KZN Environmental Network concept note
Many environmental and community groups in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) working on sustainable development and environmental justice issues and extend to paper mills, petrochemical and chemical industries, mining, agriculture land under sugar cane and timber plantations, big game parks, two major ports, big transport infrastructure associated with the port, etc.
KZN Environmental groups and communities have been both unique and tenacious in challenging both government and industry to address the inequities of pollution and environmental injustice in the province and we have had many successes to date.
To achieve continued success we would like you to discuss and envision a KZN Environmental network programme for 2016 and beyond to continue to build on these strong foundations to build community activism that critiques industry and government developments to secure livelihoods, social justice and a healthy environment for the benefit of all people of KZN. The highlight for 2016 activities would be to create awareness in a form of a rally.
We hope to build upon the work KZN environmental NGOs and communities are already doing with the aim of bringing KZN groups into a KZN Environmental Network with the aim of deepening community participation in environmental governance and advocacy in defence of people’s constitutional right. It will consolidate the network of relationships that enable KZN environmental network to draw on local, national and international resources and engage with complex and often technical issues so as to present well-founded community perspectives to the authorities and industry. In particular the KZN environmental network will advocate for a different development path that replaces fossil fuels with renewable energy, and that focuses on local production for local consumption including in food and manufacturing.
Our 2015 programmes achieved much success with development and infrastructure, climate change and energy, air quality and health and community empowerment. The KZN environmental network group includes SDCEA, groundWork [Friends of the Earth South Africa] , Earthlife Africa eThekwini ,Timberwatch , Biowatch SAFCIE , Greenpeace and other groups have been active in raising awareness about environmental issues such as climate change, which cuts across and connects many of the other issues such as air quality, health, livelihoods, energy, development, etc. This has included numerous workshops with schools and communities, tribunals, pickets, EIA appeals highlighting the impacts of climate change.
Objective of a KZN Environmental Network:
Environmental justice is effectively integrated within the development vision for KZN:
Aim: Strengthen Environmental network in KZN: This project is centred on developing a strategy for greater collaboration and more effective use of resources. Develop an environmental network group which will comprise community members (specifically the youth), NGOs and community leaders, in KwaZulu Natal, who will mobilize, advocate, network, share experiences and knowledge with each other about pressing environmental issues.