22 January, 2008
21 January, 2008
will include an evening course for the public on climate change,
impacts, vulnerability and adaptation."
The course runs Monday 28 Jan - Friday 1 Feb in the Leslie Social Sciences Building, LT2, UCT Upper Campus at 18:00 each evening to allow people to attend after work.
Lecturers will include IPCC authors Prof Harald Winkler (UCT) and Dr Guy Midgley (SANBI/UCT), as well as Dr Gina Ziervogel (UCT/Stockholm Environment Institute), Mr Arthur Chapman (CSIR), Dr Phoebe Barnard (SANBI/UCT), and the MEC of Environment, Planning and Economic Development for the Western Cape, Ms Tasneem Essop.
All wishing to attend should register with the UCT Centre for Extra-Mural Studies at:
021 650 2888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on the program, see below or p. 45 of the 2008 Summer School Brochure on the UCT website.
As noted below, Arthur Chapman's talk on water resources will now be given on Wednesday 30 Jan, and the one on ecosystems and biodiversity by Guy Midgley and Phoebe Barnard on Thursday 31 Jan (contrary to the programme as listed in the brochure).
UCT SUMMER SCHOOL 2008
*Transforming society to cope with climate change * vulnerability, impacts & adaptation*
28 January * 1 February 2008
Dr Phoebe Barnard
barnard at sanbi.org
Tel (021) 799 8722 during working hours
Course development officer (UCT):
janet.small at uct.ac.za
Tel: (021) 650 4088 or (021) 650 2888 during working hours
Fax: 021 650 2893.
Course venue: Leslie Social Sciences LT2
Course time slot: 6 pm
Monday 28 Jan 2008
Dr Harald Winkler (Energy Research Centre, UCT)
"Science, politics and the SA context of climate change"
Tuesday 29 Jan
Dr Gina Ziervogel (Climate Systems Analysis Group, UCT)
"Landscapes, livelihoods, natural resources and adaptation - what climate change may bring for Africa"
Wednesday 30 Jan
Mr Arthur Chapman (CSIR, Stellenbosch)
"Vulnerability and adaptation in the economy, the water sector, commercial agriculture, human health, and impacts on freshwater and coastal environments"
Thursday 31 Jan
Dr Phoebe Barnard and Dr Guy Midgley (South African National Biodiversity Institute) - "Vulnerability and adaptation of terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity to climate change in southern Africa"
Friday 1 Feb
Ms Tasneem Essop (Minister of Environment, Planning and Economic Development, Western Cape, or delegate)
"Putting knowledge into practical action: what*s happening in the Western Cape?"
SOME USEFUL LINKS:
Southern African Bird Atlas:
Climate change & birds:
03 October, 2007
11 September, 2007
WORLD COMMUNITY GRID TO HELP BUILD MODELS THAT WILL AID IN UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE
Last week I attended the launch, at UCT, of a most interesting South African Climate Change project.
Now your own PC can be used, while you are not using it, to assist in climate data processing to improve the reliability of climate change modeling for South Africa.
See the "AfricanClimate@Home" link at www.worldcommunitygrid.org
Please read on.
Capetown, South Africa, September 3, 2007 . . . IBM and the Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG) at the University of Cape Town (Bruce Hewitson) launched a global computing effort to improve regional climate models in order to make better projections about what effects a changing climate will have in Africa.
Climate change is of grave concern in all areas, but in developing regions such as Africa, the impact will be more acute because of the lack of access to healthcare and other social services. Widespread floods, for example, can lead to water borne illness and related diseases such as dengue fever or malaria, which are spread by infected mosquitoes that thrive in water. Droughts can have devastating effects as well by bringing on pervasive food shortages.
By making better predictions about how global climate change might realistically affect regions of Africa, resource managers can start to make decisions that might alleviate the adverse effects. For example, they could begin planning an irrigation infrastructure or promoting appropriate drought resistant crops. The project, “AfricanClimate@Home,” will use the vast computational power of World Community Grid, a virtual supercomputer comprised of hundreds of thousands of individuals who donate their unused computer time, making it as powerful as one of the world’s top five supercomputers. Researchers will use the computational power of World Community Grid to improve the models used to predict the climate by conducting simulations in small regions of Africa and then checking them against real observations.
While large-scale global climate models provide people with a general idea of what the climate may be like over a wide area, they do not necessarily reflect what will happen in a particular region because the global models do not sufficiently take into account large lakes, mountains, or plains that can affect the local climate.
Lead researcher Dr. Mark Tadross, says, “Making predictions about the climate requires an enormous amount of computational power because of all of the variables, such as temperature, wind, pressure, and humidity. In order to improve the models, we need to come up with better algorithms that will more closely match what is observed in a local area. By using World Community Grid, we have the computational power necessary to run the tests we need to improve our models.”
Once researchers have access to models that more accurately predict regional weather patterns, they can then begin to run forecasts about how global climate changes may affect the region. People can then use the data to make management decisions related to agriculture and water resources. This is important in an area of the world that is still developing and often does not have adequate infrastructure. Forewarning any potentially dramatic changes in climate, especially those related to extreme events such as droughts and floods, can enable vulnerable communities and disaster management teams to act in advance of the climatic hazard.
