Muna Lakhani - National Co-ordinator
South Africa

Muna Lakhani is an internationally renowned Black South African, who is passionate about matters dealing with the environment, particularly with environmental and social justice. He has a deep respect for all life, and is a strict vegetarian. Although he has studied in many disciplines, he simply considers himself an Environmental Proactionary, meaning that he prefers to tackle problems before they occur!

His areas of expertise include Zero Waste (he is the leading proponent of Zero Waste in Africa); Environmental Impact Assessment / Public Participation; Energy; Toxics; Policy Development; Environmental Economics; Local Economic Development; and general research.

More on Muna

Muna trains people in Zero Waste; Clean Production; Renewable Energy; Sustainable and Organic Agriculture, and other important environmental matters. In his professional capacity, he tries to ensure that companies and government practice the best possible environmental approaches, whether they are doing an Environmental Impact Assessment, or developing a Waste Management Strategy. He has carried out Environmental Impact Assessments; Public Participation; Policy Development; International Best Practice implementation and training; Developing sound waste management and emission minimisation strategies and solutions; presents papers at various local, national and international fora, from New Zealand to California. He has also advised members of various governments, and government processes, such as Norway, Australia and others.

Muna has presented papers from New Zealand to the USA, and is a sought after speaker at environmental conferences, from the Durban Chamber of Business, to the Local Governments for Sustainability International Congress (ICLEI), he has spoken at too many different local, national and international fora to mention. He appears on television, radio and print media on a regular, even monthly, basis. The list is too long to capture herein.

In his position of National Co-ordinator for IZWA (the Institute for Zero Waste in Africa), he is concerned with issues of pollution avoidance and sustainable development, particularly with local and localised economies.

Policy Contributions and Expertise

The following are Muna's major contributions since the advent of democracy in South Africa:

  • CONNEP - Tabled as The National Policy on Environmental Management and now the National Environmental Management Act (both national and provincial involvement – member of KZN Task Team to launch the process - as well as attendances and submissions at various workshops / conferences).
  • Integrated Pollution and Waste Management Policy - National and provincial involvement (working groups, ran workshops and various submissions). Healthcare risk waste and other processes.
  • KZN Waste Management Policy - Steering Committee and Drafting Team member, as well as facilitating capacity building workshops.
  • Ex-Chair: KZN Waste Minimisation, Re-use and Recycling Forum
  • Involvement in the Pietermaritzburg-Msundusi Local Government transitional process, under the banner of the Greater Pietermaritzburg Environmental Coalition.
  • Ex-Chair: Committee on Pollution, Pietermaritzburg.
  • Research into other legislation, including international, regional and local, for comment and submission to various processes, including the Constitution of South Africa, specifically UN workshops on the environmental clause.
  • Member: World Humanity Action Trust - Morroco conference - only South African delegate
  • Member: OECD Green Goods conference, Norway - only African member
  • Member: Environment Working Group - Dept. of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology FORESIGHT project
  • Presented a seminar on SA Environmental Policy to business and industry.
  • Informing and training of the Hammarsdale Waste Minimisation Club, involving multiple industries, from Board level to shop floor.
  • Volunteer environmental activist for Earthlife Africa, including assisting and supporting initiatives regarding the training of youth in the inner city (Joint Enrichment Project) assisting in keeping youth away from a life of crime; capacity building of local communities such as in Soweto (ELA Zero Waste Project; etc). Energy, Toxics and Waste are areas of expertise.
  • Member: Workshop for developing a National Strategy for Sustainable Development.
  • Member: NGO grouping involved in Rio + 10 ( World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002.) Civil society representative to Bali Prepcom.
  • Project manager: Zero Waste Project, World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) Johannesburg 2002: Designed and implemented most successful waste management project in the entire World Summit process.
  • Founding member and steering committee member - Zero Waste International Alliance
  • Advisor to Local Government on Economic Development – eThekwini Municipality (Renewable Energy, Materials Recovery, Marine Technology, Green Chemistry) renewable energy research and production of the Renewable Energy Technology framework
  • Member – Scientific Committee – R'05 - Beijing
  • Steering Committee and co-drafter: Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism's Cleaner Production and Sustainable Consumption process.
  • Founder, Institute for Zero Waste in Africa
  • Founder Member – Environmental Learning Forum (ELF)
  • Founder – eThekwini (Durban) Resource Recovery Forum
  • Member – Imagine Durban project
  • Project member: Western Cape Recycling Economy Study
  • Project Designer: Cato Manor Area Based Management Programme, Durban Municipality (biodigestion, renewable energy, aquaculture, mushroom, organic production, value adding in urban agriculture)
  • Zero Waste advisor – Marikana community housing development by Lonmin
  • Currently completing research for the UNEP DDT/malaria and Waste Incineration project.
  • Production of Status Quo report for the City of Cape Town’s Wastewise project.
  • Project manager: City of eThekwini Biodiesel from Algae pilot
  • Project manager: Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) agri-business assessment process, with a specific mandate to identify Best Practice.
  • Zero Waste support for DS Leathers ( a new planned leather tannery in East London) with a view to moving the proposed process to a Zero Waste one.
  • Co-leader: SANERI research project on improving energy systems with renewable energy and tariff reform, in partnership with the University of KZN
  • Project leader: CIDA funded project to assist in the protection of farmworkers from harmful effects of pesticides, while enhancing food security and commercial food production through Zero Waste methodologies.
  • Project Leader – review of DEAT 5 year strategy.


Muna is the National Co-ordinator for the Institute for Zero Waste in Africa (IZWA) as ell as a member of Earthlife Africa (a volunteer driven environmental activist NGO since 1988), and has led their anti-nuclear campaign, anti-incinerator, and Zero Waste campaigns; involved in various toxics campaigns, as well as in various Government policy development processes, from participant to drafter.

He writes for publications as far afield as Germany, and is a regular guest on many different media, including radio, TV and the internet.

Muna is also a musician, who plays percussion, bass guitar and some guitar. He also writes songs every now and then.

He loves cooking (cooks most days!), enjoys fine wine, and sometimes does a bit of food gardening. He reads everyday, and loves listening to live original music.

Contact details:
Cell: 0834717276

Postal Address: P.O.Box 18042, Wynberg 7824,
Cape Town