The quality and effectiveness of Environmental Management Frameworks (EMF) in South Africa
Cilliers, Dirk Petrus
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We live in an era of increasing global environmental and sustainability challenges. One way of dealing with these challenges has been the development and application of strategic level environmental management tools, such as Environmental Management Frameworks (EMFs), which is a uniquely South African tool applied since the early 2000’s. However, our understanding of the quality and effectiveness of EMF is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this research is to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of EMFs in South Africa with a view to improve practice. This is achieved through an evaluation research approach applying mixed methods, which include both a survey and multiple case study reviews. The survey results show that to date 65 EMFs have been conducted at various different scales and contexts. The case study review revealed that both EMF quality and effectiveness performed poorly. The main areas where EMF quality could improve relate to the planning and scoping of EMF projects, the involvement of stakeholders in the EMF development process, the management of spatial data used in EMF analysis, the use of scientifically sound spatial analysis techniques and the drafting of clear management guidelines. In terms of effectiveness it was found that EMFs could improve on the manner in which implementation is planned for and the building of capacity amongst stakeholders responsible for implementing and using the EMF. Based on the quality and effectiveness results a conceptual framework is proposed to improve EMF practice, after which recommendations are made for further research.