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Africa|Energy|Environment|Health|Measurement|Mining|Safety|Sustainable|System|Environmental
Africa|Energy|Environment|Health|Measurement|Mining|Safety|Sustainable|System|Environmental
africa|energy|environment|health|measurement|mining|safety|sustainable|system|environmental

Seminar commemorates World Metrology Day, with a focus on sustainability

20th May 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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In celebration of the first Unesco-recognised World Metrology Day on May 20, as well as a global emphasis on climate change and sustainability, the National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA) held a World Metrology Day seminar, focused on the theme of ‘measurement science in support of sustainability seminar’.

During the seminar, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) chief directorate for green industries Gerhard Fourie discussed the opportunities and challenges the energy transition held for South Africa.

He argued that sustainability involved finding a balance between economic, environmental and social considerations, adding that global legislation was being put in place to ensure the adoption of sustainability across various markets.

“If you're not sustainable, customers stop buying from you . . . if you're not sustainable banks will not fund you. So really, the new thing now is you must be competitive, but also sustainable,” he said.

Sustainability also required structural changes, which Fourie said would place pressure on society as industries disappeared. Hence, he argued that society needed to be “taken care of in the process.”

Moreover, the global aim of reaching net zero by 2050 has meant that initiatives such as carbon taxes and carbon border taxes are being introduced.

With minerals and mining being an important aspect of the local economy, as well as being energy intensive, Fourie pointed out that these taxes could pose challenges for South African exports.

“It’s a real big threat for exporters that are carbon intensive,” he expressed, noting that South Africa’s global commitments to sustainability had also, subsequently, led to rapid changes to internal legislation.

Hence, he argued that South Africa needed to focus on growing its economy, noting that the dtic aimed to find a workable structure to deal with challenges relating to sustainability.

Meanwhile, National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) acting CEO Duncan Mutengwe noted that metrology legislation was being modernised and adopted to support the needs of the industry, providing the necessary assurance and confidence that measurements remained accurate.

“This provides the sound basis for global trade and helps us prepare for the sustainability challenges of tomorrow,” he said, adding that the current legislation included regulatory requirements for measuring instruments and measurements in the field of protecting human health and environment and also to ensure safety.

Mutengwe explained that the legal metrology system in South Africa was based on international best practice methods and provided the regulatory requirements to ensure the measurements were accurate and reliable.

“This also helps us better monitor parameters and assess the impact of human activities in our environment,” he said, noting that metrology also supported the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Another reason for celebration this year, is Unesco's recognition of the World Metrology Day . . . This recognition provides new opportunities to promote metrology and aligns very well with Unesco's mission to build a better world through science and education.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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