V. ASSESSMENT OF TRAINING AND INFORMATION NEEDS
B. Information needs
2. Information dissemination
Currently, the only mechanism for disseminating Department of Environment and Conservation information among the general public is through the National Gazette and newspapers. That form of information dissemination is only undertaken in connection with the environmental assessment process when details of environmental plans are required by law to be publicized. This study considers the current system to be inadequate. In fact, regular publication of information about environmental planning and the assessment process is required. This could be done through regular columns in the national and provincial newspapers. Alternatively, consideration could be given to the publication of a newsletter. The Department of Environment and Conservation would be the appropriate agency to host such a publication. The regular flow of information to both developers and the local community would help to clarify issues and provide necessary information. The information flow should be a two-way process, allowing communities and the private sector to interact with the policy makers. That approach would raise environmental awareness, minimize social conflict and tensions, and assist developers in complying with regulations and standards.