“We can all have a profound effect on this research by simply by donating our unused computer cycle time,” said Stanley Litow, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. “If you own a computer and can access the Internet, then you can be a part of the solution".
To donate your unused computer time to this project, you can register on www.worldcommunitygrid.org and install a free, small software program on to your computer/s. When computers are idle, for example people are at lunch, their computers request data from World Community Grid’s server. These computers then perform climate modeling computations using this data, and send the results back to the server, prompting it for a new piece of work. A screen saver will tell individuals when their computers are being used.
World Community Grid, the largest public humanitarian grid in existence, has an impressive 315,000-plus members and links more than 700,000 computers. However, it’s estimated that there will be one billion computers worldwide by 2008, underscoring the potential for the grid and its computational power to significantly expand and make an even greater impact on a range of humanitarian issues.
Seven projects have been run on World Community Grid to date, including "FightAIDS@Home", which completed five years of HIV/AIDS research in just six months. Additional projects are in the pipeline.
Let's support CSAG and have as many South Africans as possible signing up to the World Community Grid "ClimateChange@Home" project and see if we can lead the world in regional climate modeling.
07 June, 2007
Click on the links below to download the presentations and documents from the Western Cape Renewable Energy and Climate Change Summit held at the CTICC, Cape Town 7-8 June 2007
Correlate these presentations with the Summit Programme
DAY 1 - 7 JUNE 2007 - Renewable Energy
Mark Borchers ppt 4.35MB
Ronald Chauke ppt 304KB
Adam Gordon ppt 192KB
Mark Gordon ppt 7.7MB
Daniel Modise ppt 385KB
Raudiyah Sahabodien pps 8.9MB
Brian Sechotlho ppt 2045KB
Nicola Steen ppt 14.11MB
M Visage ppt 771KB
SANERI presentation to RE and CC Summit in CT 070607 ppt 579KB
NERSA Licensing Rules RE Summit 20070607 ppt 175KB
NERSA Regulatory Support RE Summit 20070606 ppt 182KB
Today the National Minister, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, delivered his budget speech
Professor Wikus van Niekerk of the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies of the University of Stellenbosch drew delegates attention to a regular discussion forum hosted by the Centre relating to Renewable and Sustainable Energy issues.
Here is the Draft Sustainable Energy Strategy pdf 16.6MB (Note: this is a full colour pdf of the printed document)
Queen Protea, Protea magnifica,
on the slopes of Milner Ridge Peak,
Hex River Mountains
At the end of the day MEC Essop's office issued the following press statement:
MEC Essop commits to bold actions to accelerate Renewable Energy initiatives in the Western Cape
Yesterday in Cape Town delivering the first day closure of the Provincial Government’s Renewable Energy and Climate Change Summit, MEC Tasneem Essop acknowledged the contributions, gaps, opportunities and challenges raised by all the stakeholders present.
This summit was held to create an enabling environment to promote dialogue between stakeholders and government in order to activate the renewable energy sector within the Western Cape.
The MEC summarized the day’s proceedings and committed to a range of immediate actions.
Essop offered that her Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning would facilitate a process to understand barriers and constraints to implementing Renewable Energy projects.
The Department will develop a document readily available to provide information to prospective RE developers to explain the regulatory processes involved in implementing Renewable Energy projects. The pamphlet will also include information about incentives and provide specific contact details.
Essop also recognized the urgent need to build smart capacity in government departments, municipalities and other relevant organs of state to efficiently manage Renewable Energy project implementation.
Furthermore, she committed to facilitate the roll-out of the short-term actions identified in the recently finalized Western Cape Sustainable Energy Strategy and establish a Renewable Energy networking forum to regularly debate Renewable Energy issues between all stakeholders including government.
Cognizant of urgent climate change adaptation and mitigation imperatives, Essop announced that she will take the initiative to develop a Renewable Energy Act for the Western Cape in consultation with her national and provincial counterparts.
In conclusion Essop offered to investigate and promote the creation of funding opportunities for small and medium Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency projects, and facilitate skills development programmes within the Renewable Energy sector (such as installation and maintenance of solar water geysers), where there is currently a shortage of such skills.
083 555 4150
DAY 2 - 8 JUNE 2007 - Climate Change
There is an earlier post on this blog where you can download draft copies of the Western Cape Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan and Supplimentary Reports
Belynda Petrie ppt 4.7MB - Presentation on the Western Cape Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan
01 June, 2007
Ms Tasneem Essop, the Western Cape Minister of Environment, Planning and Economic Development, has extended an invitation to participate in the Renewable Energy and Climate Change Summit on 7 and 8 June 2007 in Cape Town during World Environment Week hosted by her Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.
The Provincial Government of the Western Cape has set a target of 15% of energy production from renewable sources by 2014. The first day of the summit is mainly a business and renewable energy investment forum and exhibition to stimulate the implementation of renewable energy projects in the province.
The second day of the summit focuses primarily on the Draft Western Cape Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan. A wide range of national and provincial stakeholders are invited to participate. There will be an address by the honourable Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of the National Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Premier of the Western Cape on this vital issue. The climate change segment of the summit addresses the impacts of climate change on the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society.
