Mitigating adverse environmental impact

PREVENT ENVIRONMENTAL HARM

REPORT ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES AND INCIDENTS

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Concerned citizens and supporters of environmental rights can report Environmental Crimes to the National Governments 24 hour toll-free Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline.

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HOTLINE

The hotline, set-up by the Department for Environment, provides a platform for members of the public to voice their concerns about environmental transgressions. The hotline is  managed by an independent operator, it extends the capability of environmental authorities to detect and tackle non-compliance. Your call will be answered by trained operators who will issue you with a reference number for your complaint.

  • Any activity that you suspect contravenes an environmental law or affects your human and environmental rights to live in a healthy environment, with access to clean air and water can be reported. 
  • You can choose to remain anonymous.
  • Further contacts that may be useful to locate the correct provincial departments to deal with certain incidents can be found here.

Some examples of environmental crimes and incidents that can be reported are:

  • Illegal dumping of any waste outside of designated waste dumps.
  • Wildlife poaching.
  • Holding indigenous wildlife in captivity without a permit
  • Selling indigenous wildlife without a permit
  • Harvesting of indigenous trees from natural areas for commercial purposes.
  • Harvesting of indigenous trees and plants within a protected area.
  • The harvesting and sale of protected plants without a permit.
  • Collection of rocks and soil from protected areas.
  • Water pollution caused by solid or liquid waste or industrial spills.
  • Extraction of water from rivers and dams without a permit.
  • Air pollution emanating from a point source.
  • Accidents where toxic spills have occurred.
  • Incidents of arson / starting fires in natural areas.
  • Driving of 4x4s, quad-bikes and motorbikes in sensitive habitats and protected areas.
  • Activities, operations or developments that require an environmental authorisation but have commensed, or continue to operate without one.
  • Environmental Incidents such as piped water leaks and sewerage spills can first be reported to local councillors and the municipal department responsible for water and sanitation services in your area.

Your call ensures that these violations do not go unnoticed and enables Government to measure and act on behalf of everyone’s right to an environment not harmful to health or wellbeing.

For more on environmental incidents with regards to mining activities and peoples rights.

Environmental Management Inspectors (EMIs), also known as The Green Scorpions, are designated officials from various national, provincial and municipal government departments who monitor compliance and enforce environmental legislation. Some EMIs are permitted to seize property and effect arrests.

DEVELOPMENT RESTRICTIONS IN BIOSPHERE ZONES

The zones of a biosphere demarcate areas where appropriate activities are permitted.The core zone is formally protected for conserving biological diversity and monitoring minimally disturbed ecosystems and is limited to use for environmental education, research, and low impact nature based eco-tourism. Buffer zones surround or adjoin the core areas, where activities that are compliant with the Environmental Impact Assessment regulations should occur. Ideally these should be low to medium impact land-uses that maintain biodiversity integrity, such as game and livestock ranching and some tourism, although practically, nature based recreation, primary dwellings and new developments mindful of conservation objectives would also be permitted. Flexible transition zones would also include larger tourism developments, cultivated lands, irrigation, orchards, agro-industries, human settlements, support services and infrastructure, mining and industrial development, with an emphisis on cooperative sustainable utilization of the larger transition area to ensure the protection of the natural and heritage resources of the core zones and enhance this as a benefit to communities.

The MPE Environmental Management Framework gazetted by DEDECT in 2009, provides a comprehensive list of the types of activities and developments that are permitted and restricted in the Protected Environment.

The Magaliesberg Biosphere Management Plan, adopted by UNESCO in 2015, provides development guidelines and evaluation criteria for land-use suited to each biosphere zone.

WHERE AM I?

Use our mapping tools with google earth to find out where about you are in the Magaliesberg Biosphere.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

Urban encroachment, mining operations and large recreation venues are some of the biggest threats to the conservation status of the Magaliesberg Biosphere core and buffer zones. The environmental impact assessment (EIA) process is an interdisciplinary and multi – step procedure to ensure that environmental considerations are included in decisions regarding developments that may impact the environment. The purpose of the EIA process is to inform decision-makers and the public of the environmental consequences of implementing a proposed development.

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