New Article – ‘Enforcing Environmental Regulation’

Abstract: For environmental legislation to ‘work’ it must not only be well designed but also efficiently and effectively enforced. Strategies must be developed as to how inspectors should go about the task of intervening in the affairs of regulated organisations to ensure compliance and enforcement—a question regarding which there is little consensus. This article examines this question from a number of angles: descriptive; analytical; and normative. It explores the practices of a representative sample of environmental regulators, identifying a number of distinctive intervention strategies (which are only limitedly shaped by existing theoretical models). It goes on to examine the strengths and weaknesses of each strategy and to consider how best to balance the sometimes competing criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy. Finally, it considers how resource allocation and intervention strategies can best be integrated, whether there is a single ‘best practice’ strategy, and if not, what sorts of hybrids might be developed.

Full Citation:  Gunningham, N. (2011). Enforcing environmental regulation, Journal of Environmental Law, 23 (2): 169-201 (Available with subscription from 


‘Adapting to climate change through local municipal planning: barriers and challenges’

Abstract: Municipal planning represents a key avenue for local adaptation, but is subject to recognised constraints. To date, these constraints have focused on simplistic factors such as limited resources and lack of information. In this paper we argue that this focus has obscured a wider set of constraints which need to be acknowledged and addressed if adaptation is likely to advance through municipal planning. Although these recognised constraints are relevant, we argue that what underpins these issues are more fundamental challenges affecting local, placed-based planning by drawing on the related field of community-based environmental planning (CBEP). In considering a wider set of constraints to practical attempts towards adaptation, the paper considers planning based on a case study of three municipalities in Sydney, Australia in 2008. The results demonstrate that climate adaptation was widely accepted as an important issue for planning conducted by local governments. However, it was yet to be embedded in planning practice which retained a strong mitigation bias in relation to climate change. In considering the case study, we draw attention to factors thus far under-acknowledged in the climate adaptation literature. These include leadership, institutional context and competing planning agendas. These factors can serve as constraints or enabling mechanisms for achieving climate adaptation depending upon how they are exploited in any given situation. The paper concludes that, through addressing these issues, local, place-based planning can play a greater role in achieving climate adaptation.

Full Citation: Measham, T.G., Preston, B.L., Smith, T.F., Brooke, C., Goddard, R., Withycombe, G., Morrison, C. (2011). Adapting to climate change through local municipal planning: barriers and challenges, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 1-21, DOI 10.1007/s11027-011-9301-2.

New Report – ‘Cities and Climate Change: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011′

Planners and others continue to explore how the world’s cities will be
affected by climate change in the coming decades, and this 62-page report
released by the United Nation’s Human Settlement Programme takes a close
look at the subject. This abridged version of the full report argues, “local
action is indispensable for the realization of national climate change
commitments agreed through international negotiations.” Visitors will find
that the report is divided into six chapters, including “Urbanization and
the Challenge of Climate Changes” and “The Impacts of Climate Change on
Urban Areas”. The report draws on a wide range of scholarly data taken from
UN reports, along with others working in the field of climate change and
environmental science.

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‘Climate change Green Paper under the spotlight’

Engineering News, 11 February 2011

The 38-page National Climate Change Green Paper was released just before most of South Africa’s negotiating team went to Cancun.

A raft of consultative workshops on the Green Paper are to be held around the country in the next month or so. The interest in the Green Paper is overwhelming. The proposals that will be put forward will have implications for everybody.

There was something of a delay in the release of the paper following the issuing of the National Climate Change Response Paper in early 2010. The original intention was to have the White Paper finalised and the legislation taking effect by the end of 2011. This is now unlikely. There is some urgency with respect to having something solid by the seventeeth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP17).

The most we can expect is a White Paper by the time the COP17 is held in Durban at the end of this year.

The Green Paper says a lot and then says nothing. This is not being harsh, but a Green Paper should at least be more than a discussion paper. It should define the policy options for action, the feasibility of these and the timeline for the implementation of the various options. These would be for both mitigation and adaptation.

