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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.

Permission to conduct commercial mining in protected environments

On 17 February, the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), BirdLife South Africa (BirdLife), Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE), groundWork, the Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network of South Africa (MEJCON-SA) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) wrote a letter to the Minister of Environmental Affairs noting their concern for the dangerous precedent set by her recent decision to allow commercial mining in the Mabola Protected Environment in terms of section 48(1)(b) of the National environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, 2003 (NEMPAA). In the letter, the Minister was also called upon to conduct pubic participation in relation to all decisions relating to the exercise of her discretion in terms of section 48(1)(b) of the NEMPAA.