Living Land - AvontuurEMG's work with small-scale rooibos farmers in the Northern Cape has been highlighted in a chapter of a new book "Living Land" co-published by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Tudor Rose for the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification (2010-2020).

Vulnerability to land degradation on a global scale is driven by a combination of a changing climate and patterns of land use. Addressing climate change requires co-operation at a global scale. Ensuring appropriate land use requires local action.

According to the UNCCD, the new book is a powerful outreach tool for sensitizing the public about land degradation problems and the mobilizing efforts that are taking place around the world.

You can access the digital version of "Living Land" via this link to the publisher's website.

Squeaking in just before the end of 2015, our Annual Report for 2014 (1.1MB).
We promise to get next year's report published sooner!  Watch this space.


(This is no ordinary ticket office. Its where you get
tickets for Goedverwacht's annual Snoek en Patat Fees,
an event not to be missed!)


!!! Hot off the press !!!

Participatory Adaptation Handbook : A practitioner's guide for facilitating people centred adaptation to climate change

EMG is part of the consortium responsible for planning, writing and launching this fantastic resource for anyone involved in community-based adaptation work. Download the Participatory Adaptation Handbook here (3.1MB PDF) or contact us for a hard-copy (R100).

Accompanying the book is a set of facilitation cards Experiental Learning for Adaptation (945KB) - an amazing resource for anyone wanting to facilitate a community group.

At the Adaptation Network's last AGM, EMG was elected to host the network. We have also been awarded a grant from the Government of Flanders to make this possible. Exciting things are in the pipeline. Join the Network NOW!!

We're happy to launch an isiXhosa version of our popular basic guide to climate change. We believe it is the only document of its kind, so please copy and share it freely. Download here (430KB). Thanks go to Mpumi Mlalusi and the late Zukiswa Hani.

English and Afrikaans versions are also downloadable. 

Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline:  0800 205 005

The Centre for Environmental Rights  is calling on all partners, concerned citizens and supporters of environmental rights in South Africa to make use of National Government's special 24-hour toll-free hotline to report any concerts about violations of environmental laws.

The Environmental Crimes and Incidents Hotline provides a platform for members of the public to voice their concerns about environmental transgressions. Set up by the Department for Environmental Affairs since 2006, and ,managed by an independent operator, it extends the capability of environmental authorities to detect and tackle non-compliance.

Your call will be answered by trained operators who will issue you with a reference number for your complaint. Any activity that you suspect contravenes an environmental law or regulation can be reported, whether it is about waste dumping, wildlife poaching, water pollution and sanitation services, etc.

Your call ensures that these violations do not go unnoticed and enables Government to measure and act on behalf of everyone's right to an environment not harmful to health or wellbeing.

Your call matters - whether you choose to remain anonymous or not - call the national Environmental Crimes and Incidents Hotline 0800 205 005. 

In an attempt to make EMG's work more visible, we comissioned writers, photographers, graphic artists and web-sepcialists to help us articulate something of the essense of what we do. The result is four Untold Stories which can be accessed with the click of a button! The four stories from four diverse communities include:

Makhaza: ‘This is my Kirstenbosch!’ visits a once litter-strewn wetland in a township outside Cape Town which has become the community’s own botanical pride.

Rebirth in the Ancient Bokkeveld heads into up onto the weather-scoured plateau in the Northern Cape to visit a retired wheat and sheep farm that’s having its work-weary slopes restored to health.

Kobus February & the Place of Thorns is an illustrated story of the fictional character which brings to life the reality of labourers working to grow South Africa’s food.

Frack that is a cut-budget blog in which EMG asks government how it will police pollution caused by a fracking spill.

                                  ...Click here for the link to a  four stories...

Farm workers can now learn more about how they fit into the farming system, how the economy works, and the role of trade in the economy, through direct access to a free online training manual.


The manual was developed for the Association for Fairness in Trade (AFIT) by the Cape Town-based civil society organisation, the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG), as part of their ongoing work to offer training and skills development for small scale farmers and farm workers. 


Read more here... 


A sad farewell to Thabang Ngcozela

All of us at Environmental Monitoring Group, and the wider EMG family, are deeply

saddened at the passing of our dear and esteemed colleague, Thabang Ngcozela.

 Thabang has been an inspiring and deeply respected leader in South Africa’s

environmental justice movement for the past 25 years. He has contributed with

committed, strategic leadership to the many networks he has been a part of, and his

 passionate, politically rigorous, collaborative way of working has brought strength

and integrity to the collective struggle for environmental justice.

Born in the Eastern Cape, Thabang moved to Cape Town in the early 1990’s. He

was a co-founder of Ilitha Lomso and worked there as a youth educator, and through

this work came into contact with the environmental justice movement. He became

the Western Cape coordinator of the Environmental Justice Networking Forum in

around 2001, before joining EMG in 2005. He was a highly skilled network builder,

community development facilitator and organiser around a wide range of

environmental justice issues. Thabang was a founding member of the South African

Water Caucus (SAWC). In recent years he has become a facilitator of ABCD (asset-

based community development) and EDE (Ecovillage Design and Education), and

was inspired to share this approach with his community. Thabang said “As I was

born in the rural Eastern Cape, one of my interests has been to contribute in some

way to the place of my birth. My history of community activism during the apartheid

era further deepened my need to make more of a contribution. When I started

working at EMG, I saw the opportunity to take the work of the organisation back to

 my home”.

Thabang was an integral member of EMG’s water and climate change team. He

 cared passionately about his work and helped build a practice of appreciative

enquiry with his colleagues. Thabang always encouraged us to articulate what

we were grateful for in each other. There are many things we, as colleagues, are

grateful for in Thabang, including his incredible political acumen, his insight into

social processes and his generosity of spirit. We also never (or seldom!) grew tired

of his storytelling and ice-breakers, in particular the story featuring a donkey...

Thabang mentored dozens of young activists, through reading groups, study circles,

drawing them into the networks, finding (or creating) internship opportunities, and

pushing them to find their voice, their confidence and their strength. He was an

extraordinary builder of organisations, and a committed socialist. He was also

curious, open hearted and always integrating new ideas and approaches into his


He moved back to his home village of Ngqwele in 2015, where he has dedicated

himself to implementing community led eco-village design, which he framed as

healing nature and healing ourselves. Speaking about this work, in villages of the

former Ciskei scarred by violence in the dying days of apartheid:

“There is personal healing that people have to go through, there is community

healing that needs to happen, and the relationship between people and the land

needs to heal. Talking to one another is the first step, but doing things for one

another that show our caring also helps”.

Thabang leaves behind a broad community of people who had the privilege of

working alongside him through the course of his life. We will all miss him


Lala ngoxolo Comrade Thabang.

Thabang will be laid to rest on Saturday the 18th of May in Ngqwele, Eastern Cape.

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