Environmental Policy, Practice and Education in Swaziland Industries: Challenges and Prospects
Industry is an essential production sector, though environmental degradation of various forms is attributed to it. Irrespective of existing environmental legislation, some industries persistently pose risks to the environment due to failure to comply with existing environmental legislation. However, industry is increasingly being challenged to adhere to environmental legislation and the challenges are both internal and external. Internal challenges include the quest to maximise production and respond to workers’ demands for better wages.The internal operations of industry are also expected to guarantee the health and safety of workers. External challenges include mainly global environmental conventions and protocols. Locally, the challenge is mainly to comply with existing environmental policies and regulations.
Environmental responsibility is doubtful in some of the local industries in Swaziland, especially the small and locally owned. This study suggests that non-compliance with environmental legislation is attributed to lack of environmental expertise and knowledge, suggesting a need for an environmental education programme for industry. The government of Swaziland, through the undertaking of an environmental education training needs survey (reported here), has noted the importance of environmental education for industries.The survey provided a ‘consultation forum’ to establish environmental training needs in industry. Common training needs established include the need to educate industry on national environmental policies and guidelines for compliance as well as build capacity of industry personnel to respond to environmental issues and risks. The results of the survey have been crucial in the national initiative to develop an environmental education course for industry, which is now being undertaken with the support of the Southern African Development Community Regional Environmental Education Programme (SADC REEP) Course Development Network.
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