6th National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL) - 2015
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Since 2006, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has hosted a series of multi-stakeholder conferences focused on environmental compliance and enforcement.
The following events have taken place in the past:
- the first Environmental Enforcement Conference (EEC), February 2006, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
- the second Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL), 2007, Golden Gate, Free State;
- the third Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla, 2009, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape; and
- the fourth Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla, 2012, Polokwane, Limpopo; and
- the fifth Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla, 2013, Hermanus, Western Cape.
These events have been instrumental in:
- Maintaining a sense of inspectorate unity/cohesion among EMIs from various provinces or institutions;
- Providing a platform for EMIs to raise their key issues, concerns, challenges at a national forum;
- Motivating EMIs through the sharing of success stories, cases, awards, etc.;
- Facilitating networking with relevant role-players in the environmental compliance and enforcement sector, for example other national departments (water, health, labour, mineral regulation) as well as criminal justice stakeholders such as the SAPS, NPA and Justice College; and
- Capacitating EMIs through participation in plenary, panel, workshop and capacity-building sessions;
The attendees to these events typically comprise international, national, provincial and local environmental authorities; other relevant national departments, such as those administering labour, health, water, health as well as mineral regulation. In addition, other key stakeholders in the criminal justice system, including the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), are invited to participate
This year, 2015, represents a milestone for environmental compliance and enforcement in South Africa. It marks ten years since an amendment to the National Environmental Management Act, Act 107 of 1998 (NEMA) created the Environmental Management Inspectorate. This legislative development pulled together existing efforts in the green (biodiversity, protected areas), brown (environmental impact assessment, pollution and waste) and blue (marine and coastal) subsectors into a single, cohesive and effective legislative framework. It did this by creating a single chapter in the NEMA which birthed environmental management inspectors as compliance and enforcement officers with standard mandates, powers, functions and duties, responsible for ensuring that national environmental legislation is complied with and properly enforced where contraventions are detected.
The theme for the ECEL, 2015 is, “Power of the Past-Force of the Future: A Decade for the Inspectorate: 2005-2015”. The objective of these events is to bring together international, national, provincial and local authorities that are involved in environmental compliance to discuss topics of common interest, to develop capacity, to make recommendations and to develop strategies to tackle the challenges facing the environmental compliance and enforcement sector.
The programme for the ECEL typically includes days for Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI) plenary feedback, workshops, panel discussions and presentations. A gala dinner has also been added to the programme recently providing a high-level representative of the Ministry/Deputy Ministry or the DEA an opportunity to deliver a keynote address.
The proposed draft programme (attached hereto) follows the same basic format as previous events. A new addition to the programme is the inclusion and launch of the National Environmental Compliance Forum (day 2), which is envisaged to be the partner to the already existing National Environmental Crime Forum (day 4). A gala dinner on final day will allow for high-level engagement and processes to occur at the end of the event as a closing highlight to the previous conference activities.
An outline of the 4 day ECEL Programme is as follows:
|1. Taking stock and planning ahead||Plenary and Workshop discussion related to key issues of environmental compliance and enforcement, assessment of the status quo and performance of the Inspectorate; and discussions aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Strategy.||To allow EMIs to reflect, discuss and debate the current performance of the Inspectorate; and how it can be improved in the future. To support the implementation of recommendations of the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Strategy.|
|2. National Environmental Compliance Forum||The National Environmental Compliance Forum focuses on service excellence in the improvement of compliance with environmental legislation governance services in the fields of, among others: awareness, compliance promotion and compliance monitoring and compliance assist||This is a new national forum that is to be launched and hold its inaugural meeting at the 05th ECEL, 2015|
|3. A Bird’s eye view: panel of experts||To provide an opportunity for external stakeholders (NGOs, Parastatals, Academia, Legal etc.) to express their views on the Inspectorate’s impact on their sector.||To provide the Inspectorate to receive input from external stakeholders on the effectiveness of their compliance and enforcement activities|
|4. National Environmental Crime Forum||Plenary and workshop discussions with key stakeholders in the criminal justice system (SAPS, NPA etc.) as well as engagement with other sectoral departments regulating mining, water, labour, health etc.||To facilitate the collaborative working relationship between the Inspectorate and other role-players (especially in the criminal justice system)|
- Environmental Affairs launches National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report (NECER) at Lekgotla
- DDG Ishaam Abader’s keynote address during 06th national Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL)
- Opening and Welcome speech by Dr Poncho Mokaila, HOD, during sixth annual Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL)
- Presentation by Mark Jardine: The National Environemtnal Compliance and Enforcement Report 2014 / 15 [PDF - 1.59 mb]