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8.1:National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) Principles (National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998)



Sustainable Development

Development must be socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.

Pollution and degradation of the environment are avoided, or, where they cannot be altogether avoided, are minimised and remedied.

Waste is avoided, or where it cannot be altogether avoided, minimised and re-used or recycled where possible and otherwise disposed of in a responsible manner.

The use and exploitation of non-renewable natural resources is responsible and equitable, and takes into account the consequences of the depletion of the resource.

The development, use and exploitation of renewable resources and the ecosystems of which they are part do not exceed the level beyond which their integrity is jeopardised.

Environmental Justice and Equity

Environmental management must place people and their needs at the forefront of its concern, and serve their physical, psychological, developmental, cultural and social interest equitably

The right of workers to refuse work that is harmful to human health or the environment and to be informed of dangers must be respected and protected.

The environment is held in public trust for the people, the beneficial use of environmental resources must serve the public interest and the environment must be protected as the people’s common heritage.

Environmental justice must be pursued so that adverse environmental impacts shall not be distributed in such a manner as to unfairly discriminate against any person, particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged persons.

Equitable access to environmental resources, benefits and services to meet basic human needs and ensure human well-being must be pursued and special measures may be taken to ensure access thereto by categories of persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination.

Negative impacts on the environment and on peoples environmental rights be anticipated and prevented, and where they cannot be altogether prevented, are minimised and remedied.

Participation, Empowerment & Transparency

The participation of all interested and affected parties in environmental governance must be promoted, and all people must have the opportunity to develop the understanding, skills and capacity necessary for achieving equitable and effective participation, and participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged peoples must be ensured.

Decisions must take into account the interests, needs and values of all interested and affected parties, and this includes recognising all forms of knowledge, including traditional and ordinary knowledge.

Community wellbeing and empowerment must be promoted through environmental education, the raising of environmental awareness, the sharing of knowledge and experience and other appropriate means.

NORTHWEST – EIP43 of 64 Pages

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