19 December, 2006

First SA Integrated Coastal Management Bill for public comment ...

Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, gazetted South Africa's first Integrated Coastal Management Bill for public comment for a period of 90 days. You should be able to download it from the following website later today: http://www.deat.gov.za.

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
Rogge Bay
Cape Town
8012Tel: +27-21-4023021
Fax: +27-21-4023009
Email: dmalan@deat.gov.za
Web: http://www.deat.gov.za

C.A.P.E. Capacity Building update ...

As you may know, Marlene Laros finalised her report on the
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
Development Co-ordinator.

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
Environment (C.A.P.E.)
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
e-mail: trevor@capeaction.org.za

Accountability reporting - Materiality Report ...

New AccountAbility Report linking strategy, performance and reporting….around Sustainability issues. Called ‘Materiality Report.’

W Cape PGDS - Extension Granted for Comment ...

Kindly note that the deadline for public comments on the PGDS Green Paper has been extended to 30 March 2007 in order to give interested and affected stakeholders adequate time to engage with such a crucial draft policy framework.

A copy can be downloaded from www.capegateway.gov.za

Ms Nthato Gobodo
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

Enviro Law Newsletter ...

See Edward Nathan Sonnenberg's latest newsletter - interesting

18 December, 2006

SKEP News ...

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

Colophon beetle ...

See the post on my general blog about the suspected Colophon Beetle that Gigi and I came across while walking last Friday evening

12 December, 2006

Cows, pigs and sheep: Environment's greatest threats ...

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

GM Yeast to speed Ethanol production for biofuel ...

Interesting article here

Ancient concrete reduces pollution by 90% ...

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

Environmental Officer vacencies ...

Various Environmental officer vacancies exist, within Western Cape DEA&DP, in Cape Town and George

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

Keysers River Restoration Project ...

To all environmental volunteers here at home in Cape Town and those worldwide, "Thank you for all your efforts"

Great work!

And a big thank you to all those sponsors as well

Choose the right seafood ...

Hngry 4 fsh?

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 partners
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
Jaco Barendse
Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI)
+27 (0)21 402-3423
+27 (0)21 421-7406
+ 27 82-511-6368

Issued by
William Smook
Meropa Communications
+ 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.

Proposal call to finalise the WCape Prov Guideline on Biodiversity Offsets ...

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: ibrennen@pgwc.gov.za

Gerhard Gerber
Directorate Integrated Environmental Management
Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning
Private Bag X9086 Cape Town 8000
Tel: (021) 483 2787 & fax: (021) 483 4372
E-mail: Gegerber@pgwc.gov.za

04 December, 2006

Draft Provincial Growth and Development Strategy for comment ...

Here is your chance good people.

The draft Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) is published for public comment.

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.

This document is in draft (unedited). The Green Paper will be available in the three official languages of the Western Cape.

Please note: only written comments can be accepted.

closing date: 15 December 2006

email: ntgobodo@pgwc.gov.za
fax: 021 483 3827
post: The Director: PGDS, PO Box 659, Cape Town, 8000

29 November, 2006

Richard Fuggle's retirement address ...

This evening I attended Prof Richard Fuggle's retirement address

DEADP Aquaculture Workshop ...

Dear stakeholder,

The Provincial Government of the Western Cape: Department of
Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) has recognised
the need to develop measures and guidelines to manage and promote
aquaculture. Although the aquaculture industry can possibly impact on
the environment negatively it may also serve as a vehicle for the
achievement of socio-economic development and redress and improve food

The core purpose of the project was defined as the creation of
frameworks and tools for DEA&DP to be able to regulate and facilitate
responsible and sustainable aquaculture development within its mandate
as a legislative authority over the environment in the Western Cape.
DEA&DP plays a significant role in the co-operative governance of
aquaculture and the enhancement of a better understanding among
authorities in relation to aquaculture. In this manner resources will
be protected, used, developed, conserved, managed and controlled in a
sustainable and equitable manner.

These documents are now finished and training sessions for interested
parties are scheduled on these two documents on 6 Dec 2006 (George) and
7 Dec 2006 (Cape Town). Please note that this opportunity is not just
open to Western Cape government officials but also to industry,
consultants, pdi's etc.

Please send as much of your colleagues as possible. Attached, you will
find and invitation that explains the training workshop.

If you are are NOT based in the Western Cape Province but would like to
attend, take note that you are welcome to attend but that your traveling
and accommodation costs will not be covered by DEADP.

