Browsing by Author "Majiedt, Prideel Ayn"
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- ItemAn assessment of the success of mainstreaming of marine biodiversity information into EIAs for the oil and gas sector(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-03) Majiedt, Prideel Ayn; Robinson, Tamara; Sink, Kerry; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.ENGLISH SUMMARY: The mining sector has played a critical role in the development and growth of South Africa’s economy but is also one of the main contributors to environmental impacts. There has been a substantial increase in the number and size of applications for marine petroleum exploration rights, with 30 new exploration wells planned by 2024. In the absence of offshore marine protected areas and no-go areas for mining, the need for mainstreaming of biodiversity information is critical. Biodiversity mainstreaming is the internalisation of the goals of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of biological resources into economic and public sectors. The EIA framework is the regulatory tool used to ensure the implementation of sustainable development in the marine mining sector and the petroleum sector is a key stakeholder for mainstreaming engagement to support the inclusion of high level biodiversity products in environmental management decision-making. Three products aim to influence such decision making; the National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment (NSBA) 2004, the National Biodiversity Assessment 2011 and the Offshore Marine Protected Areas Project (OMPA) 2011. The aim of this study was to assess how well marine biodiversity products were integrated into the EIA process in the last four years. A total of 21 EIAs and associated specialist studies from the petroleum sector were analysed using content analysis. Data was captured on the presence of selected biodiversity products, and where present, the level of influence these products had on mitigation recommendations. The success of a product was measured based on utilisation and influence, with the latter being assessed on whether products formed the basis for mitigation recommendations. A case study on an EIA for seabed mining is presented as an example of how the aforementioned biodiversity products could be used to inform the project plan through mitigation recommendations. The study showed that the NSBA 2004 was the most utilised of the biodiversity products, followed by the OMPA. Information on threatened ecosystems was often omitted. The products were used to set the context of impact studies rather than to inform environmental management. No mitigation recommendations were directly linked to the biodiversity products examined, even when applications had overlap with threatened ecosystem types and when methods involving high risk of habitat destruction were included in project plans. The age of the product and the terms of reference of specialist studies were identified as potential factors affecting use of the biodiversity products. This study concluded that mainstreaming of these products was unsuccessful as no evidence of their influence on proposed mining projects could be detected. The lack of influence of these documents was attributed to the low level of legislative support for threatened marine ecosystems. It is recommended that (1) marine ecosystems are included in the legislated list of threatened and protected ecosystems (2) capacity is developed to ensure appropriate consideration of environmental impacts in marine EIAs, and (3) studies such as this one are carried out at regular intervals to identify where mainstreaming interventions are most needed and where further training is required.