Register for the Summit online. (The number of delegates is limited so to avoid disappointment please register and do not just pitch up on the day)
The Draft Western Cape Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and Supplimentary Reports are now available online on the Western Cape Climate Change Project Website.
There will be ongoing opportunities to engage with the department in finalising the report after the Western Cape Renewable Energy and Climate Change Summit to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 7 and 8 June 2007 - for further information consult this blog regularly. Click on the link to the Sumit above to register online.
18 May, 2007
Why? Because time is running out. We need to be debating how to achieve the drastic cuts in CO2 emissions that are required to reduce our impact on the climate, not wasting time endlessly rehashing a debate that was largely settled half a century ago.
11 May, 2007
For immediate release
STATEMENT BY THE OFFICE OF MARTHINUS VAN SCHALKWYK, MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM, 4 MAY 2007
Threatened and Protected Species Regulations -
to come into force on 1 February 2008
On the 20th of February 2007, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, announced the new Threatened and Protected Species Regulations. After presentations by some Provincial MECs around challenges in implementing these regulations by 1 June 2007, the Minister has decided that these regulations will come into force on 1 February 2008.
No further postponement will be considered. The Minister would like to call on all stakeholders to ensure that they are ready for the implementation on 1 February 2008. In the interim, applicants are encouraged to apply for registration of facilities, as well as for elephant ivory, and for possession permits of, for example, cycad species. Even though permits will only be issued after 1 February, early submission of applications will avoid congestion and aid compliance.
Enquiries: Riaan Aucamp - 083 778 9923
Below are the specific venues for the information seminars on Threatened or Protected species regulations. Copies of the regulations as well as the implementation guidelines are obtainable from Amanda Dana (see contact details below).
Venue: Queen Elizabeth Park
Date & Time: 10 May 2007 (Government officials only)- 14h00-16h00
Date & Time: 11 May 2007 (Stakeholders and the General Public)- 09h00
Venue: CSIR- Ruby Auditorium
Date: 14 May 2007
Venue: Grahamstown Foundation-Thomas Pringle
Date: 15 May 2007
Venue: Cape Sun
Date: 16 May 2007
Venue: Bains Game Lodge
Date: 17 May 2007
Venue: Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA)- Auditorium
Date: 18 May 2007
Venue: Oasis Lodge
Date: 21 May 2007
Venue: Langberg Gasteplaas
Date: 22 May 2007
(from whom further information and copies of the regulations and an implementation guideline can be obtained)
+27 12 310 3969
20 March, 2007
Consultant Database Listing
C.A.P.E. Fine-scale Biodiversity Planning Project
C.A.P.E. is a partnership programme, hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), that seeks to conserve and restore the biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Region and adjacent marine environment, while delivering significant benefits to the people of the region. Component 5 of the C.A.P.E. programme, which deals with establishing the foundations of the biodiversity economy to enhance conservation stewardship in key lowland landscapes, consists of four sub-components. This project constitutes sub-component 5.1, i.e. Undertaking fine-scale biodiversity planning in five broad priority areas namely the Riversdale Coastal Plain, Nieuwoudtville, Upper Breede River Valley, North West Sandveld and the Saldanha Peninsula. The Fine-scale Biodiversity Planning Project is a four year project, (May 2005 – December 2009), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). CapeNature has been appointed as the lead implementing agency for the fine-scale biodiversity planning project and will be working in close partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute and other project partners such as provincial departments and agencies, local authorities, planning and environmental consultants and local conservation NGOs.
The services of a number of consultants will be required during the production of these English and Afrikaans land-and resource-use guidelines which are to be associated with these conservation maps and plans. These services include:
A Guidelines Manager: To produce land-and resource-use guidelines to be associated with the conservation plans and maps;
A Guidelines Text Editor;
A Guidelines Designer; and
An English/Afrikaans translator.
Interested consultants are invited to register their interest in any of the above short term contracts related to the project by providing CV’s indicating relevant skills, qualifications and experience together with a covering letter to the Project Co-ordinator, Kerry te Roller at email@example.com by 26 March 2007. Specific Terms of Reference will be provided after registration.
I recently listened to a podcast, 'theWatt, episode 70' that dealt with the impact of livestock on the environment, icluding energy issues of producing various foods. This is an interesting podcast dealing with energy issues.
They mentioned a very interesting report, 'Livestock's long shadow', on the subject.
Summary: This report aims to assess the full impact of the livestock sector on environmental problems, along with potential technical and policy approaches to mitigation. The assessment is based on the most recent and complete data available, taking into account direct impacts, along with the impacts of feed crop agriculture required for livestock production.
The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency. Major reductions in impact could be achieved at reasonable cost.
By the way my other favourite podcasts include the NewScientist podcast and Scientific American podcast and on a lighter note More Hip than Hippie
17 March, 2007
A really interesting talk and very interesting discussion with the audience afterwards
You can download the actual report and associated reviews here
Passing through Johannesburg International Airport (O.R. Tambo Airport) was the evidence of last weekend's Cape Argus Cycle Race - boxes and boxes of bicycles transported free by SAA on the new cut rate airline Mango
This year just over 30 000 cyclists from around the globe participated in the world's largest timed cycle race, including familiar names and faces like Nicholas Laidler, Francois Pienaar and tandem partner, Lucas Radebe, as well as Tour de France greats, Greg LeMond, Jan Ullrich and Steven Rooks.
