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An environmentally responsible feedlot industry - A government perspective- Lize McCourt March 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "An environmentally responsible feedlot industry - A government perspective- Lize McCourt March 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 An environmentally responsible feedlot industry - A government perspective- Lize McCourt March 2007

2 “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems” – Henning Steinfield – FAO (UN) November 2006

3 Livestock industry and the environment – the world picture On the down side: –Major contribution to climate change (greenhouse gas emissions calculated to be equivalent to transport) – 18% of CO2 –Air Quality –Land degradation and deforestation: 30% of earth’s land surface utilised directly or indirectly for livestock 70% of former forests in amazone turned over to grazing –Water use and water pollution –Biodiversity loss 20% of terrestrial animal biomass (dairy and meat) Feed crops –Indirect impacts associated with feed crops –Waste

4 Livestock industry and the environment – the world picture On the up side: –Provide livelihoods to about 1.3 billion people –Contribute 40% to global agricultural output –Source of renewable energy –Source of organic fertilizer Social and economic security and environmental “protection” of equal importance in a drive to sustainability

5 Can a balance between down side and up side be obtained? Although it seems as if negative impacts on the environment associated with the livestock industry cannot altogether be avoided, it can certainly be minimised and managed AND positive environmental opportunities can be optimised

6 How can this be achieved? “Think globally, act locally, change personally” – the sustainability motto Drawing on a multi-facetted “toolkit”: –Legislative measures –Voluntary measures –Technology changes –Management changes

7 How can this be achieved (2)? Legislative measures: –Environmental Impact Assessment, Waste permits, Water use permits and other relevant permits and authorisations –Emission standards –Compliance monitoring and enforcement –Refinement of legislative regime –The legislative environment will be discussed in more detail herein Voluntary measures –Environmental Management Systems –Codes of conduct –etc

8 How can this be achieved (3)? Technology changes –E.g. improvement of diets to reduce methane emissions –Water balance table and recycling –Artificial wetlands –Composting facilities with methane harvesting –Discussed in some detail in Guideline; –etc Management changes –A new Ethos –Discussed in some detail in the Guideline

9 SAFA – path towards an environmentally responsible industry Major progress made with development and adoption of National Environmental Guideline (Thirstland Environmental Services) –Set out legal obligations comprehensively –Suggest practical design and management measures to address environmental concerns –Indicate advantages of environmentally responsible practices

10 SAFA – path towards an environmentally responsible industry S24G applications for rectification of “unlawful” activities Applications in terms of environmental legislations (Environmental Impact Assessment; waste permits, water use licenses, etc.) and compliance with permit conditions Adoption and implementation of environmental management systems such as ISO14000 Adoption of Environmental Code of practice

11 SA Government’s thinking on environmental impact management This will be discussed under the following themes: –The legislative framework –Environmental Impact Assessment – the new system –Moving towards a more strategic approach – the Environmental Impact Management Strategy and action plan

12 The legal framework…

13 Legal framework Constitution: –Section 24 with dual environmental right Save and clean environment Environment protected for current and future generations –Schedules to the Constitution assign mandates / competencies (Environmental management is a concurrent national – provincial competency)

14 Legal framework (cont) NEMA of 1998 (National Environmental Management Act) –Post constitution; people-centered; cradle to grave approach; principle based decision-making. –Subsequent “off-spring” of NEMA: Biodiversity Act; Protected Areas Act; Air Quality Management Act; NEMA Amendment Acts; Waste Management Bill (in development) and Integrated Coastal Management Bill

15 The legal framework (cont) ECA of 1989 (Environment Conservation Act) –EIA Regulations of 1997 (repealed); current waste management regime; conservation ordinances –Pre-constitution; conservation centered Also other sector legislation with links to EIA and Integrated Environmental Management (e.g Water Act, Minerals and Petroleum Resource Development Act, National Heritage Resources Act, etc.) Regulations, master plans, etc. related to special protected areas such as world heritage sites, RAMSAR areas, national parks, etc.

16 EIA Regulations

17 Objectives of EIA To ensure that environmental impacts are taken into consideration in decision-making. To promote sustainable development To ensure activities undertaken do not have a substantial detrimental impact on the environment To prohibit activities that will have a substantial detrimental impact To ensure public involvement in the undertaking of the identified activities To regulate the process and the reports in order to enable the authorities to make informed decisions

18 The EIA Regulations Regulations list activities that may not commence prior to authorisation from relevant authority –Provincial environmental authority in most instances –National authority in specified circumstances Activities include matters related to: –Land development –Infrastructure development –Bulk services provision –Industrial and waste management processes –Transformation /interference of sensitive environments –Agriculture

19 The EIA Regulations Prescribe: –The process to be followed; –The roles and responsibilities of role- players; –Minimum requirements for reports; and –Appeal procedures;

20 What is different / new in the NEMA EIA Regulations Provision for a “rapid” and “thorough” processes – nature, extent and location of activity will determine which process will be followed. Provision to exclude certain listed activities under certain circumstances based on: –Policies and Guidelines –Environmental Management Frameworks

21 What is different / new in the NEMA EIA Regulations (2) List of activities more precise and many ‘unnecessary’ activities excluded Inclusion of time frames Regulation 6 – allowing for agreements between organs of state to prevent duplication of legislative requirements and to align processes that are substantially similar

22 What is different / new in the NEMA EIA Regulations (3) Inclusion of provisions for class / group applications: –More than one activity in a geographical area –More than one activity of the same type in different geographical locations More detailed requirements in terms of public participation

23 Implications of 2006 EIA Regulations for the Feedlots industry

24 Relevant activities that will trigger the basic assessment process Construction of facilities … and associated infrastructure for: the slaughter of animals with a product throughput of kilograms or more per year; the concentration of animals for the purpose of commercial production in densities that exceed three square metres per head of poultry and more than 250 poultry per facility at any time, excluding chicks younger than 20 days; agri-industrial purposes, outside areas with an existing land use zoning for industrial purposes, that cover an area of square metres or more;

25 Relevant activities – basic assessment (cont) The transformation or removal of indigenous vegetation of three hectares or more or of any size where the transformation or removal would occur within a critically endangered or an endangered ecosystem listed in terms of section 52 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004).

