Since 2006, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has hosted a series of multi-stakeholder conferences focused on environmental compliance and enforcement. 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 following events have taken place in the past:
- The first Environmental Enforcement Conference (EEC), February 2006, Durban, KZN;
- The second Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL), 2007, Golden Gate, Free State;
- the third Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL), 2009, Port Alfred, Eastern Cape;
- The fourth Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL), 2012, Polokwane, Limpopo.
- The fifth Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL), 2013, Hermanus, Western Cape.
- The sixth Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL), 2015, Rustenburg, North West.
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.
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The theme for the ECEL, 2017 is, “People, Purpose, Passion: the Pathway to EMI Success”. The Inspectorate comprises a network of officials from different national, provincial and local organs of State that are dedicated to undertaking compliance and enforcement with national environmental legislation.
The purpose of the Inspectorate is driven by a constitutional imperative provided by section 24 of the Constitution; and recently reinforced by the development and implementation of the 5 year National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Strategy (NECES).
Finally, the Inspectorate is built on the passion of the Environmental Management Inspectors, who often face risky situations in order to be able to deliver on their mandate – to secure the environment for the benefit of current and future generations.
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Environmental Affairs releases 2016/17 National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement report
The 2016/17 financial year marks the 10th year in which DEA has collaborated with its provincial counterparts and statutory bodies to develop the National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report (NECER); a joint publication that aims to provide an overview of environmental compliance and enforcement activities undertaken by the various environmental authorities over the period of a financial year.
Department of Environmental Affairs to host the seventh National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla
The Department of Environmental Affairs will launch the 2016/17 National Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Report (NECER) and unveil the new Green Scorpions logo during the forthcoming seventh national Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Lekgotla (ECEL) from 06 to 09 November 2017 in White River, Mpumalanga.
Schedule / programme
Monday, 06 November 2017: Innovations In Environmental Compliance And Enforcement: From Global To Local
Challenges in environmental compliance and enforcement are faced by a variety of organisations at all levels of government, from international, regional, national, provincial and local. In order to meet these challenges, environmental authorities are required to develop creative and innovative solutions to meet the requirements of a dynamic and complex regulatory environment. The plenary presenters for this day will be sourced from international (INTERPOL), regional (SADC, for example, Zimbabwe), national, provincial and local authorities that have implemented legal, technical, strategic, operational or procedural mechanisms or techniques (in the brown, green and blue subsectors) that have been developed in response to specific challenges and have led to a measurable improvement in compliance and enforcement activities. Breakaway workshops, divided into blue, green and brown, will then explore how these innovations can be applied to the Inspectorate.
The 18 EMI Institutions will be provided with an opportunity to showcase their progress since the last Lekgotla as graphical representations (for example, colour-printed ppt. slides) that will be on permanent display during the course of the event.
Tuesday, 07 November 2017: Building from the ground up: capacity-building for the inspectorate
With the development of a Climate Change Bill on the horizon, together with the ongoing amendment of NEMA and the SEMAS; and the proliferation of subordinate legislation promulgated, the complexity and dynamic nature of the legislative mandate for EMIs to assess compliance and enforce is only set to continue. This, together with the increasingly organized and complex nature of environmental crime, means that capacity development of Inspectorate members is an ongoing need in order to keep their knowledge and skills maintained at a level that they are able to properly execute their Constitutional mandate. This day will offer EMIs various courses that are aimed at keeping EMIs up to speed with the latest legislative developments; as well as sharpen their practical compliance and enforcement skills in key areas of need. It will also provide the EMIs with an opportunity to interact with the line function personnel at DEA, who are responsible for development of the legislation and/or the implementation of a permitting/licensing function. Presenters of these courses will be sources from subject matter experts in the legislation and practical compliance and enforcement techniques.
After these courses, the Inspectorate will engage with a youth/community development project themed around Environmental Rights, for example, the painting of a school or the cleaning up of a local river.
Wednesday, 08 November 2017: The inspectorate from a new perspective: the views of EMI stakeholders
In order for the Inspectorate to gain some objective insight into the perception of external stakeholders of the performance of the Green Scorpions, a “Panel of Experts” has become a regular feature on the ECEL Programme. At this plenary session, representatives from the academic, industry associations, NGO and legal sectors relevant to the blue, green and brown sub-sectors will be invited to a critical and constructive analysis of the effectiveness of the Inspectorate.
This plenary panel discussion will be followed by breakaway sessions led by each of the panellists that will seek to develop possible solutions to the challenges that they have identified in the plenary session.
Thursday, 09 November 2015: National environmental crime forum/ /national environmental compliance forum : building strategic partnerships
Although the execution of the compliance and the enforcement functions are closely intertwined in the proper execution of the regulatory cycle, these two functions can be distinguished in the challenges that they face; and the role-players that need to be partnered with in order to ensure the successful implementation of legislation. This day will focus on the identification of case studies which highlight the development, maintenance and improvement of partnerships of the National Environmental Crime Forum and the national Compliance Forum in achieving tangible results in environmental compliance and enforcement. These case studies will explore the key success factors that were instrumental in building these critical working relationships and highlight the risks where collaboration has not been optimal.
The NCF/NECF will be followed by a networking session at which recognition will be given to those EMIs that have achieved outstanding results in their respective areas of operation.
>> provisional programme.
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