10 March, 2007
08 March, 2007
Course dates: Monday 7 May to Friday 11 May 2007
Rhodes University's Departments of Environmental Science and Botany, in conjunction with Coastal & Environmental Services (CES), are offering another short course on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedures at Rhodes University, Grahamstown during May 2007.
For more information on this course, please obtain a brochure (in pdf format) and registration form (Word document) from the contact person below.
Please forward this information to anybody you feel may be interested in attending a course in Environmental Impact Assessment procedures.
Should you have any queries about this EIA short course, please contact :
Short course coordinator
Coastal & Environmental Services
P O Box 934
6140, South Africa
Tel: 046-622 4455
Fax: 046-622 6564
07 March, 2007
In January 2007, the Department appointed Susie Brownlie (deVilliers Brownlie Associates), together with Mark Botha (Botanical Society of South Africa), Nick Helme (Nick Helme Botanical Surveys) and Hugo van Zyl (Independent Economic Researchers), to strengthen and finalize the draft guideline.
Drawing on a focused biodiversity offsets workshop, and input from a number of stakeholders, the draft guideline has been revised. This revised draft will be available for comment by interested and affected parties on DEA&DP's website [(www.capegateway.gov.za/eadp) from Friday 9 March - please go to 'publications' and then 'guidelines', and look for the 'biodiversity offsets' guideline].
Should you have any comments on the revised draft guideline, please send them to Susie Brownlie (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) by the very latest 20 March 2007.
Please contact Susie Brownlie [021-6744 253] should you have any queries.
27 February, 2007
energymix - What role for biofuels?
Biowatch South Africa and the University of Cape Town's Environmental
Evaluation Unit are jointly hosting a lecture which will focus on
Biowatch is an environmental organisation concerned with issues of
biodiversity, biosafety, food sovereignty and social justice.
The Environmental Evaluation Unit is an independent self-funded unit
based at UCT. Founded in 1985, the Unit has established itself as a
centre of excellence in the fields of integrated environmental
management and sustainable development.
Please RSVP to Feroza at email@example.com or on 021-447 5939 by
Friday, 2 March 2007.
To find out more about Biowatch South Africa, please go to
www.biowatch.org.za or ring us on 021-447 5939.
To find out more about the Environmental Evaluation Unit, please go to
Transforming the global energy mix
What role for biofuels?
Dr Karin Kniessl discusses some of the geopolitical and market issues
which dominate the current debate on transformation of the global energy
market - the "third industrial revolution" - as coined by some
scientists. She will examine the role of the European Union, OPEC and
international energy companies in this debate and its implications for
Chemical Engineering Building
Upper Campus, UCT
Wednesday, 7 March
5 pm (17.00)
Refreshments will be served after the discussion
Dr Karin Kniessl is an academic and author who teaches international
relations with a focus on the Middle East and energy affairs at the
Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, Austria. She is a former Austrian Ministry
of Foreign Affairs official and a member of the board of the Society for
Political and Strategic Studies.
23 February, 2007
See the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(USEPA) Air Pollution Training Institute (APTI) manual on the
characteristics, formation and control of dioxins and furans. The following
are links to 1-page explanations. For your info:
EXTRACTS FROM A SPEECH BY MARTHINUS VAN SCHALKWYK, MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM, AT THE LAUNCH OF THE THREATENED OR PROTECTED SPECIES REGULATIONS ON TUESDAY 20TH FEBRUARY 2007
MINISTER STARTS CLEANING UP HUNTING INDUSTRY, BANS CANNED HUNTING
Today, it gives me great pleasure to publish the regulations that pertain to threatened and protected species. These regulations will come into effect on 1 June 2007.
The regulations are a culmination of a three year period of consultation between government, civil society, the wild life industry as well as animal welfare groups. They also take into account several recommendations by a panel of experts which I appointed in January 2005.
For the first time nationally listed species will now have uniform conservation status across the country. Government will have new muscle to ensure that our biodiversity is utilised in an ecologically sustainable way. A broad range of restricted activities will now require permits. The illicit trading of our endangered fish, bird and plant species, like cycads, will be rooted out. The same legal standards will apply throughout the country, closing loopholes and removing discrepancies between provinces.
In support of these regulations, our initiatives to improve law enforcement demonstrate Government’s resolve to protect our biological heritage. The Green Scorpions will continue to play a key role in ensuring compliance.
Let me turn to some of the specifics:
Registration and self-regulation
The Regulations introduce a uniform national system for the registration of captive breeding operations, commercial exhibition facilities, game farms, nurseries, scientific institutions, sanctuaries and rehabilitation facilities. These institutions will be required to meet strict criteria. For the first time, provision will be made for the recognition of hunting organisations and the application of codes of ethical conduct and good practice.
The introduction of game farm hunting and nursery possession permits will streamline the permit issuing process. It will also compel permit holders to provide critical information to the authorities, which will assist in assessing the status of biodiversity in the country.
Meeting International Commitments
In order to meet our CITES commitments, we are establishing a national scientific authority, which will replace the current fragmented system. The new authority will enable uniform implementation and provide access to scientific information beyond just CITES species.
