Supporting article U: Example of an Environmental Policy: The University of Kwazulu-Natal
UNIVERSITY OF KWAZULU-NATAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
The following goals from the University’s Mission Statement are drawn upon in the formulation of the policy: To:
” conserve the physical environment and foster a culture of responsible, ethical, sustainable use of natural resources.”
”provide holistic education which promotes an awareness of social responsibility and sound ethical practice in a diverse society.”
The University can strive towards the implementation of the objectives implicit in the above goals through the teaching, research, community interaction and management philosophies embodied in the proposed 14 Principles of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Environmental Policy.
The University of KwaZulu-Natal
1. conscious of the necessity for the protection of the integrity of the environment and the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity at local, regional and international levels,
2. desirous of establishing and maintaining on its campuses an environment conducive to excellence in all its activities, and
3. committing itself to a program of sustainable development which takes into account the needs and aspirations of its own user communities in association with considerations of equity, environment and future generations,
University teaching, research, management and community interaction shall embody an understanding of the intrinsic value of Nature, an awareness of possible consequences to the environment of any actions and a consciousness of the environmental needs and concerns of present and future generations of the community which the University serves.
The University, valuing both the built and non-built areas on its various campuses, shall strive towards the establishment and maintenance of an environment which is attractive and conducive to sustained excellence in teaching, research, management and community interaction.
The University shall take all reasonable steps towards the protection and conservation of the indigenous fauna and flora on its campuses and the removal of invasive alien species. The University shall recognise also that its properties may form important conservation links in greater metropolitan zones.
The University shall encourage full use of its campuses as sites for all aspects of environmental education and for conducting environmental research of benefit to the community it serves. Such education and research may be conventional or interdisciplinary, at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, or may involve community-based partnerships.
The University shall recognise and encourage creativity within the student body which may be directed towards conservation initiatives or sustainable development programmes. Student participation in environmentally appropriate activities at the informal level shall also be promoted.
The University, recognising the direct and indirect costs of land, water, energy and materials, shall take appropriate steps to minimise wasteful utilisation of such resources.
The University shall enact effective control over any activities on its campuses which may generate harmful waste substances, cause environmental damage or be harmful to health, and shall undertake environmental audits of any such activities occurring on its campuses. Waste management and pollution control on the University campuses should emphasise accountability, prevention, treatment and reuse.
Environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the planning and management of future developments on the University campuses. Environmental impact assessments shall, where appropriate, be undertaken for any proposed activities which may have an environmental consequence.
The University shall apply a precautionary approach in order to protect the environment. Where there is a threat of environmental damage arising from a University activity, the lack of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for failing to prevent environmental degradation.
The University shall co-operate in a spirit of partnership with the community it serves in order to conserve, protect and, where necessary, assist in restoring the integrity of regional ecosystems.
The University shall promote the principles of preservation and conservation in South Africa while recognising the need for sustained utilisation of natural resources. The University shall encourage access to relevant information and the transfer of appropriate technology by means of outreach programmes, consultation and extension services.
The environmental policy will be controlled by the Environmental Committee, which reports to Physical Planning Committee, a Subcommittee of Resource Planning Committee. The policy will be implemented primarily by the Administration and Facilities Management Portfolio under the appropriate member of the Executive. However, all members of the University community shall have access to, and be able to participate through representation in, decisions concerning the environmental policy and the environmental planning and management of the University.
In all its dealings with regard to environmental matters, the University shall in the first instance seek the advice of persons with the appropriate expertise, both within and without the University.
All members of the University shall co-operate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in the fulfilment of the principles embodied in this Declaration.