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Environmental Studies News

Report suggests 10% reuse of plastics will halve such ocean-going litter

By: Donna Slater     22nd July 2021 A key finding of the ‘Future of Reusable Consumption Model’ report suggests that it is possible to prevent almost half of yearly plastic ocean waste by reusing just 10% of all plastics consumed, as an integral part of the reduce-reuse-recycle agenda. The report – a collaboration between... 

Creecy 'deeply concerned' about air quality, marine ecosystems after fire at Durban chemical plant

By: News24Wire      22nd July 2021 The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment said it was concerned about the impact of a chemical fire at the UPL chemical plant in Cornubia, Durban, on air quality and marine ecosystems. The plant was torched during the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal last week. "We are deeply concerned... 

Durban beaches closed after chemical spill, possibly unrest related

By: News24Wire      16th July 2021 Beaches near Umhlanga have been closed, following a chemical spill in Durban. The spill appears to have originated from a chemical warehouse fire in Umhlanga that was caused during unrest that gripped KwaZulu-Natal this week. Other sources are being investigated. 

Holistic strategy needed to tackle growing marine plastic crisis

By: Donna Slater     16th July 2021 As the marine ecosystem plays an critical role in mitigating climate change, through absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), cooling the environment and sustaining delicate marine wildlife, it is becoming increasingly important to mitigate a mounting problem – the leakage of plastic waste into Oceans and... 

Image of Engineering News and Mining Weekly 16 July 2021 cover.

How climate change is driving adoption of technology in agriculture

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th July 2021 Environmental phenomena such as climate change and its manifestations, including extreme weather events, are featuring more prominently on the risk radar of investors, banks and commercial farmers, as agricultural activity intensifies in order to provide sufficient food for a growing population.... 

How climate change is driving adoption of technology in agriculture

Biggest China bank walks away from $3bn Zimbabwe coal plan 

By: Bloomberg     30th June 2021 China’s biggest bank has dumped plans to fund a $3-billion coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe, in a blow to a two-decade effort to develop the project, according to a coalition of 32 environmental groups. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China told Go Clean ICBC, which includes environmental... 

MTN joins new coalition to drive green actions

By: Natasha Odendaal     28th June 2021 Information and communications technology group MTN has joined the Every Action Counts (EAC) coalition, which aims to empower one-billion “green champions” by 2025 and harness the power of green consumer behaviours to enhance biodiversity and climate efforts. The new coalition, launched by the... 

Pandemic has presented ‘economic reset’ opportunities

By: Sane Dhlamini     23rd June 2021 Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Boitumelo Moloi said on Wednesday that while the Covid-19 pandemic has been catastrophic, it has, in many ways, presented a lot of economic reset opportunities in the process. She was addressing delegates at the launch of Switzerland's Institute of... 

Pandemic has presented ‘economic reset’ opportunities

South Africa Presidential body recommends lower emissions target

By: Bloomberg     22nd June 2021 A panel appointed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recommended that the world’s 12th-biggest producer of greenhouse gases improve its target for reducing emissions, three people familiar with the matter said. In a draft report, the Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission,... 

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela wins Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship 2020 award

By: Sane Dhlamini     21st June 2021 The Oppenheimer Memorial Trust has awarded writer and scholar Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela the prestigious Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship 2020 award. This year the Trust celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award. 

Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela

Kenya Airways subsidiary using drones to support wildlife census

By: Rebecca Campbell     21st June 2021 Kenyan national flag carrier Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Fahari Aviation participated in the Tsavo Ecosystem Wildlife Census, which was coordinated by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the recently created Wildlife Research and Training Institute, with financial support from the Kenyan... 

Fishermen, oyster farmers fear power-generating ship will kill business

By: Reuters     18th June 2021 A floating gas-turbine generator meant to alleviate South Africa's crippling power cuts has run into objections by oyster farmers and small-scale fishermen, who fear the environmental damage will destroy their livelihoods. The seafood sellers fear the 415 MW ship - to be moored for two decades at... 

Global atlas of freshwater life will use eDNA to tackle extinction crisis

By: Simone Liedtke     17th June 2021 A global atlas of freshwater life will use environmental DNA, or eDNA, to tackle the extinction crisis through the eBioAtlas programme, which will gather data at scale to support conservation, unlock investment and inform world biodiversity policy. The International Union for Conservation of... 