As a signatory to the international Convention on Biodiversity, South Africa has a commitment to the sustainable use of our natural resources. We understand the huge responsibility that rests on our shoulders to nurture the ecological and economic value of our biodiversity. Therefore, we must protect the integrity of our ecosystems to ensure their long term contribution to tourism and job creation. These regulations empower us to do this.
Canned Lion Hunting
We are putting an end, once and for all, to the reprehensible practice of canned hunting. The regulations specifically prohibit hunting large predators and rhinoceros that are “put and take” animals - in other words, a captive bred animal that is released on a property for the purpose of hunting within twenty four months.
South Africa has a long-standing reputation as a global leader on conservation issues. We can not allow our achievements to be undermined by rogue practices such as canned lion hunting.
Cleaning up the Hunting Industry
More broadly, the regulations signal the start of a clean-up of the hunting industry. They lay the basis for a well regulated and ethical hunting and game farming industry in South Africa.
Whilst we applaud their substantial and positive contribution to conservation management and economic growth, we also have a responsibility to preserve the resource base and ensure that the industry has a sustainable future. In order to do this, we must balance economic objectives with conservation management objectives. Hunting is an important industry, but we must manage it in accordance with ethical and defensible standards.
The regulations include prohibitions and restrictions on certain activities and methods of hunting. For example, hunting thick skinned animals and large predators with a bow and arrow will be prohibited and hunting from vehicles will no longer be allowed.
The implementation of these regulations will be the first step of a two-step process to clean up the hunting and game farming industry. The next step will be to promote even greater uniformity with regard to elements of the hunting industry that we are not dealing with today. We will introduce national norms and standards that provide a framework for provincial regulation and further streamline permitting. This will also be developed in close consultation with the industry, provincial authorities and other stakeholders.
The regulations are available on www.environment.gov.za
Chief Director: Communications, Blessing Manale - 083 677 1630
Director: Ministerial Liaison, Riaan Aucamp - 083 778 9923
Compton Herbarium, Cape Town, and the KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium, Durban,
during the past three years collaborated with Aluka in building an
electronic database on African plant information. SANBI was one of the
34 participants in the project and contributed more than 20 725 high
resolution images of type specimens held in the three herbaria, together
with numerous images of slides and artwork held in its collections. The
Aluka resource now holds more than 260 000 images and
descriptive texts of plants from Africa and Madagascar contributed to
date by the participants. This resource will be officially launched at
the AETFAT congress that will be held in Yaounde, Cameroon in February 2007.
This resource can now be accessed at http://www.aluka.org.
A help facility can be accessed at http://www.aluka.org/page/help/index.jsp,
and contents areas and descriptions at
It is inevitable that you will come across mistakes in the database.
These you can report to the contact person below.
Dr J.P. (Koos) Roux
Curator: Compton Herbarium
Private Bag X7
Tel.: +27 21 799 8681
Fax: +27 21 761 4151
20 February, 2007
Climate change communications:
Defra climate change communication
Defra personal carbon allowances
Evaluating emissions - guidance and tools for calculating your organisations emissions
Individual and political action on climate change - Wiki
Focus on climate change - individual action
WA$TED!, which was supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, visits a different household each week targeting energy efficiency, water use, transport choices, rubbish and recycling.
Come on SABC - get WA$TED!
15 February, 2007
22 January, 2007
Of particular interest is the latest edition of the UKCIP Climate Digest, a monthly digest of climate change adaptation research from the academic literature.
The digest covers the science of climate change, impacts, adaptation and decision-making. It aims to provide a broad coverage of a range of sectors and regions. Full references for each article are provided.
Western Cape can learn many lessons by studying Climate Change programmes in other countries.
OneWorld has created a Western Cape Climate Change Website where information about climate change in the Western Cape is available.
There is also an on line bulletin board with all the latest news about the project such as announcements of workshops. You can also register there as a project stakeholder.
16 January, 2007
Exxon's amended response states, "We recognize that the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere poses risks that may prove significant for society and ecosystems…Human activities have contributed to these increased concentrations [of greenhouse gases], mainly through the combustion of fossil fuels for energy use; land use changes [especially deforestation]; and agricultural, animal husbandry and waste-disposal practices…Even with many scientific uncertainties, the risk that greenhouse gas emissions may have serious impacts justifies taking action." What is clear today is that greenhouse gas emissions are one of the factors that contribute to climate change, and that the use of fossil fuels is a major source of these emissions." amongst other issues.
I first came across this in a Newsweek article published on 4 January 2007.
The fact that an oil company like ExxonMobil now recognises climate change and the links thereof to greenhouse gas emissions, together with the recent political developments in the US, makes me think we will see movement on the issue sooner rather than later by the US National Government.
Reading 'The SciGuy's' blog post on the topic and all the comments that respond to that post really start to give one an idea of the complexities of the political and scientific minefield around the climate change and disinformation issue.
At 2.85-3.1 kg of CO2 (equiv) per burger, then, that's 428-465 kg of greenhouse gas per year for an average American's burger consumption.
Follow the link, it's an interesting read.
For a real education you must read the 34 odd 'blog reactions' or comments. See the bottom right of the post in question - green text.
