NWU student shines at Environmental Law conference

Belinda Bantham -- Wed, 09/16/2020 - 10:36

NWU student shines at Environmental Law conference

North-West University (NWU) law student Nicolene Steyn recently won second prize for best speaker/presentation at the 9th Environmental Law Association (ELA) student’s online conference.

Several NWU law students attended the conference themed “(Re)configuring environmental law amidst Covid-19” and hosted by the University of Pretoria.

NWU students contributed papers on various topics, including mining, green cities, biodiversity, water, ecosystems, and animal rights during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Brews Soyapi says the faculty is extremely proud of her.

“I hope that more students within the faculty and the university as a whole will contribute to this annual conference in the future.

“Students must seize opportunities like these, because the future belongs to them. Whether environmental law scholars or not – how the environment is regulated affects all,” says Dr Soyapi.

He says a high point during the conference was the admission that people often do not see the impact of outbreaks like Covid-19 on the protection of animal rights.

“One of the presenters noted that the origin of Covid-19 can be traced to animals like bats and pangolins sold at illegal markets. One of these animals – the pangolin – is a threatened species.

“In the end, there was consensus that Covid-19 has taught us that dealing with global problems requires an integrated approach to governance, and that environmental law will in future need to be more in touch with ‘on the ground’ concerns such as poverty,” Dr Soyapi adds.

ABOUT THE ELA 

The Environmental Law Association (ELA) is a non-profit organisation that promotes and assists with the development and application of environmental law in South Africa.

The organisation attracts members from different environmentally relevant disciplines, thereby creating an ideal forum for networking and the sharing of information and knowledge in the field of environmental law.

NWU student Nicolene Steyn won second prize for best speaker/presentation during the recent Environmental Law Association (ELA) student’s online conference.