Large methane leak detected over South Africa coal mining region

By: Bloomberg     16th June 2021 A cloud of methane was detected by satellite near coal mines in South Africa, drawing attention to a lesser-known environmental risk that comes from using the dirtiest fossil fuel. The potent greenhouse gas — methane traps roughly 84 times more heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in... 

Large methane leak detected over South Africa coal mining region

Suppliers to lose contracts for failing to cut carbon emissions – study

By: Donna Slater     15th June 2021 A new study by financial services provider Standard Chartered reveals that multinational companies will cut suppliers for failing to curb carbon emissions, with 78% of multinational corporations (MNCs) planning to cut ties with suppliers that endanger their carbon transition plans by 2025. For... 

Big oil must work harder to slash Africa emissions, WoodMac says

By: Bloomberg     15th June 2021 Oil majors need to curb emissions in sub-Saharan Africa -- where almost half of their most polluting assets are located -- as investors demand greater efforts to slash carbon output, according to Wood Mackenzie. Crucially, the companies must reduce gas flaring -- the process of burning off gas... 

French funding to assist in better biodiversity management at Table Mountain

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st May 2021 South African National Parks (SANParks) has signed a bipartite agreement with French development agency Agence Française de Dévéloppement (AFD) for funding to preserve biodiversity in South Africa. The AFD is providing €1.85-million biodiversity efforts in South Africa and Reunion Island.... 

Alien plant and animal species responsible for significant biodiversity degradation  

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2021 A report released by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) on May 28, finds that biological invasions are the third-largest threat to South Africa’s biodiversity after cultivation and land degradation, and are responsible for 25% of all biodiversity loss. The second... 

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

Looming environmental crises to require $8.1tr by 2050 to mitigate impacts

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2021 A report into the climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises reveals that, to tackle these matters, a total investment in nature of $8.1-trillion is required over the next three decades, amounting to $536-billion a year by 2050. United Nations (UN) Environmental Programme executive... 

Atlas shines light on world's vulnerable and critical rangelands

By: Donna Slater     28th May 2021 The Rangelands Atlas, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on May 27, reveals that 54% of the world’s land surface consists of vast tracts of land covered by grass, shrubs or sparse, hardy vegetation – rangelands – that supports millions of pastoralists, hunter-gatherers,... 

SA is in third wave of pandemic – AfroCentric

By: Sane Dhlamini     27th May 2021 JSE-listed, diversified majority black-owned health group AfroCentric has revealed that its latest data confirms that South Africa is experiencing a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. AfroCentric confirmed a surge in Covid-19 admissions in the Northern Cape, the North West, the Free State and... 

SA is in third wave of pandemic – AfroCentric

Eskom debt solution remains a ‘work in progress’ despite reduction to R401bn 

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2021 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan reported on Tuesday that, while Eskom was able to reduce its debt by R83-billion, from R484-billion to R401-billion, during the 2021 financial year, efforts to find a lasting solution to the State-owned utility’s unsustainable debt remained a “work in... 

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan
Photo by Creamer Media
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Creecy assures South Africa will contribute to global climate change mitigation efforts 

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2021 Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy says steps are being taken to ensure South Africa contributes its “fair share” to the global climate change mitigation effort with its newly-established Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission. The commission will advise... 

Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Minister Barbara Creecy

KwaZulu-Natal announces Climate Change and Sustainable Development Council

By: Sane Dhlamini     12th May 2021 The province of KwaZulu-Natal held its first ever sitting of the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Council, on Wednesday, as part of plans to mitigate natural disasters that have recently plagued the province. The council, which is chaired by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala, is... 

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala
Photo by supplied
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala

Winde says focus on governance has reaped good rewards for W Cape

By: Sane Dhlamini     11th May 2021 Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday that focusing on governance over the last few years has helped to keep the Western Cape’s unemployment rate lower than in other provinces. He was speaking with journalist Bruce Whitfield during the PSG think big series webinar, under the topic ‘The... 

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

SA Novavax vaccine trial shows efficacy against B.1.351 Covid-19 variant 

By: Sane Dhlamini     6th May 2021 Results from the University of the Witwatersrand Novavax coronavirus vaccine trial show 51% efficacy against the B.1.351 variant in a South African study with HIV negative participants. A group in the trial, which included people who are HIV positive, showed 43% efficacy. Novavax is a... 

