Environment

​NGOs Welcome Declaration of Malawi State of Disaster

Non-governmental organisations have welcomed President Peter Mutharika’s declaration of Malawi as a state of national disaster describing it as a much-needed acknowledgement of the scale of the problem.
 
In a statement, they say the declaration should send a strong signal to donors to act quickly to the country’s disaster situation.
 
“The International community should act swiftly and decisively on government’s declaration of emergency where people are facing worsening hunger because of El Nino related drought and nationwide crop failures,” it explains.

​Govt Declares Food Emergency Due to Drought

The international community must act swiftly and decisively on the Malawi Government's ‘declaration of emergency’ where people are facing worsening hunger because of El Nino-related drought and country-wide crop failures.
 
Oxfam, Concern Universal, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children and GOAL say the Government of Malawi's declaration was a much-needed acknowledgement of the scale of the problem and should send a strong signal to donors to act quickly.
 

R2K Fears 17% Eskom Tariff Hike

The Right2Know (R2K) Gauteng has strongly opposed Eskom’s Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) application to the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) in which it is asking for a RCA balance of R22.8 billion, and will be protesting outside the NERSA hearings today and tomorrow.

According to R2K, if the RCA application is approved, South Africa could see electricity tariffs rise by up to 17 percent this year alone.

Journos Warned Against Russia’s Nuclear PR Machine

The World Wide Fund (WWF) says that South African journalists accepting tours of nuclear power facilities in Russia should be careful not to publish advertorials.

Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom has sponsored various media tours in 2015 of its nuclear power stations, manufacturing factories and university programmes in Russia.

Saliem Fakir, head of policy and futures unit at the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa, argues that journalists should study the facts more carefully before publishing biased viewpoints.

NGOs Take Govt to Court Over Nuclear

A group of NGOs is taking government to court in a bid to stop South Africa’s nuclear procurement programme because the bid process is flawed.
 
Other respondents are the National Energy Regulator (NERSA), chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete.
 
The applicants argue Joemat-Pettersson has failed to ensure nuclear procurement is conducted lawfully and meets the requirements of the constitution for a fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective process.
 

100% Renewable Energy Access for All

Greenpeace says that political will is needed to bring about a “just transition to a green and inclusive economy”.

Greenpeace executive director, Kumi Naidoo, speaking during the South African International Renewable Energy Conference in Cape Town, said that a new report being released by Greenpeace will help policy makers plot the way forward to achieve this reality.

The report, entitled Energy Revolution, pushes for a scenario where there is 100 percent renewable energy access for all by 2050.

NGO Approaches Madonsela Over Hitachi

The Helen Suzman Foundation has asked Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, to probe Eskom, Chancellor House and the African National Congress (ANC) following the damning Hitachi revelations.
 
The request follows recent claims by the United States Securities Exchange Commission about the awarding of Eskom tenders to Hitachi Power Africa.
 
The Commission alleged that Hitachi sold a 25 percent interest to Chancellor House, the ANC’s investment arm, in order to land the lucrative contracts at Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations.
 

Deforestation to Blame for Climate Change

Deputy Agriculture Minister, Bheki Cele, says combating global warming should be the responsibility of all South Africans.

Addressing delegates at the Forestry Indaba in George, Western Cape, Cele, who is of the view that deforestation is partly to blame for climate change, stressed that it is important to preserve forests for future generations.

“Global warming is part of us. Mess up with the world and I can assure you the world is not going to pardon us…,” he warned

Endangered Wildlife List Swells in 2015

Lions in Africa retained an overall listing as ‘vulnerable’, one of the least endangered categories, thanks to conservation in Southern Africa.

A study shows that the number of animals and plants at risk of extinction rose in 2015 despite government pledges to improve protection, with species under threat ranging from lions in West Africa to orchids in Asia.

The Red List of Endangered Species, backed by governments, scientists and conservationists, grew to 22 784 species in 2015, almost a third of all animals and plants sampled, from 22 413 a year ago, it said.

SAHRC: Medical Waste Incinerator Violates Rights

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has found that EnviroServ’s regional medical waste incineration facility in Bloemfontein compromises community members’ right to a clean environment.
 
The SAHRC investigated after residents complained that the company’s incinerator has been billowing out large volumes of smoke during the day and night for the past two years.
 
The commission argues that as a result, the air in the area is polluted, affecting the health of residents in the area.
 

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