marine waste a pressing issue, but few solutions in sight

Mars’ sustainable generation plan achieves key milestones globally, locally

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2018 Mars Multisales Africa, a division of global family-owned food company Mars, has recorded progress with its global Sustainable in a Generation plan, which was launched globally last year. The plan is designed to make tangible, scientifically-based changes to the way Mars does business globally. 

IPCC opens meeting to consider 1.5 °C report

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     1st October 2018 The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened a meeting on Monday to consider its special report on global warming of 1.5 °C. Representatives of the IPCC’s 195 member governments will work with scientists from the IPCC from October 1 to 5 to finalise the Summary for Policymakers of... 

Drilling for water 'makes no economic sense'

By: News24Wire      1st October 2018 The City of Cape Town's (CoCT) borehole drilling programme has scientists scratching their heads at the apparent determination of the City to drill into the hard rock of the Table Mountain Group Aquifer (TMGA) at great cost, while other cheaper and more environment-friendly options are not first... 

Damage to West Coast beaches from mining can be kept to 'acceptable' levels, say consultants

By: News24Wire      26th September 2018 Consultants employed by Australian company Mineral Sands Resources (MSR) have acknowledged that the massive expansion of mining for mineral sands on 10 West Coast beaches north of the Olifants River estuary will cause unavoidable environmental damage, but claim that the damage can be reduced to... 

South African phosphate miner plans London IPO by year-end – CEO

By: Reuters     25th September 2018 South African phosphate miner, Kropz, is on track to list on London's Aim Stock Exchange by the end of the year as it prepares for first production from its main asset in 2019, its chief executive said on Tuesday. Kropz wants to raise cash to pay down debt and further develop its Elandsfontein... 

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... 

Philip Lloyd – a passionate educator and energy thought leader
PHILIP LLOYD Philip Lloyd contributed to the nation as an eminent engineer, as well as through mathematics and science education programmes for underprivileged children

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
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