News from Affiliates

The Centre for Environmental Rights turns 3!

Written by  Centre for Environmental Rights Thursday, 11 April 2013 06:41
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On the 2nd of April three years ago, the Centre for Environmental Rights had just opened its doors.

The first office was tiny, in Observatory, Cape Town. We had one staff member, one part-time volunteer, a telephone, a computer, some donated furniture and books, a website, one funder – and a mission: getting environmental rights onto the agenda, and providing the legal support that our stakeholders articulated so passionately in the consultation that preceded our establishment.



In these past three years, the Centre has grown from an idea to an organisation of which we are equally fond and proud. Our attorneys, interns and other staff have traveled far and wide in South Africa, meeting with organisations, activists and communities, and witnessing some of the environmental injustices that scream out for a remedy; they have drafted court papers, stared down opposition attorneys, stood up to antagonistic company representatives and unhelpful officials; they have stated their case in Parliament, to government departments, on radio, in newspapers, on our website, and on social media; they have researched the law and uploaded many, many acts and court judgements onto our virtual environmental law library; they have written funding proposals and reports to donors; they have washed dishes, and planted an office garden on a concrete slab. This is an extraordinary and growing group of people, inspired by the idea that everyone really has and should have those rights set out in section 24 of the Constitution:

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

Today we’ve celebrated the Centre’s third birthday with a big chocolate birthday cake, and also with the start of a new look for our website – we invite you to watch our website change and grow over the next few weeks, and we look forward to your comments and inputs.

Most importantly, we thank all our stakeholders, clients, funders, board members and partner organisations for their support over the past three years – without you, we would surely not have come this far. The battle for the realisation of environmental rights has only just begun, and much, much work remains. Happy 3rd birthday, Centre for Environmental Rights!

SA NEWS

FSE - DONATION OF TREES AND TREE PLANTING IN SIMUNYE, WEST RAND IN ASSOCIATION WITH SOUTH DEEP MINE

The FSE, in association with Gold Fields’ South Deep Mine, donated 40 white Karee Trees (Searsia penduline) during Arbor Week to the mining affected community of Simunye in the West Rand and participated in the tree planting ceremony with the community of Simunye, the local Municipality and officials from South Deep Mine.  The FSE also delivered a presentation during the ceremony.

"Varkies" gou op hok, maar als nie pluis | Beeld

Article also available for download as an attachment.

Radon Alert - Carte Blanche

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.   Watch the video here.

WITS Economics & Finance Courses: Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage

Economics & Finance Courses at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mining for Development: The Taxation Linkage - Understand taxation for development and sustainability in mining. View the course here. Enrolment starts on the 7th of October 2019.

WATER

SDG6: AVAILABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION FOR ALL BY 2030 - GAPS

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs are spearheaded by the United Nations through a deliberative process involving its 193 Member States. The SDGs are a set of 17 “Global Goals” with 169 targets between them, covering a broad range of sustainable development issues.  These include ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change and protecting oceans and forests. The SDGs were endorsed by all Heads of State, including South Africa, who authorized it “without any reservations” on 25 September 2015. The commitment was reconfirmed by the former President during World Water Week (March 2017),  which took place in South Africa, and he also called for urgent action. Goal 6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030. The FSE is a member of the Water and Sanitation Sector Leadership Group (WSSLG) Sustainable Development Goal 6 Task Team. The attached presentation, which was presented by the Leader of the SDG6 Task team, Mr Mark Bannister has identified significant gaps. A summary of the gaps is attached hereto. The SDG Programme informs relevant ‘vehicles’ such as the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan (NW&SMP) to translate these Gaps into Actions that can be implemented by the Sector, towards the 2030 objectives.  However, although these actions have been identified in the NW&SMP, most of these Actions have not been implemented.  It is doubtful that South Africa will achieve the 8 targets of the SDG6 by 2030. View the SDG 6_Consolidated Gap_Action_2020 document here.View the FSE SUMMARY OF GAPS SDG6 TARGETS document here.