MESSAGE FROM: Environmental Law Association by Peter Kantor, Chairman

The Environmental Law Association (ELA) of South Africa is a non-profit organisation with the principal objective of promoting the development, teaching, application and practice of environmental law in South Africa.

Environmental issues are appearing with ever increasing frequency at the forefront of global and domestic discourse. The rise in environmental concerns has also brought about ever increasing regulation through environmental laws. South Africa is no exception to this trend. In the result, it is becoming more and more crucial for professionals in the environmental sector to remain informed of developments in environmental law.

In this context, the ELA seeks to establish itself as an effective forum for networking and the sharing of information and knowledge in the field of environmental law. The ELA recognises the potential for the legal sector to influence public policy. Mainstreaming discourse on environmental matters among professionals in various fields plays and will continue to play a crucial role in achieving the constitutional imperative which was described by the Supreme Court of Appeal in the following terms.

Our Constitution, by including environmental rights as fundamental, justiciable human rights, by necessary implication requires that environmental considerations be accorded appropriate recognition and respect in the administrative processes in our country. Together with the change in ideological climate must also come a change in our legal and administrative approach to environmental concerns.” (Director: Mineral Development (Gauteng region) v Save the Vaal Environment 1999 (2) SA 709 (SCA) at page 719C).

The ELA seeks to promote the enforcement of the environmental right in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa through the further development of environmental law in South Africa. This symposium supports all the above and the ELA is proud to participate and be counted among the organizations participating in it.

Mr Peter Kantor

Chairman

Environmental Law Association