Interested parties should RSVP by no later than 01 December 2006 .

Toinette van der Merwe
Principal Environmental Officer
Directorate: Integrated Environmental Management (Region B1)
Department Environmental Affairs and Development Planning
Provincial Government of the Western Cape

Tel: +27 21 483 2761
Fax: +27 21 483 4372
Email: tvdmerwe@pgwc.gov.za

Protocol - EIA Applications over the festive season ...





1.Issuing of ECA Authorisations and NEMA Environmental Authorisation

The Department will issue the last authorisation in terms of the Environment Conservation Act, 1989 (Act No. 73 of 1989) (“ECA”) for this calendar year on 8 December 2006 and will recommence with the issuing of ECA authorisations on 8 January 2007.

Due to the legislated timeframes with respect to the issuing of environmental authorisations in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (“NEMA”), no cut-off date may be implemented. It must be noted that there are a number of public holidays over this period and that many officials will be taking their annual leave during said period. If required, appropriate arrangements must be made.

2. Public participation process (PPP)

The Department recommends that the applicant(s) and/or environmental assessment practitioner (“EAP”) do not conduct public participation process (“PPP”) over the festive season, i.e. 15 December 2006 to 7 January 2007.

However, should the PPP extend into the festive period, the Department recommends that the PPP period is adjusted and/or extended to ensure that that Interested and Affected Parties (“I&AP’s”) have sufficient time to participate in the PPP. Adequate motivation is however required should the applicant wish to proceed with a PPP during the festive period (e.g. if the location of the proposed activity is in a recognized holiday destination such as coastal towns).

3. Submission of Notice of Intent, Application Forms and Reports

The Department recommends that applicant(s) and/or EAP’s refrain from submitting Notice of Intents, Application Forms and Reports (Basic Assessment, Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment) after 8 December 2006. This would ensure that all timeframes as stipulated by the NEMA EIA regulations are adhered to by all parties concerned. The Department will therefore issue the last acknowledgement letter for the year on 22 December 2006.


Mr C. Rabie
Director: Integrated Environmental Management * Region A
Tel: (021) 483 4793
Fax: (021) 483 3633

Mr A. Barnes
Director: Integrated Environmental Management * Region B
Tel: (021) 483 4094
Fax: (021) 483 4372

Postal Address
Private Bag X 9086, Cape Town, 8000

Physical Address
Utilitas Building, 1 Dorp Street, Cape Town

27 November, 2006

UNFCCC COP/MOP - Nairobi ...

See the post about the trip to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) on my other blog.

Calvin Jones has posted a useful list of Climate Change Blogs - most useful.
Also some of the persons who commented have added extras - so read the comments as well.

20 November, 2006

How to talk to a climate sceptic ...

See the very comprehensive post on 'How to talk to an environmental sceptic' at the environmental news blog GristMill

15 November, 2006

Communicating Climate Change ...

One of the most interesting panel debates that I attended at UNFCCC was the one on Communicating Climate Change. Read the articles at the URLs listed at the end of the document.

These include:

• “Global Warming: An Inconvenient Principle”. Jules Boykoff and Maxwell Boykoff. Common Dreams, 6 July 2006.
• “Warm Words: How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better?”. Gill Ereaut and Nat Segnit. Institute for Public Policy Research, August 2006.
• “Yelling 'Fire' on a Hot Planet”. Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times, April 23 2006.
• “The Next Big Storm: can scientists and journalists work together to improve coverage of the hurricane-global warming controversy?”. CSICOP, 3 August 2006.
• “Scientists fear new attempts to undermine climate action”. The Guardian, 21 April 2006.
• “Climate of scepticism: US newspaper coverage of the science of climate change”. Liisa Antilla. Global Environmental Change Part A Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2005.
• “Journalistic Balance as Global Warming Bias - Creating controversy where science finds consensus”. Jules Boykoff and Maxwell Boykoff. Fair, November 2004.
• “A Challenge to Journalists Who Cover Global Warming”. Sen. James Inhofe. October 24 2006.

Links to more info about the references listed above are available here.

Check out Liisa Antilla's blog One Blue World and particularly the links on her post about the debate.

There is also an interesting BBC article on communicating climate change titled, "Chaotic world of climate truth", By Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

Communications strategy for the GRI ...

Call for expressions of interest for the development of a communications strategy for the GRI.
Contact Andrew Brown for details.

