2 September 2022 at 12:04 pm
On 5 September 2022, 15 activists from around South Africa will gather in Cape Town for the Centre for Environmental Rights’ 2022 Rights and Remedies course for environmental justice activists.
This year, the course will focus on enabling activists effectively to participate in the biggest conversation about the future of environmental and climate justice: the Just Transition.
Our aim this year is to ensure that participants leave the course with a thorough understanding of Just Transition concepts,” says CER Programme Head: Activist Support and Training, Matome Kapa.
Activists will be empowered to articulate arguments for a Just Transition that take into consideration the needs of communities previously and currently affected by environmental degradation and pollution from industrial operations.”
The Rights and Remedies course also makes a point of supporting the participation of women in the course. This year participants include nine women and six men who have been working on a range of different environmental justice issues.
We continue our stance of supporting participation by women activists in light of the particular challenges that women activists often face in South Africa. It is our hope that the Rights and Remedies course can play a part in supporting the creation of a strong and diverse cohort of future leaders in the environmental justice movement,” says Thobeka Gumede, Attorney in the Activist Support & Training Programme at CER.
One of last year’s graduates, Pfarelo Bolongo, joined the Rights and Remedies course from Musina in Limpopo Province, South Africa where she works on issues of environmental justice and youth empowerment.
The Rights and Remedies course is a powerful way for activists in many different parts of South Africa to prepare to deal with common problems such as water, air and soil pollution and the effects of climate change,” she says.
When I think about what kind of environment I would like to live in in the future, I see a place that is free of pollution, with fresh clean air, no water shortages and equal opportunities for men and women. The Rights and Remedies course can help activists like myself who are working towards creating a better future.”
The course will run over three weeks and build on lessons from previous years to ensure that participants finish the course with both the practical skills necessary to facilitate engagement with government and industry, as well as an introductory understanding of how to use statutory remedies and the South African environmental law framework.
Photos: Pfrarelo Bologo, Rights & Remedies 2021 | Chris Louw