An evaluation of the use of environmental management plans in integrated environmental management in KwaZulu-Natal.
Hlela, Sibusisiwe Bongiwe Patience.
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An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) details mitigation measures and monitoring thereof as well management of the whole project implementation. As a management tool, the concept of an EMP was developed to ensure proper environmental management throughout the life-cycle of a development project. Despite EMPs having been in existence for quite some considerable period, environmental damage still persists. Furthermore, the environmental legislation of different countries and in particular South Africa does not use/make development of an EMP a specific requirement. This has implications on a number of issues such as EMP purpose, EMP implementation and the whole rationale behind an EMP. The motivation to investigate EMPs stemmed from a discussion I had with Dr Quinn, my supervisor, about my research proposal. He mentioned EMPs and encouraged me to investigate further. A review of literature about EMPs revealed the importance of EMPs in Integrated Environmental Management (IEM). A lot of questions arose as I was reading: • Are the provincial departments actually doing what is said in the literature? • Does the current use of EMPs achieve its purpose? • What is the whole rationale behind EMPs? • How are they implemented internationally and nationally? • What are the problems affecting EMP implementation? • How can the current situation be improved? As these questions came into my mind I thought the best way of discovering problems and solutions with respect to EMP implementation is to actually work with people whom I thought are knowledgeable about the subject. I then chose environmental authorities as the professionals who review EMPs and environmental consultants as the professionals who prepare EMPs as respondents. I hope some of the strategies suggested here will be implemented by the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs (DAEA) as the relevant authority in terms of section 22 of Environment Conservation Act (ECA) No. 73 of 1989. DAEA requests EMPs to be submitted as part of the conditions of approval when authorizing projects in terms of the ECA of 1989. If submitted, DAEA is also responsible for assessing and authorizing EMPs. I also hope that in the future there will be a study to investigate any improvements in the EMP implementation. This dissertation is presented in two parts, Component A and Component B. Component A includes the theoretical underpinnings for the results and Component B includes the analysis. Component A consists of the three chapters which are; the introduction, the literature review and the methods and conceptual framework used for the study. The referencing system used in this component complies with the Harvard System. Component B is written in preparation for submission to the Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal Journal but the format is in keeping with Component A. However, the referencing system used in this component complies with the journal requirements. The abstract has been placed at the beginning of component B as per the requirements of the journal.
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