Andrew Brown
Coordinator, Garden Route Initiative
P O Box 3542, Knysna, 6570
Tel: (+27) 044 382-0479
Fax: (+27) 086 6501691
Cell: (+27) 082 9040787
Email: andrewb@sanparks.org

Southern Cape Wetlands Forum ...

At long last… notice of the next Southern Cape Wetlands Forum meeting, the arrangements as follows:

Date: Wednesday 29 November 2006
Time: 14h00 to 16h00
Venue: Ashmead Resort, off George Rex Drive in Knysna (for those who may need directions to the venue please get hold of me).

At the next meeting, the following items will be on the agenda:
1. Discussion on the status of wetlands in the Southern Cape after the recent flooding
2. Presentation of the Working for Wetlands rehabilitation plans for 2007/8 for Duivenhoks, Goukou, and Tsitsikamma wetlands.
3. Presentation and discussion on the draft prioritisation of wetlands requiring rehabilitation work in the Southern Cape
4. Feedback from the Working for Wetlands Programme
5. Feedback on the national Wetlands Indaba held in Stutterheim recently

Any other matters put onto the agenda for discussion, please let me know within the next week.

Please also pass this notice on to anyone that may be in interested in attending this or other Southern Cape Wetland Forum meetings, and let me have their email addresses for inclusion onto Forum the mailing list.

Andrew Brown
Garden Route Initiative
P O Box 3542, Knysna, 6570
Tel: (+27) 044 382-0479
Fax: (+27) 086 6501691
Cell: (+27) 082 9040787
Email: andrewb@sanparks.org

10 November, 2006

Mkambati and the Wild Coast - book launch

The Wild Coast is one of Africa's jewels, but it remains a forgotten wilderness, waiting to be rediscovered and nurtured for all people to enjoy. This book uncovers some of the mystique of the area and exposes secrets that have been known only to local people, shipwreck survivors
and adventurous explorers. It focuses mainly on Pondoland, the most scenic and biodiversity rich part of the Wild Coast. This is where the Mkambati Nature reserve lies nestled in a centre of endemism where hundreds of unique species of plants wait to be discovered. Stunning photographs reveal the rugged beauty of land and sea and are accompanied by comprehensive text about the rich history of the area, colourful culture of the amaPondo people, fascinating plant and animal life and marine treasurers only found on the Wild Coast. It has something of interest for everyone. To quote Dr. Ian Player, "It is much more than a simple guide or coffee table book. It has been well researched, but combines science with the heart, and, most important of all, it is a story of our time. It is to be treasured, continually referred to, and acted upon".

You are cordially invited to the launch of the book

"Mkambati and the Wild Coast" to be held at:

The Center for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town,
on Tuesday 21st. November at 5.30pm.

Please RSVP to Di Mellon.


Fax 021 762 098 Cell 072 277 6035 A/H 021 797 4589

09 November, 2006

Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program Meeting ...

Perhaps you would be interestedto see the docs from the recent Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program Meeting, See the info from Mahlette Betre below:


Thank you to all of you who were able to attend the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program Meeting on September 29th, 2006 in Pretoria, South Africa.

We had a very succesful workshop and have now posted the results of the workshop: meeting summary and presentations on our website. Please use the following web address to access those documents:

Best Regards,

Mahlette Betre

Manager, Energy & Mining Program
Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB)
Conservation International
1919 M Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 912-1220
Fax: (202) 912-1047
Sign up for CELB's Quarterly eNewsletter: <<http://www.celb.org/xp/CELB/enewsletter.xml <http://www.celb.org/xp/CELB/enewsletter.xml> >>

08 November, 2006

Books on Climate Change ...

A colleague forwarded me information from the NHBS Environment Bookstore.

It looks like a very interesting list of books on the subject.

The contact details in the e-mail are:
"NHBS Environment Bookstore"

Sir Nicholas Stern has just presented his Review on the Economics of Climate Change, commissioned by the British Government last year during its G8 Presidency. The Review marks a watershed in that it brings economics squarely into the debate and thus provides a firm and compelling basis for policy. The former World Bank Chief Economist estimates that the impact of global warming could cost as much as 20 per cent of the world's GDP He urges immediate action since postponement will only increase the eventual costs.

