Presentation on theme: "The Efficacy of the SA EIA Regime Time for Change – Back to the future? Presentation by: Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus of Erasmus Attorneys."— Presentation transcript:
The Efficacy of the SA EIA Regime Time for Change – Back to the future? Presentation by: Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus of Erasmus Attorneys
Precondition for development Every generation puts its own scratches on the surface of this planet - this is called progress or development. Otherwise we would have no electricity, no mining or manufacturing and would all still be doing our business behind the nearest bush.
It’s all about … balance! To think that we can (or should) bubble- wrap the environment is a nonsense. Sound environmental governance re- quires an appropriate balance between people and the environment.
So we have independent assessments, do we? How many EIA Reports recommend that auth- orisation be denied? How many applications are withdrawn because applicants become persuaded that the proposed activity is environmentally un- justifiable? None!
So we have independent assessments, do we? (2). WHY? EAPs are paid to secure authorisations, not to undertake objective assessments. It is absurd to anchor the veracity of an EIA in the “independence” of a paid service provider.
Different listings are a waste of time. Since when is the listing of an activity more important than the impacts it is likely to have? In this context there are only two types of activities: Those that will have significant impacts; and Those that won’t.
Different listings are a waste of time (2). It is scientifically impossible to anticipate the likely impacts of a type of activity. Every proposed activity must be assessed on its contextually specific merits. To think that some types warrant lesser assess- ment by definition is to betray the environ- ment and those who stand to be affected.
A Better Way A single, suitably flexible regime is better than the present artificially differentiated system. Every EIA must be appropriate to the im- pacts of a proposed activity and not its listing.
A Better Way (2) Such a system would comprise (in every instance): Application & Scoping report: Notification for registration and comment on Scoping proposal; Revised Scoping if necessary; EIA phase; Decision; and Appeal.
Isn’t this how it worked under the 1998 Regulations? No. This is how it was supposed to work under the 1998 Regulations until some “clever” so-and-so perverted the concept of scoping. Scoping in this context is a research pro- posal and, as such, devoid of substantive content.
Avoiding the 1998 pitfalls. Conflate the application and scoping phases. Prohibit authorisation without an EIA Report. Make the applicant responsible for justifying the extent of the assessment to be under- taken.
Thank you so very much for this opportunity. Gideon (Kallie) Erasmus Erasmus Environmental, Development and Property Law Attorneys Tel: Fax: