n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - On integrated environmental governance in the Netherlands : a comparative study in reforms for South Africa

Volume 40, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Environmental governance is an essential facet of the entire environmental law effort in South Africa. Fragmentation of the environmental governance regime is however a concern in the country. Fragmentation is patent in the various structures and institutions, environmental Acts and authorisation processes. This leads to unsustainable and ineffective governance. Similarly, the Netherlands experienced fragmentation of its environmental governance regime with various challenges essentially resembling those of South Africa. Various integration reforms were initiated in the Netherlands by way of the National Environmental Management Act, 1993. This Act is based on the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive, 1996, of the European Union which provides a broad framework for a more integrated environmental governance effort by establishing integrated authorities and other institutions, integrated procedures, integrated legislation, and by utilising various other innovative mechanisms to achieve more streamlined and sustainable governance. This article distils a number of these integration mechanisms from the European approach and suggests that these integration reforms should be implemented as a matter of urgency to achieve a more sustainable environmental governance effort at domestic level.

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