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Integrated Environmental Management Essay

2062 words - 9 pages

The Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) is a concept that was encouraged and proposed in the 1980’s, in South Africa. IEM was later widely accepted with the release of IEM guideline series in 1992. The IEM concept has three crucial words, “integrated”, “Environment” and “Management” their meanings are described for a better understanding of IEM as a whole term. The term integration has four different components to it, as explained by DEAT (2004), they are:
1. The integration of all environmental concerns.
2. The integration of knowledge from different experts.
3. The integration of tools during decision making.
The environment is described as the surrounds in which all ...view middle of the document...

Sustainable development aims to integrate the social, economic and environmental aspects in a people-centred approach. Sustainable development and its principles are written in the Constitution of South Africa, 1996.

Development of IEM
The concept of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) was first implemented in 1970 in the United States of America and was later implemented in South Africa during 1974. The implementation was due to a result of increased developments and policies and the negative impacts these had on the environment. It was also a response to try better protection of the environment. Since that time South Africa had an interest in EIA’s even though there was a lack of public awareness of environmental protection. The EIA Committee of the Council for the Environment was set during 1983 influenced South African EIA research. The research resulted to a document on Integrated Environmental Management (IEM) being published during 1989 (Wood, 1999). IEM and EIA’s were implemented at the same time. IEM is a term that is describes the national strategy for Environmental Management (Lindique). The two concepts were set to enable developers to become more aware of the possible effects they have on the environment. The reason for the IEM development was because the EIA was limited in its scope, it was seen to be anti-development, it was separate from a planning process and caused delays that were costly (Hamann et al., 2000). IEM indicates a method that integrates all environmental considerations during all the stages of a development project proposal that also includes post-impact assessment (Wood, 1999). A revised IEM procedure was published in 1992, by the Department of Environmental affairs. This had six IEM guidelines and was accepted by various authorities and developers (South Africa, 1992). This document was upgraded in 1998 (South Africa, 1998b). This document was more comprehensive and flexible that facilitates South African developments (Hamann et al. 2000).

Philosophy of Integrated Environmental Management
Environmental philosophy developed in the 1960’s along with EIA and IEM and is the product of concerns that was contributed from diverse groups of people, including scientists, naturalists, politicians and the public. The IEM is a framework that provides a guideline, which can be obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, aimed at ensuring all environmental considerations are accounted for. IEM focuses on ensuring that all environmental considerations are taken into account during every stage of planning a development project, including post-development such as the decommissioning of the project.
The philosophy, of which sustainable development is achieved, is a set of tools containing principles. IEM can be considered to be a toolbox containing many tools that is essentially a philosophy and approach that ensures that no consequences of project planning are overlooked (Hugo et...

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