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A New Report: ‘The State of African Cities 2010: Governance, Inequalities and Urban Land Markets’

The State of the African Cities 2010 goes above and beyond the first report, which provided a general overview of housing and urban management issues in Africa. With the subtitle: Governance, inequity and urban land markets, the report uncovers critical urban issues and challenges in African cities, using social and urban geography as the overall entry points. While examining poverty, slum incidence and governance, the report sheds more light on inequity in African cities, and in this respect follows the main theme of the global State of the World’s Cities 2010 report. Through a regional analysis, the report delves deeper into the main urban challenges facing African cities, while provoking dialogue and discussion on the role of African cities in improving national, regional and local economies through sustainable and equitable development. The report has been drafted in cooperation with Urban Land Mark. Through an analytical survey of several African cities, the report examines urban growth, social conditions in slums, environmental and energy issues and, especially, the role of urban land markets in accessing land and housing.

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‘New EIA regulations now in effect in South Africa’

Engineering News, 2 August 2010

South Africa’s new environmental impact assessment (EIA) regulations came into effect on Monday, which the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said started the official implementation process of a new regime aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of EIAs.

The National Environmental Management Act (Nema) EIA 2010 regulations and the listing notices thereto replaced the Nema EIA regulations of 2006 and its associated listing notices.

The revised regulations were said to be the result of a consultation process and were published by Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica in Government Gazette 33306 of June 18, 2010.

The DEA said that the new regulations introduced an approach where impacts associated with the sensitivity of the receiving environment are treated with more care – this was achieved through the introduction of a Listing Notice dedicated to activities planned for predefined sensitive areas.

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‘DEA looking for projects to support green-economy strategy’

Engineering News, 2 August 2010

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is looking to identify potential projects that could contribute to ‘green growth’ in South Africa, and has invited industry to submit expressions of interest.

This is in response to the Green Economy Summit, which was held in May, where government, business, civil society and nongovernmental organisations committed to ensuring that South Africa moved towards a resource efficient, low carbon and proemployment growth path.

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‘National Environmental Management Act, No 107 of 1998 (NEMA) Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations (EIA), 2010′

On 18 June 2010 the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms. Buyelwa Patience Sonjica, published in Government Gazette 33306 Notice Number 543 the regulations pertaining to environmental impact assessments under sections 24(5), 24M and 44 of NEMA. These regulations and the Listing Notices mentioned below will take effect on a date to be determined by the Minister by Notice in the Gazette.

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‘Slumdog vs Millionaires: Balancing urban informality and global modernity in Mumbai, India”

Abstract: Mumbai and other Indian cities are rapidly transforming to address the needs of global commerce and the expanding middle class. Mumbai’s vernacular environments, home to most working-class residents, are consequently being redeveloped using supermodern global aesthetics. The urbanism emerging from the current wave of modernism is an unprecedented radical departure from existing patterns of place. Proponents claim the new developments serve low-income residents’ interests, when actually they ignore fundamental socio-cultural and economic realities. This paper considers two case studies, Dharavi and Girangaon, highlighting a subset of Mumbai’s vernacular environments to argue for their significance and to explore alternative redevelopment approaches

Full Citation: Chalana, M. (2010). Slum Dog vs Millionaire: Balancing urban informality and global modernity in Mumbaim India, Journal of Architectural Education, Vol. 63 (2): 25-37 (Available with subscription at:

‘UN Climate Change Talks in Bonn’

Second round of Bonn UN Climate Change Talks in 2010 designed to pave way for full implementation of climate change action across the globe – A fresh round of UN Climate Change talks kicked off on Monday with representatives from 182 governments meeting in Bonn to take forward work from last year’s UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15). The talks are designed to pick up on issues that were not resolved in Copenhagen and to pave the way for the full implementation of climate change action across the globe.

“The Copenhagen meeting may have postponed an outcome for at least a year, but it did not postpone the impacts of climate change,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer. “The deadline to agree an effective international response to climate change at Copenhagen was set because governments, when launching negotiations in Bali in 2007, recognised the scientific warning on climate for what it was: a siren call to act now, or face the worst,” he added.

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