SA Novavax vaccine trial shows efficacy against B.1.351 Covid-19 variant

Minerals Council encourages distributed generation for mining industry 

By: Simone Liedtke     5th May 2021 The Minerals Council South Africa is encouraging the uptake of distributed generation (also called self-generation) of power in South Africa, especially considering that South Africa is facing an electricity supply gap. The impact of this is “huge”, Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter told... 

Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter
Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter

DFFE denies enviro authorisation for a new 30-year ash disposal facility at Kendal

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2021 The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) has refused an integrated environmental authorisation application by State-owned power utility Eskom to build a new 30-year ash disposal facility at the Kendal power station, in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga, on the basis of insufficient... 

Growing calls for circular economy to be placed at heart of economic recovery

By: Simone Liedtke     30th April 2021 As the world moves from a state of crisis to gradual recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a unique, but narrow, window of opportunity to transform the global economy and accelerate the changes that have long been delayed and are required for genuine transformation. During a keynote... 

Growing calls for circular economy to be placed at heart of economic recovery

Stellenbosch University establishes School for Climate Studies

By: Donna Slater     23rd April 2021 Western Cape-based Stellenbosch University (SU) has established a new School for Climate Studies, which will be officially launched in June, as part of its efforts to tackle the battle against climate change. According to SU research, innovation and postgraduate studies deputy Vice-Chancellor... 

Stellenbosch University research, innovation and postgraduate studies deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eugene Cloete
Stellenbosch University research, innovation and postgraduate studies deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Eugene Cloete

WHO warns Africa not to let its guard down amid pandemic

By: Sane Dhlamini     22nd April 2021 The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has encouraged African countries to sustain Covid-19 prevention measures and urged countries not to let their guards down as the world races to vaccinate their populations. Moeti said on Thursday that despite the... 

EWT, Eskom use drones to deploy bird flight diverters

By: Donna Slater     12th April 2021 A drone-operated system that can deploy bird flight diverters, or so-called “flappers”, has been designed and developed in a partnership between the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT’s) wildlife and energy programme and Eskom. The diverters serve as markers that will improve the visibility of... 

Fossil fuels found accountable for millions of deaths

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 Fossil fuels are, through a marked contribution to air pollution, accountable for 8.7-million deaths globally in 2018, which adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health, says University College London (UCL) associate... 

POISON
Fossil fuels are responsible for millions of deaths globally every year
POISON Fossil fuels are responsible for millions of deaths globally every year

Hydrogen supplier fuels public transport

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 Renewable-energy and hydrogen supply company Nel Hydrogen has installed a 2 MW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser system at transport operator SunLine Transit’s premises in California, in the US, to fuel their fleet of fuel cell buses.  

ENERGY MAKER
The Nel Hydrogen proton exchange membrane  electrolyser allows for on site hydrogen generation from water
ENERGY MAKER The Nel Hydrogen proton exchange membrane electrolyser allows for on site hydrogen generation from water

Research shows promise in decarbonisation drive

By: Halima Frost     19th March 2021 The research of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) into accelerated decarbonisation scenarios for the South African power system confirms considerable opportunity to accelerate decarbonisation at low or zero net cost, says CSIR electrochemical energy technologies research... 

SAVING FOR THE FUTURE
Battery storage can become a substantial contributor to maximizing the efficacy of renewable energy
SAVING FOR THE FUTURE Battery storage can become a substantial contributor to maximizing the efficacy of renewable energy

Four strategic water projects ‘ready for investment’

By: Natasha Odendaal     12th March 2021 As infrastructure deployment plays a central role in South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, four water-related projects under the recently gazetted Strategic Integrated Projects (SIPs) are gearing up for implementation. In July last year, the Department of Public Works and... 

Four strategic water projects ‘ready for investment’

Research shows significant potential for South Africa to develop offshore wind energy resources

By: Schalk Burger     10th March 2021 A study of South Africa's offshore wind energy resources by researchers from the Stellenbosch University Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering indicates that wind turbines installed off the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape coasts could potentially supply between 15% and 800% of South... 

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