The internship will be for a total of six (6) months (negotiable), starting as soon as possible in 2007. Applicants must meet at least six of the following eight criteria:
- Be studying towards a Doctoral Degree in the field of conservation biology, zoology, botany, environmental management, or related fields
- Be a newly-qualified Masters graduate in the above-mentioned fields
- Be fully computer literate
- Be able to make use of the public transport to Kirstenbosch Gardens or have their own transport
- Be able and willing to travel or work after hours if required
- Be enthusiastic, willing to learn and eager to undertake any task assigned to them
- Be competent in both written and verbal communication (English essential, French and/or Spanish advantageous)
- Have the flexibility to start in early 2007 and be available for a minimum of four (4) months
The Intern in the SSC Chair’s Office will be expected, amongst other things, to do the following:
1. Fill in for the SSC Chair’s Assistant when necessary and undertake any administrative tasks required
2. Proof-read documents and reports; researching and providing comments on technical information when required
3. Assist in compiling documents and reports by collating information from a variety of sources
4. Assist in researching and summarizing proposals to the upcoming CITES Conference of the Parties (June 2007, The Hague)
5. Liaise with specific SSC Specialist Groups on specific issues
6. Liaise with the Species Programme staff at IUCN Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland and in the other regional offices around the world.
Selection will be based on enthusiasm, the candidate’s ability to benefit from the internship, teamwork capabilities, and academic achievements and relevance. A monthly stipend can be discussed, out of which the intern will be expected to cater for their own accommodation, transport medical aid and other expenses.
The SSC Chair will continuously monitor the Intern’s progress based on specific pre-determined criteria developed in conjunction with the Intern and, if necessary, the Intern’s academic institution. The Intern may be requested to give regular presentations and feedback about their experience. A probationary period will apply.
You can obtain the full announcement from Carol Poole as below.
Applicants should send their CV, together with a covering letter detailing their reasons for applying to Carol Poole, on SSCChairOffice@iucn.org .
Assistant to the Chair
Species Survival Commission (SSC)
IUCN - The World Conservation Union
Private Bag x7
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27 21 799 8762
Fax: +27 21 797 7186
Applications Close on 26 January 2007 Short-listed candidates will be asked to an interview in February 2007
12 January, 2007
For the full text of the proposal call or further information please contact:
Law Administration Manager: Legal
Western Cape Nature Conservation Board
Belmont Business Park
Private Bag X29
Tel: (021) 659-3426
Fax: (021) 659-3415
email: jojohnso at pgwc.gov.za
08 January, 2007
Evolution in action!
Honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from the human gene pool, thereby ensuring that the next generation is one idiot smarter.
Of necessity, this award is (generally) bestowed posthumously.
02 January, 2007
Minister of Environment, Planning and Economic Development: Western Cape, Tasneem Essop, has published the following draft guidelines for comment in terms of the requirements of Regulation 76 of Government Notice 385 of 21 April 2006 (the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations):
(a) Guideline on Public Participation
(b) Guideline on Transitional Arrangements
(c) Guideline on Alternatives
(d) Guideline on Exemption Applications
(e) Guideline on Appeals
(f) Guideline on the interpretation of the Listed activities
(g) Generic Best Management Practise Guidelines for Aquaculture Development and Operation in the Western Cape
All comments must be submitted before 31 January 2007, to:
Paul Hardcastle at firstname.lastname@example.org
or in writing to:
The Chief Director
Environmental and Land Management
Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Private Bag X9086
The draft guidelines are available on the website of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Western Cape:
Copies of the relevant documents are available on request from:
Ms Laurin Wilson
Tel: (021) 483 5113
1 Dorp Street
Ms Adri Pienaar
Tel (044) 874 2160
I have just been informed that, due to unforeseeable circumstances, Sir Nicholas has had to postpone the trip, probably until mid-March.
I know that you will disappointed at this news, but please feel free to contact me some time around the beginning of March to enquire if new dates for the trip have been confirmed.
3 January 2007
Sir Nicholas Stern is proposing to visit South Africa in January, and will be giving a public presentation on "The Stern Review : The Economics of Climate Change" on the morning of Friday 19 January, probably at Wits University . You may be interested in attending the presentation on 19 January. Please contact Ann Heard as soon as possible - but by the first week of January at the latest - please provide names, plus title/designation, phone number & e-mail address of anyone you consider might have an interest in attending (attendance at the presentation will be by invitation only).
Miss T Ann Herd
2nd Secretary Climate Change and Sustainable Development
British High Commission
Tel : +27 (0)12 421 7591
Fax : +27 (0)12 421 7540
FTN : 8303 7591
19 December, 2006
You can get the bill in two parts in pdf, (they are about 1.9 Mb each), and a press release for information from Dr Niel Malan (see contact details below).
Please note that DEAT will release a brief user-friendly guide to assist coastal stakeholders during the comments period. It will also hold a series of information sessions along the coastline. Dedicated provincial coastal committee meetings will also be held. Details will be made available in due course, but will fall over the period end January to beginning March 2007.
It will be appreciated if you can distribute the Bill widely.
Comments from our overseas colleagues will also be appreciated.
