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save the rhino on world rhino day

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2011-09-22 12:09

Today (22 Sept 2011) is World Rhino Day and non-profits, business and individuals have come together to raise greater public awareness of the plight of the rhino and also galvanise the action needed to prevent this majestic beast from extinction due to non-sensical consumer demand and human greed.

Rhino poaching has increased by a staggering amount in the last three years. From 2009 to date around 750 animals have been brutally slaughtered for their horns.

According to the WWF, South Africa has lost 287 rhinos in 2011, including at least 16 critically endangered black rhinos. South Africa is home to most of the worlds rhinos and has increased protection for rhino's by stepping up prosecutions and handing down stricter sentances to criminals.

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mining at mapungubwe contrary to spirit of international agreement

Submitted by incoming on Wed, 2011-09-07 10:23

Abraham Ramonwana, head guide at Tuli Safari Lodge says: “if a mine develops in South Africa, it’s also going to affect Botswana and Zimbabwe”.

The authorisation given to an Australian company called Coal of Africa Limited (CoAL) to construct an open-cast and underground coal mine, called the Vele Colliery, just outside of the boundaries of the Mapungubwe National Park will affect this fragile natural harmony. To Abraham, "mining and industry is a short term plan, tourism is a long-term plan."

Like many others, Abraham believes that the Mapungubwe region should be preserved and protected from the impacts of infrastructural development, and allowed to remain pristine for generations to come.

Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site is managed by South African National Parks (SANParks) and its partners. The Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area is being developed based on the stipulations of a Memorandum of Understanding between Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe that was signed on 22 June 2006. These are officially mandated programmes in which the South African government, the province and private sector have invested. With the official opening of the

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thumbs up for the broccoli project

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2011-09-05 13:35

Did you know that you can buy a booklet of four Broccoli vouchers from Pick n Pay? Each of these is worth R5 and you can use them instead of cash to give to those in need.

So, next time you're at a robot...

If this is old news to you, then ignore this blog, but it is news to me. And a refreshing one.

You give your voucher to someone who wants money. They can then exchange the Broccoli voucher at any Pick n Pay for basic goods (no cell phone recharge, alcohol or cigarettes).

Pick n Pay gets paid for used food vouchers

a spring filled with awesomeness!

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2011-09-01 14:43

Awesome treeplantistas, GreenpopAwesome treeplantistas, GreenpopIt's spring! Although the spring equinox is not until later this month (23rd), spring in South Africa is commonly celebrated on 1st September as Spring Day.

Our garden is surging with new growth at this time of year. We have strawberries, borage, apricot, spring onion, broad beans and of course those sunny nasturtiums all in flower. The fig tree has sent out it's first leaves and is already setting fruit and the lemon tree is full of tiny flower buds.

I've cleaned out the shed and am ready to get down to some serious seed showing. September really is the month for starting up new projects, shaking off that winter slumber and making time for something new. Something about new leaves and turning them over?

Along with renewed gardening endeavours another spring project is to do our annual eco audit and check out how SA's carbon calculators are shaping up since we last went through this exercise.

September is also abundantly full of awesome environmental events to check out, not least of which is Arbor day (today!). Thought I'd provide a roundup:

1 Sept National Arbor Day, Week, Month
Treeplantistas of the world unite. In South Africa, Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1983. In 1999, the celebration of Arbour Day was extended to National Arbor Week. It is now celebrated for the entire month of September. Look out for Greenpop and Food & Tree for Africa initiatives happening around the country this month. Join them or plant your

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wessa: 85 years of service to environment, honours hero's

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-08-26 12:42

2011 Wessa Awards2011 Wessa AwardsThe Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) celebrates its 85th birthday this year. It was founded in 1926 (when my Grandpa was 7) and is one of SA's oldest and largest membership-based NGO's. WESSA does seriously good work protecting the environment by acting as a watchdog and educator through it's various projects which span biodiversity, waste, water, energy conservation, voluntary social change and legal compliance.

At a special event last week they honoured outstanding individuals and groups for their contribution to SA conservation and education. I thought I'd share with you some of the projects and people that stepped up for an award.

Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG)
They need no introduction for those following the fracking fiasco. Wessa acknowledged Jonathan Deal for his "tenacity and devotion" to the Karoo and his tireless work rallying support around "what represents true and timeless value in a world where quick profit drives many actions".

Friends groups
Wessa and "Friends" groups are synonymous in my mind. Friends groups care for a particular conserved environment and are an opportunity for members of

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changing the realm of the possible: yvo de boer on cop 17

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-08-22 09:44

Yvo de Boer before working at KPMG Photo: Simon WedegeYvo de Boer before working at KPMG Photo: Simon Wedege

Yvo De Boer, the Special Global Advisor on Climate Change and Sustainability for KPMG, and the ex- executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Converntion on Climate Change (UNFCCC), briefed the media this week ahead of COP 17 happening in Durban at the end of the year. He gave insight into the business perspective of climate change issues, environmental management and green branding.

de Boer on COP 17
For de Boer the key issue at COP 17 will be that of the future of the Kyoto protocol. It seems that climate negotiations cannot continue without a universally accepted agreement stipulating targets for countries and measures to monitor the environmental behaviour of countries.

The Protocol has been a stumbling block with regard climate negotiations since its inception in 1994. The key issue is whether emissions targets should

mapungubwe under threat: mining will offend our ancestors

Submitted by incoming on Tue, 2011-08-02 12:41

Government recently granted mining rights to an Australian company to mine next to Mapungubwe, a World Heritage Site. Support the coalition group (including EWT, Birdlife Africa, WWF, Peace Parks foundation) opposing the mine at or

Vele Neluvhalani thinks mining near Mapungubwe will be “an offence to our ancestors” and believes that on a fundamental level, people have always been connected to the earth, visible by the traces they leave behind, like the ancient rock art on the sandstone outcrops in Mapungubwe.

Neluvhalani feels a deep connection to this ancient place, because his ancestors lived there thousands of years before him. He is bound to the area not only by

being an african environmentalist - reflections from the bluebuck youth summit

Submitted by sproutscout on Mon, 2011-07-25 13:08

The Brass Wood-Screw -Photo: Jonathan JonesThe Brass Wood-Screw -Photo: Jonathan Jones
The BlueBuck Network held its first annual Youth Summit in Grahamstown recently, attracting young environmentalists throughout Southern Africa. Emily (aka SproutScout) was challenged and inspired as she travelled to Grahamstown to get a feel for the green youth.

“Can anyone tell me what this is?,” asks Lawrence Sisitka, holding up a small nail-looking object between his thumb and forefinger. “A brass wood-screw,” he answers after a few seconds of silence from the unhelpful audience. “I live a fairly sustainable life,” he elaborates “I grow my own food, I harvest rainwater, I husband cattle; yet I still rely on these tiny objects for functioning in every-day life.” Sisitka uses the example to challenge the audience; to illustrate the nuts and bolts of what a 'green lifestyle' would look like. This simple wood-screw

explore the oceans at the national arts fest

Submitted by sproutscout on Thu, 2011-07-07 19:13

Curtain of Crocheted CoralCurtain of Crocheted Coral

Slip into a small room in the corner of the Rhodes ELRC to find a momentary escape from the chatter and buzz of national arts fest, and explore the coral reef and ‘marine life’ you find yourself surrounded by. This exhibition, Reflection Synthetic, a collaboration between Simon Max Bannister and Woodstock Art Reef Project (WARP) explores the beauty of coral reefs, and craftily demonstrates the threats that reefs face.

hope in a changing climate on world day to combat desertification

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2011-06-17 11:02

Today is "World Day to Combat Desertification" which the UN uses to "sensitise the public and policy makers to the increasing dangers of desertification, land degradation and drought for the international community".

This year the slogan, "Forests keep drylands working" is used to tie into awareness of 2011 being the "Year of the Forest" and to recognise the impact dryland forests can have on halting and reversing desertification.

Check out the amazing Hope in a Changing Climate by Jon Liu which was a winner in the International Forest Film Festival's Issues & Solutions category.

Liu shows how massive areas that were damaged by

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