All countries will be affected by climate change, but the poorest countries will suffer earliest and most. Deeper international co-operation will be required in many areas, most notably in creating price signals and markets for carbon, spurring technology research, development and deployment, and promoting adaptation, particularly for developing countries.

The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is available for pre-order now with NHBS Environment Bookstore: publication is due in December. In addition we have put together a list of key titles on climate change below, to help give you all the facts you need to stay informed. To browse our full list of titles on Climate Change online click here

The Atlas of Climate Change

Kirstin Dow and Thomas E Downing

Rigorous in its science and insightful in its message, this atlas examines the possible impact of climate change on our ability to feed the world's people, avoid water shortages, conserve biodiversity, improve health, and preserve cities and cultural treasures. It also reviews historical contributions to greenhouse gas levels, progress in meeting Kyoto commitments, and local efforts to meet the challenge of climate change. More...

softcover | 2006 | #160430 | £12.99


George Monbiot

Limited Number of Signed Copies Currently Available.
Combining his unique knowledge of political campaigning and environmental science, Monbiot analyses the potential of energy efficiency, renewable resources, carbon burial, nuclear power and new transport and building systems to discover what works, what doesn't, what costs the least and what needs to be done to make change happen. Rigorous, passionate and totally surprising, this book could change the world. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #160465 | £17.99

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore

The truth about the climate crisis is an inconvenient one that means we are going to have to change the way we live our lives. Our climate crisis may at times appear to be happening slowly, but in fact it has become a true planetary emergency and we must recognise that we are facing a crisis. So why is it that some leaders seem not to hear the clarion warnings? Are they resisting the truth because they know that the moment they acknowledge it, they will face a moral imperative to act? Written by former Vice President of the U.S., Al Gore. More...

softcover | 2006 | #161568 | £14.99

The Rough Guide to Climate Change

Robert Henson

"The Rough Guide to Climate Change" is a complete guide to one of the most pressing problems facing humanity. From the current situation and background science to the government sceptics and possible solutions, this book covers the whole subject from an array of different angles. More...

softcover | 2006 | #160466 | £9.99

High Tide

Mark Lynas

Tipped as the No Logo of climate change, this book travels the world to show that the impacts of global warming are already having a tangible effect on people's lives. But this isn't just an inventory of disaster - it looks at how people are coping as the world they've always known changes at unprecedented speed. Mark Lynas has abandoned the scientific disputes and the political wrangling, and spent three years travelling to find out from ordinary people how massive changes to the climate are devastating their lives, not in the future, but now. More...

hardcover | 2004 | #144142 | £16.99
softcover | 2005 | #149236 | £7.99

Climate Change and Biodiversity

Edited by Thomas E Lovejoy and Lee Hannah

Comprehensive assessment of the state of knowledge on climate change and biodiversity, an essential reference. Written for the specialist as well as the concerned citizen, this important book presents a comprehensive view of the newest research and thinking on climate change and biological diversity. More...

hardcover | 2005 | #149246 | £45.00
softcover | 2006 | #160656 | £22.50

Global Warming

John T Houghton

"...the best single-volume guide to the science of climate change." - Times Literary Supplement
A completely revised and updated edition of a well-known textbook. Comprehensive guide exploring the scientific basis of global warming and the likely impacts of climate change on human society. Houghton addresses the action that could be taken by governments, by industry and by individuals to mitigate the effects. More...

hardcover | Edition 3 | 2004 | #144209 | £55.00
softcover | Edition 3 | 2004 | #144208 | £24.99

The Last Generation

Fred Pearce

Nature is fragile, environmentalists tell us. The truth is far more worrying. She is strong and packs a serious counter-punch. And, it could be on the way. Man-made global warming is on the verge of unleashing unstoppable planetary forces - and the process will not be gradual. New scientific findings about how our planet works show that it does not do gradual change. Under pressure, it lurches into another mode of operation - virtually overnight Nature's revenge will be sudden and brutal. More...

softcover | 2006 | #158787 | £12.99

Global Warning

Paul Brown

This visually stunning book aims to educate the public at large. It features graphics and maps, hard-hitting text, and powerful pictures showing the plight the world is already facing. The tone is serious, but ultimately positive and outlines what we all need to do to safeguard our future. It provides an honest appraisal of a critical situation, and some practical advice about solutions - whether making small adjustments in everyday life, or raising public awareness across the globe. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #161074 | £19.95