Further info and comments to:
Dr D.E. (Niel) Malan
Deputy Director: Coastal Planning & Environmental Protection
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Private Bag X2
capacity-building needs analysis after presenting interim findings to
the CIC in May last year. The report was reviewed by Martin Hollands, of
the Cambridge Centre for Conservation Policy, before it was finalised.
The final report is attached for your information. It was presented to
the CIC in August for comment, and again in November, where it was
agreed that a number of important actions would be undertaken.
In particular, these involve the appointment of two staff. The first is
a Capacity-Development Co-ordinator who is to be appointed in SANBI.
The TORs for this position are attached. The key responsibility is to
provide continuity from the CEPF-funded CBP project that was being
undertaken under the auspices of WWF/TMF. The project is to be
transferred to the CCU as the staff based in WWF have taken up other
functions, and will not be able to complete all outputs of the project.
At this stage, it would be appropriate to thank both Rodney February and
Zohra Parkar-Salie for their excellent work in mobilising the programme.
I am sure that many of the beneficiaries of this programme will recall
this opportunity to make progress in their conservation careers, and the
efforts of Rodney and Zohra to make this possible. Thanks again, Rodney
and Zohra, and all of those who contributed to this programme, including
Brett Myrdal, Ursula Titus, Julia Wood, Rob Little and Hettie Gets.
The second position is a C.A.P.E. Technical Advisor, who is to be
placed in CapeNature, at their request, to assist programme management
and co-ordination of complex projects. This is one of the primary needs
identified in the Needs Analysis. The responsibilities of this position
are not limited to CapeNature, and the person will be working across a
number of agencies providing similar kinds of support and mentorship.
These positions were advertised in the press and on e-news during
November, and employment agencies are being requested to identify
suitable candidates. Should you know of suitable people, please let us
know, so that we can approach them.
In addition to these staff positions, there will be ongoing investment
in internship placements. During 2007, a total of 10 internship
opportunities will be made available on a competitive basis. These will
require commitment by the agency concerned, the mentor, the individual
and the proposed course of capacity-development. A call for nominations
will be going out early in the new year. Look out for this.
Finally, there will be scope for technical skills development in key
areas of work, e.g. through short courses, specific mentorship etc.
Taking this forward will be the responsibility of the Capacity
I would like to thank you for your patience while this whole process
has unfolded. From inputs at the CIC, it appears that we may need to
rethink the composition of the Capacity-Development Task Team to more
effectively steer this process and you will be provided with further
information early in the new year.
For the Capacity Building Needs Analysis Strategy and Action Plan and advertisements for the vacant positions contact:
Trevor Sandwith - Co-ordinator: Cape Action for People and the
Deputy Chair: World Commission on Protected Areas
Tel: +27 (0)21 799 8790
Fax: +27 (0)21 797 3475
Mobile: +27(0)82 321 2747
A copy can be downloaded from www.capegateway.gov.za
Ms Nthato Gobodo
DIRECTOR: PROVINCIAL GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Policy Development Unit
Department of the Premier
Western Cape Provincial Government
t: +27 (21) 483 3878
f: +27 (21) 483 4868
m: +2783 310 0111
7 Wale St CAPE TOWN
18 December, 2006
I'd like to commend the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Programme (SKEP) team on an outstanding December 2006 newsletter .
For those who need to be informed about the variety of initiatives going on beyond the Fynbos biome this newsletter gives a wonderful insight into SKEP activities in the Succulent Karoo, from the Western Cape right up into Namibia.
Don't miss reading this newsletter.
17 December, 2006
12 December, 2006
Cows, pigs, sheep and poultry have been awarded the dubious honour of being among the world's greatest environmental threats, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The report, entitled Livestock's long shadow, says the livestock industry is degrading land, contributing to the greenhouse effect, polluting water resources, and destroying biodiversity. In summary, the sector is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale".
10 December, 2006
I've just come across a post by a Materials Engineer about the Pyramids being partly constructed of cast concrete blocks.
This is the paragraph that particularly interested me:
"The type of concrete pyramid builders used could reduce pollution and outlast Portland cement, the most common type of modern cement. Portland cement injects a large amount of the world's carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and has a lifespan of about 150 years. If widely used, a geopolymer such as the one used in the construction of the pyramids can reduce that amount of pollution by 90 percent and last much longer. The raw materials used to produce the concrete used in the pyramids -- lime, limestone and diatomaceous earth -- can be found worldwide and is affordable enough to be an important construction material for developing countries, Barsoum said."
If we set up a plant to produce this type of concrete in the Western Cape could we register it as a CDM project?
Picture of the Great Pyramid (Kheops pyramid). (Taken by Alex lbh in April 2005 / Courtesy of Wikipedia)
09 December, 2006
These were was advertised in the Weekend Argus/Sunday Argus on 2 December 2006.
Closing Date 22 December 2006
For a copy of the advertisement or other info contact:
Ms Iptieshaam Bekko
Directorate Integrated Environmental Management
Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning
Private Bag X9086 Cape Town 8000
Tel: +27 (0) 21 483 3370
05 December, 2006
WWF’s FishMS text line helps you choose the right seafood.
You can bank with it, play music, send text messages, browse online and even make calls. Now your cellphone can also help you make choices that limit your impact on our oceans.
