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Decisions must be taken in an open and transparent manner, and access to information must be provided in accordance with the law.

The vital role of women and youth in environmental management and development must be recognised and their full participation therein must be promoted.

Co-operative Governance

There must be intergovernmental co-ordination and harmonisation of policies, legislation and actions relating to the environment.

Actual or potential conflicts of interest between organs of state should be resolved through conflict resolution procedures.

Global and international responsibilities relating to the environment must be discharged in the national interest.

Ecological Integrity

The disturbance of the ecosystem and loss of biological diversity are avoided, or, where they cannot be altogether avoided, are minimised and remedied.

The disturbance of landscapes and sites that constitute the nation’s cultural heritage is avoided, or where it cannot be altogether avoided, is minimised and remedied.

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.

Sensitive, vulnerable, highly dynamic or stressed ecosystems, such as coastal shores, wetlands and similar systems require specific attention in management and planning procedures, especially where they are subject to significant human resource usage and development pressure.

8.2Environmental Policies and Laws

8.2.1 Primary Environmental Legislative Provisions

These are acts and policies with the primary purpose of ensuring environmental management and environmental quality and protection.      National Environmental Management Act (Act 107 of 1998)

The National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) is the first step in giving legal effect to the environmental right in the Constitution (section 24) and to the White Paper on Environmental Management Policy.

The Act:

Establishes principles to guide the decisions and actions of all organs of state (NEMA Principles)

Establishes institutions to:


co-ordinate and harmonise the environmental functions of organs of state


promote the participation of stakeholders in environmental governance

Establishes procedures for co-operative governance

Establishes procedures for conflict management

Promotes integrated environmental management by establishing minimum procedures for environmental impact assessments, and enabling any national or provincial permitting authority to prescribe environmental impact assessment regulations

Establishes procedures for ratification of, and giving effect to international environmental instruments

Promotes compliance and enforcement by means of provisions on:

NORTHWEST – EIP44 of 64 Pages

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