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Public participation for environmental governance - Zoom webinar


The causes and consequences of environmental harm can be limited through inclusive, equitable public participation, but how should this be implemented?

Despite a widespread recognition of the extensive benefits of public participation in the planning and decision-making process, the process is often met with scepticism, indifference and poor execution. This webinar course will deliver a thorough grounding in the fundamental principles and best practice techniques for effective public participation in environmental governance. Participants will gain an overview of historical perspectives, the South African legislative and regulatory framework, international trends and a new vision for participatory democracy in environmental decision making.

Join us for a fifteen-hour immersive learning experience, held over five days, enabling you to examine your own challenges and to apply insights, skills and knowledge in the planning and implementing of effective public engagement strategies.


This course has not been scheduled for this year.

Check out our Course Overview page to see all our current courses.

Course outline

Topics will include:

  • Dissecting participatory democracy and social capital: An overview of the foundational principles of public participation in environmental governance
  • A global perspective with reference to key international conventions
  • Enabling legal mechanisms - understanding your legal obligations
  • Lessons from the international arena - success stories and common mistakes
  • A review of the essential elements of effective public participation: guidelines to overcome obstacles and integrate best practice solutions
  • Addressing stakeholder conflict - tools for dispute resolution and consensus-building
  • International trends - gearing up for public-powered planning and decision making in environmental governance


  • Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the key elements of meaningful public participation.
  • Learn skills and techniques to avoid costly mistakes and damaging community conflict.
  • Identify where public input is required, desired or possible.
  • Acquire the know-how to assess and assemble the desired skills and needed resources for the appropriate level of public participation.
  • Build trust with all stakeholders, incorporating public values and knowledge into resource planning and management.
  • Critically evaluate which international trends and practices to incorporate into your organisation's culture, policies and operational systems.
  • Confidently engage civil society and successfully address challenges, especially in underserved communities.
  • Shift from regulatory-driven compliance to proactive, innovative multi-stakeholder collaboration.
  • Convincingly articulate the imperative for sustainable development to shareholders.
  • Gain new perspectives regarding the triple bottom line.

Who will benefit from this course?

Anyone responsible for planning and executing stakeholder engagement processes, including:

  • Those involved in development planning and decision-making
  • Government officials responsible for public participation co-ordination and implementation
  • Stakeholder engagement outreach co-ordinators to environmental assessment practitioners
  • Risk, HES /SHEQ and compliance officers and managers
  • Public and private sector change agents
  • Environmental governance and sustainability stewards and leaders
  • Non-profits and community organisations


Jennifer Kamerman graduated from UCT with an LLB in 1985. Thereafter, she enjoyed l7 years in corporate retail, gaining broad-based experience and skills in commercial law, business organisation, leadership and governance, at a senior level. In 2009, Jennifer was awarded an LLM in environmental law from UCT, enabling her to professionally pursue her commitment to environmental justice and sustainable development. Jennifer keenly advocates for environmental leadership that comprehensively integrates sustainability into business practice as integral to attaining the new paradigm for competitive advantage. Further, she is an internationally accredited mediator who has experience in facilitating collaborative solution-building in multi­-stakeholder environmental disputes. In addition, Jennifer has successfully run her own business, has consulted on employment equity and diversity management, has originated products and marketing campaigns and is the founder and current Chair of a rural NGO. Jennifer is actively involved in several environmental justice, social transformation and civic initiatives. Currently, Jennifer Kamerman is self-employed and provides legal expertise and strategic direction to communities seeking to effectively address threats to the environment.

How much?



A certificate of participation from UCT will be issued to those who attend all five sessions of the course. Please note that certificates can only be issued after the lockdown has ended.



This course has been approved by IoDSA.