Environmental Management in South Africa Second Edition – 2009

Author: Editors, H A Strydom & ND King
Publisher: Juta, Cape Town
Pages: 1142, HDBK
ISBN: 978-0-7021-8134-4

Professor Hennie Strydom and Dr Nick King took on the monumental task of producing a second revised and updated edition of the seminal Fuggle & Rabie “Environmental Management in South Africa” tome. This task involved organising and editing some 41 authors into a 1142 page reference work.

The book is excellent and is the most comprehensive coverage of environmental law in South Africa at the present time. That is the problem – things will change and this book will become quickly outdated. Having said that, the lack of consolidated reference work since the first edition in 1992 is reason enough for this edition. This is probably a perfect example of a book that needs to be Internet-based so that it can be regularly updated.

The 28 chapters cover the vast majority of environmental issues that one is likely to come across in South Africa and thus it must be a feature on the shelves of SHE and Sustainability Managers. It is not an easy book to work with: It is complex, detailed and in places, overly academic but then again, there are few reference books that ARE easy reads.

The authors who wrote the chapters are experts in their fields and have invested considerable time and effort in ensuring that the topics are detailed and in-depth discourses.

This is not the place to pick at what might or might not have been included. There is a little bit of everything in this book. However, my own current interests revolve around environmental auditing and that is weak in this book. The choice is always what do you put in and what do you leave out? I have no doubt that there were chapters that had to be cut back by the editors and I suspect that the publishers did not really want 1142 pages…

I think there is a place for a lighter, easier and more readily navigable environmental management handbook for practitioners and managers. I hope that we may see something that can fit that mould in the not too distant future.

Highly Recommended. An absolute “must” for Environmental and Sustainability practitioners and managers, both in private practice and in the corporate and governmental sectors.