26 Relevant activities – basic assessment (cont) The abstraction of groundwater at a volume where any general authorisation issued in terms of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998) will be exceeded. The subdivision of portions of land nine hectares or larger into portions of five hectares or less.

27 Relevant activities – basic assessment (cont) There are also other activities related to matters such as waste and effluent treatment and disposal that may also be relevant

28 Relevant activities – Scoping and EIA (Thorough assessment) The construction of facilities and associated structures for the treatment of effluent, wastewater or sewage with an annual throughput capacity of more than cubic metres or more; the incineration, burning, evaporation, thermal treatment, roasting or heat sterilisation of waste or effluent, including the cremation of human or animal tissue; the microbial deactivation, chemical sterilisation or non-thermal treatment of waste or effluent;

29 Relevant activities – Scoping and EIA (Thorough assessment) Any development activity, including associated structures and infrastructure, where the total area of the developed area is, or is intended to be, 20 hectares or more There are also other activities that may be relevant, e.g.: construction of dams of specified size, large scale waste and effluent treatment / disposal

30 The value of the EIA process for the “applicant” EIA is often viewed as an obstacle / hurdle and the value added is often underestimated EIA helps the applicant to ask some fundamental questions before venturing investment, including for example: –Adequacy of natural resources such as water –Risk of pollution to water, air and land in order to prevent such pollution rather than implementing expensive rehabilitation measures –Acceptance of the activity by neighbours –Appropriateness of activity in light of future planning of the area –Alternative technologies that could optimise efficiency and minimise waste / pollution

31 Tips on how to go about the EIA process Know the regulations – a “Companion to Regulations” is currently being prepared by DEAT that would assist with this. –The National Guideline Establish whether the activity you are planning requires EIA authorisation and if it does, whether the basic or thorough process need to be followed. Establish whether the activity is excluded from the EIA requirements due to: –Policy guideline of the province or national guideline –Environmental Management Framework accepted for the area

32 Tips on how to go about the EIA process If the activity requires authorisation and is not excluded, appoint an Environmental Assessment Practitioner (EAP) to prepare the application and manage the process Include EIA timeframes in your project plan and do not spent money on infrastructure etc on an assumption that you will obtain approval If you are located in a protected area (such as world heritage site), ensure that requirements of the management authority of such area are also met Use one process for multiple permits (e.g. waste and emissions related authorisations)

33 What role can SAFA play in EIA Establish and maintain data base of guidelines, policies, decision-support tools and EMFs developed and implemented by DEAT and the provinces On experience of members, compile a data base of Environmental Assessment Practitioners (EAP) that is familiar with the industry and have experience in conducting EIA processes for industry activities – BUT caution against creating a “monopoly”; Interaction with DEAT to explore possibility to “escalate” industry guideline to be adopted as a guideline in terms of the EIA Regulations

34 Towards a comprehensive Environmental Impact Management Strategy and Action Plan

35 Why the need for a new strategy EIA currently the only legislative tool for impact assessment and management –It is often not the appropriate tool –It is not complimented by strategic tools –It is site specific and pre-development focussed only –“government control” focus –Lack of compliance monitoring and enforcement Must find ways to approach impact management in “partnership” manner – pooled resources will result in better effectiveness Development of other tools “ad hoc” and not really implemented

36 Envisaged elements of the strategy Establish and Assess Impacts Governance Mitigation and Management of impacts

37 Elements of the strategy Only where impacts are not known Utilization of appropriate tools Strategy will aim to rationalize EIA and introduce other tools: –Risk Assessment –Strategic Environmental Assessments –Life Cycle Analysis –Cost Benefit Assessments, etc. Objective driven approach ASSESS IMPACTS

38 Elements of the strategy Where or when impacts are known, need for “assessment” element should fall away Proactive and reactive measures to be included Utilization of appropriate tools for management Strategy will aim to introduce appropriate tools which could include: –Implementation of environmental authorisations –Management through norms and standards, guidelines, policies, etc –Environmental Management Plans –Environmental Management Systems –Codes of good practice. –Prohibitions –Indicators –Economic measures (tax incentives) MANAGEMENT OF IMPACTS

39 Elements of the strategy Move away from “control” only Integration of different “permit processes” Integration of environmental impact assessment and management in other government processes Introduce and promote self-regulation Promotion and acknowledgement of voluntary systems Environmental reporting Transformation GOVERNANCE

40 Concluding remarks

41 It cannot be denied that the feedlots industry’s activities do pose potential significant threats to the environment It can also not be denied that the industry play an important role in social and economic well-being of citizens of South Africa with positive environmental spin offs The industry has already taken important steps towards a more environmentally responsible approach Environmental responsible behaviour will give feedlots operators a competitive advantage (triple bottom line, especially in terms of exports) Sustainable development and environmental quality are everybody’s responsibility and partnerships and combination of efforts are essential in meeting these objectives EIA is an important element of this, but cannot stand on its own.

42 THANK YOU !


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