A new tool from SASSI (The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) helps you make informed choices about the fish you eat. Simply text the name of a fish to the number 079-499-8795 and you’ll immediately get a message telling you whether to tuck in, think twice or avoid completely. It’s called SASSI FishMS and it puts WWF’s knowledge of seafood resources at your thumb-tips.
The feature resulted from cooperation between The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI), local IT company iVeri Payment Technology and developer Tony Seebregts. SASSI has condensed the research on the impact of fishing on fish stocks into guidelines available in a handy pocket card.
In laymen's terms this distils information on the status of local seafood species into one of three colour categories, much like a traffic light. Species marked with a green fish can generally be eaten with a clear conscience because their population numbers are healthy. Orange means they're legal to sell, but if you have a choice you should opt for one of the “green” species. Species marked in red are illegal to buy or sell in South Africa. Full details of how the classification system works are online at www.wwf.org.za/sassi
Now you can still make the right choice, even without the card. The more specific the query, the more detailed the information received.
Jaco Barendse, coordinator of SASSI, says: “Cellphones are the one common possession of everyone from surfers to stockbrokers, taxi drivers to taxidermists - even my dad has one.
“That’s why this is the ideal way to combine technology and information with the variety of seafood available and the growing awareness among seafood lovers, chefs, food buyers and so on that the oceans’ resources aren’t infinite.”
He adds that the system not only helps consumers make informed choices, but demonstrates to retailers and restaurateurs that those consumers are willing to use their spending power.
“When shoppers and restaurant patrons start texting to check whether the Catch of the Day is okay to eat, it’ll hopefully help drive suppliers’ buying habits.”
SASSI is funded by The Green Trust (a partnership between WWF-SA and Nedbank),
“We believe SASSI FishMS provides consumers and anyone else working with fish with a handy and extremely cool tool to help choose fish from healthy populations and relieve the pressure on overexploited species. By giving them a break their populations can recover and they can once again become more widely available.
“By not buying fish caught and sold illegally you can help to fight unsustainable environmental practice. Your choices can help ensure the sustainable use of our marine resources.”
SASSI FishMS is charged at standard text message rates.
SASSI was initiated in November 2004 in order to inform and educate all participants in the seafood trade, from wholesalers to restaurateurs through to seafood lovers. The initiative builds on an earlier project started in KwaZulu-Natal which sought to educate restaurant dealers about marine conservation issues. It has The Green Trust and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism (DEAT) as primary funding/support partners, and Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, Two Oceans Aquarium, TRAFFIC, Sea World at uShaka, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), and Bayworld as implementing partners.
About The Green Trust
Celebrating 15 years last October, The Green Trust is a partnership between WWF-South Africa, the conservation organisation, and Nedbank. This innovative trust has been cited as a hugely successful mutual-benefit partnership internationally and has raised over R70 million for conservation. It’s funded and supported over 140 sustainable conservation projects that have covered a significant range and diversity of environmental interventions, with a significant focus on community-based conservation and species of special concern.
About Nedbank Green Affinity
The Nedbank Green Affinity is a range of bank accounts that allow you to do your daily banking whilst at the same time helping conservation in South Africa. It includes a credit card, a savings account and a chequebook. When you use your Green Affinity bank account, Nedbank donates to The Green Trust. In the last 15 years Nedbank and the Green Affinity clients have helped raise nearly R70 million for conservation.
For more information contact
Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI)
+27 (0)21 402-3423
+27 (0)21 421-7406
+ 27 82-511-6368
+ 27 21 683-6464
+27 83 357 2837
Caption: Interactive technology like SASSI FishMS, which gives consumers instant access to information about which fish to buy could help accelerate the trend toward responsible consumerism.
Please note that the call for proposals to finalise the Western Cape Provincial Guideline on Biodiversity Offsets was advertised in the Government Tender Bulletin on Friday 24 November 2006 (Open Tender EADP 20/2006).
The relevant advertisement can be obtained from the Provincial Tender Bulletin .
Please note that the Tender closes at 11:00 am on 15 December 2006.
For tender documentation please contact Ms Inshaaf Brennen at tel: (021) 483 3572, fax: 483 5112 and e-mail: email@example.com
Directorate Integrated Environmental Management
Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning
Private Bag X9086 Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 483 2787 & fax: (021) 483 4372
04 December, 2006
The draft Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) is published for public comment.
(CLOSING DATE: 15 DECEMBER 2006)
The PGDS is available through the hyperlink above.
Sorry this is late notice but it only came to my attention by e-mail a few moments ago.
Typical brilliant provincial communications - our e-mail is full of the most trivial garbage - but the really important policy for comment arrives days before the due date!!!
This is the chance you have been looking for to provide environmental input to the PGDS which is THE principle development policy in the province. If you miss your chance to provide sound environmental input now - forever hold your peace.
Please note: only written comments can be accepted.
closing date: 15 December 2006email: firstname.lastname@example.org
fax: 021 483 3827
post: The Director: PGDS, PO Box 659, Cape Town, 8000
- Pdf Version: Draft Provincial Growth & Development Strategy (File type: pdf; size: 1.6 MB)
- Doc Version: Draft Provincial Growth & Development Strategy (File type: doc; size: 2.7 MB)