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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Environmental justice by advocating for better environmental laws and improved implementation of laws.


The CER’s mining programme promotes environmental and climate justice in the extractives sector by advocating for better environmental laws and improved implementation of laws, litigating on behalf of mining and production-affected communities and civil society organisations, facilitating networking among relevant stakeholders and supporting activists. Our work is aimed at ensuring that adequate assessment and provision for mitigation and management of detrimental impacts take place before prospecting, mining, exploration and production are commenced, that licences to extract are transparent, appropriately informed and lawful, followed by predictable compliance monitoring of licence conditions and environmental and water laws, and strong enforcement action is taken when non-compliance is found. This is the only way to ensure responsible environmental practices at extractives operations, in the interest of directly affected communities in the first instance and the country as a whole.

In addition to representing communities and civil society organisations, CER attorneys work within a broad and vibrant network of civil society, community organisations, academic institutions and law clinics concerned about the impacts of the extractives industry on the environment and on the communities who rely most closely on the environment.

Since 2014, our case work focuses exclusively on fossil fuel extraction.