The Environmental Law Association recently held its Annual Conference and Student Conference at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth from 26-27 September 2018. The theme of this year’s conference was “Links between Environmental Protection and Justice”. Several of IMEL’s postgraduate students presented papers at the Student Conference on topics including water resource management, mining in protected areas and creating equitable and efficient access and benefit sharing regimes.
Amanda Mkhonza recently participated in the Training of Trainers for African Environmental Law Lecturers in Africa Programme held in Nairobi from 17-21 September 2018. Together with a number of early career lecturers from across the African continent, she experienced the flipped classroom approach – being a student for the week.
UCT’s Future Water Institute hosted the Future Water Symposium on 14 September 2018. The theme this year was ‘Regenerative Water Futures: Tensions in Resource Scarcity’. Amanda Mkhonza from the Institute of Marine and Environmental Law attended the Symposium and facilitated a round table discussion on ‘Water and the Law’.
Between June and July 2018 IMEL's Olivia Rumble accompanied the Department of Environmental Affairs on a 9 province roadshow to introduce stakeholders to the Climate Change Bill. Olivia has been part of the legal drafting team for the Bill over the past three years and she has been assisting the Department in its revision prior to it being tabled in Parliament.
Amanda Mkhonza recently facilitated and presented at a Workshop on Securing our Strategic Water Source Areas. This KAS-funded workshop was held in Cape Town and attended by a multi-sector stakeholder group, ranging from national government representatives (from the Department of Environmental Affairs) to government institutions (the Water Research Commission, the South African National Biodiversity Institute, the Council on Scientific and Industrial Research and the South African National Parks) as well as non-governmental organisations (the World Wide Fund for Nature-South Africa, the Environmental Monitoring Group and the Centre for Environmental Rights), conservation planners (including KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife, CapeNature and Eastern Cape Tourism and Parks Agency), private companies such as EOH and LLM students from the Environmental Law Masters program at UCT.
On their 3rd day of their block lectures, the Natural Resources Law class took a moment to appreciate the intrinsic value of South Africa’s rich biodiversity. The tour of the internationally acclaimed botanical gardens formed part of a full day’s lecture series hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), nestled just outside the gardens.
Sandy Paterson recently returned from Mbeya, Tanzania, where he facilitated a Regional Workshop on Integrated Planning and the Law. The Workshop formed part of the Integrated Planning to Implement the CBD Strategic Plan and Increase Ecosystem Resilience to Climate Change Project implemented by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme and three IUCN regional offices. The objective of the project is to increase capacity to optimise planning to support biodiversity and climate change adaptation objectives, including through the effective engagement of protected area systems. The project focuses on integrating climate change and biodiversity concerns into spatial planning frameworks in four district surrounding the Lake Tanganyika ecosystem.
Planning Law is a very practical subject and accordingly the postgraduate students taking Land Use Planning Law spent the morning of the last day of their first teaching block working through an array of practical scenarios through which they could apply the law they had encountered in the seminars.
One of the issues which is dealt with in the Principles of Environmental Course, are key institutions with a role to play in environmental governance and the environmental law making process. With a view to providing students with a tangible insight into the inner workings of Parliament, some students visited Parliament last week to listen to the lively debate in the National Assembly over the country's water crisis.
2018 has seen 25 new students join IMEL's postgraduate Environmental Law Programme. These students come from a diversity of countries including South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Germany and Austria. They also come from a diversity of backgrounds and include public prosecutors, LLB graduates, practising attorneys, environmental consultants, government officials, accountants, farmers and marine scientists.
We are pleased to let you know that all our postgraduate programmes and courses will be back on offer next year. We have also determined the provisional block-teaching week dates. Please further note that Prof Alexander Paterson (Alexander.Paterson@uct.ac.za) will resume the role as IMEL Programme Convener in 2018, and should you have any queries, please do be in touch with him in the new year.
Professor Alexander Paterson, Ms Amanda Mkhonza and Ms Olivia Rumble recently participated in the 5th Symposium and 4th Scientific Conference of the Association of Environmental Law Lecturers from African Universities (ASSELLAU) held in Yaounde from 10-13 January 2018.