ACER Africa: Making a difference and enhancing environmental values
With increasing pressures on the environment, many African countries have promulgated rigorous environmental legislation to protect the environment from unsustainable development. ACER Africa Environmental Consultants has been working in the environmental field within the SADC region for 28 years and has extensive experience in several sectors, including water and agriculture
The Acer team are specialists in Environmental & Social Impact Studies
ACER Africa Environmental Screening
Screening, at the earliest stage in the environmental assessment process, using readily available information, provides the opportunity to consider a wide range of alternatives, at a macro level of detail. Typically, these include different land uses, development approaches, types of activities, timing, scales and locations to select the most favourable alternatives while eliminating obvious non-starters. It also identifies key environmental issues (risks, opportunities and benefits) that should inform the future planning and design of the proposed development.
Screening ensures that environmental opportunities and risks can be fully integrated into the design process, optimizing benefits and minimising risks. It is important to note that while beneficial, screening is not usually part of environmental licensing. This is because screening does not quantify environmental issues; nevertheless, it provides a solid base from which environmental licensing can commence. At ACER, we believe that environmental screening is a valuable tool often overlooked by developers at their expense (financial and time-related costs).
ACER Africa Agricultural Developments and Agri-processing Facilities
ACER has a long history in assisting farmers and developers in obtaining environmental licenses for new agricultural ventures or the refurbishment of existing schemes and facilities (including the development of virgin ground and the construction of agricultural processing facilities). Recent projects include a 1,000 ha irrigated sugar cane development (Mkuze, South Africa), a Marula processing facility (Manguzi, South Africa) and screening for a 40,000 sugar development (production and processing) (Kabalo, Democratic Republic of Congo). Excluding Kabalo which was a screening exercise, for these types of developments, ACER has fulfilled the role of environmental consultant obtaining all permits (water use, heritage, protected plants and trees, etc.) required for project implementation.
Marula Processing Facility
Resettlement and Damage Compensation
For 23 years, ACER has provided resettlement and damage compensation services in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Resettlement is arguably the single most important negative impact associated with development in Africa and, therefore, must be handled sensitively and according to the customs of the local communities. With 23 years’ experience, ACER is well-placed to assist developers where resettlement is required for their proposed developments.
Assessment of resettlement & damage compensation
Resettlement registration process
Water Use Licenses
Southern Africa has a deficiency in water resources and with increasing pressures on these water resources, the sustainable supply of water is a critical factor in the success of any agricultural development. With current legislation tightening across the SADC region, ACER has extensive experience in undertaking water use license applications for a range of developments including agricultural developments, service infrastructure and commercial ventures. Apart from licensing, ACER has undertaken several assessments for water infrastructure (large storage dams, farm dams, weirs, canals and pump stations). Currently, ACER is involved in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project as a specialist advisor to the client
Environmental rehabilitation projects
ACER is well-versed with the requirements of international safeguards published by the likes of the World Bank Operational Policies, International Finance Corporation Performance Standards, African Development Bank Guidelines and Procedures and the Equator Principles. We have applied these requirements to several projects, for example, a current investigation into large irrigation development in Zimbabwe and in resettlement planning in Mozambique
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