Green Scorpions to protect environment

Doreen Gough

Doreen Gough

The Scorpions may be no more but watch out for the Green Scorpions who are about to emerge.

The first batch will soon be "hatched" after a six-month training course at Unisa.

This historic launch will be held at Unisa's Irene Park today from 3.30pm to 6pm. .

The National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 (Nema), which came into effect in 1998, created EMI's (environmental management inspectors, also known as Green Scorpions, to protect the environment.

Since much legislation is involved, the EMIs have to be skilled, knowledgeable and professional.

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism has stipulated that no EMI may act without being properly trained.

The department contacted Unisa to assist with the training of the EMIs. The College of Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with the College of Law, has designed a six-month Short Learning Programme. The first programme began in July this year.

The six-month theoretical training of EMIs will end with a practical module over 10 days. During the first eight days students will be taught to do physical inspections and investigations on simulated scenes.

On the ninth day of practical training there will be a mock court case (in the magistrate's court rooms) in which all the skills learnt by the students have to be displayed.

On the tenth day students will write a formal exam of two hours.

In a situation of global warming and climate change the protection of the environment is a major concern worldwide.

The programme consists of 5 Advanced Short Courses:

ASC 1: Legal context for Environmental Management Compliance and Enforcement (LCEM015)

ASC 2: Becoming an Environmental Management Inspector (BEMI014)

ASC 3: Environmental Management Compliance Inspection and Investigation - Industry (EMCI01P)

ASC 4: Environmental Management Compliance Inspection and Investigation - Biodiversity (EMCB01X)

ASC 5: Environmental Management Enforcement and Prosecution - Practical applications (EMEP01P)

Contact Elna van Niekerk on 012-352-4290. Visit