Climate Change Begins at Home

Dave Reay

This book argues that while government and industry dither, we could all cut our personal greenhouse gas emissions by 60% - the level necessary to halt the current trend according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climatologist Dave Reay explores the climate impact of housing, gardening, food, money, work, transport, death even. This entertaining and authoritative book makes climatology understandable and challenges readers to rethink their notions of 'doing their bit'. More...

hardcover | 2005 | #153570 | £16.99
softcover | 2006 | #161359 | £8.99

Plant Growth and Climate Change

Edited by James IL Morrison and Michael D Morecroft

Climatic conditions are key determinants of plant growth, whether at the scale of temperature regulation of the cell cycle, or at the scale of the geographic limits for a particular species. The climate is changing, due to human activities - particularly the emission of greenhouse gases - and therefore the conditions for the establishment, growth, reproduction, survival and distribution of plant species are changing. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #157216 | £99.95

The Revenge of Gaia

James Lovelock

New installment of Lovelock's writings on Gaia, in which he argues that the only way for humankind to come to terms with Gaia now, and have a chance of surviving, is to embrace science and technology, not reject them. This includes an acceptance that nuclear energy is a necessity in order to counter global warming. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #156593 | £16.99
softcover | February 2007 | #162741 | £8.99

Field Notes from a Catastrophe

Elizabeth Kolbert

In writing that is both clear and unbiased, Kolbert - an acclaimed New Yorker journalist - approaches global warming from every angle. She travels to the Arctic, England, Holland and Puerto Rico, conducts interviews, explains the science, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most - the people who make their homes near the poles. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #158770 | £14.99

The Weather Makers

Tim Flannery

Flannery reveals how the earth's climate has changed, across millennia and decades, and how the slightest imbalance has far-reaching, unexpected consequences. The weather - everything from hurricanes to heatwaves - cannot be understood in isolation. Flannery transports us as we share his wonder at the magnificence and diversity of nature, and grips and inspires us as he conjures up a vision of our past, present and future. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #156587 | £20.00

Climate Change and Managed Ecosystems

Jagtar Bhatti, Rattan Lal, Mick A Price and Michael J Apps

Featuring contributions from leading experts in the field, Climate Change and Managed Ecosystems examines the effects of global climate change on intensively constructed or reconstructed ecosystems, focusing on land use changes in relation to forestry, agriculture, and wetlands including peatlands. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #157076 | £92.00

The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change

Andrew E Dessler and Edward A Parson

In spite of the scientific community's warnings of the imminent dangers of global warming, politicians worldwide have failed to agree on what to do about this potentially devastating environmental problem. Dessler and Parson combine their respective expertise in the areas of atmospheric science and public environmental policy to help scientists, policy makers and the general public sort through the conflicting claims of the debate. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #147457 | £45.00
softcover | 2006 | #147458 | £19.99

Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change

Edited by Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber, Wolfgang Cramer et al

The Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest extent last summer and devastating hurricanes show how sensitive even developed societies are to extreme weather. In 2005 the UK Government hosted the 'Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change' conference to take an in-depth look at the scientific issues associated with climate change. This volume presents the most recent findings from those who attended the conference, including Tony Blair and Margaret Beckett. More...

hardcover | 2006 | #157618 | £70.00

To browse the NHBS Environment Bookstore's full list of titles on Climate Change click here

07 November, 2006

Western Cape Wetlands forum ...

The Western Cape Wetlands forum meetings are open to all with an
interest in wetlands and related issues.

Please find attached the agenda for the last meeting of 2006. It is on
the 15 November from 13.30 to 16.15 in the Congress Room of the
Biodiversity Centre at Kirstenbosch.

You can read an add on at the end of the agenda about the City of Cape
Town's Wetland database and come prepared for an interesting interactive

Contact person for agenda and further info:

Philippa Huntly
(Forum Secretary)
Urban Conservation Unit; SA National Biodiversity Institute
Kirstenbosch; Pvt Bag X7; Claremont; Cape Town
7735; South Africa Tel: 27 21 799 8692; CELL: 082 57 96521; Fax: 27 21
797 8390
website: http://www.sanbi.org/
project website: www.capeflatsnature.org

06 November, 2006

New Book on Climate Change in South Africa - "Scorched" ...

New Book on regional impacts of Climate Change

See also the book's website

The following book has just been launched - it gives a uniquely South African perspective on the problem of climate change and how it will impact on the region. Thought the following information might be of interesting to all of you:

Scorched: South Africa's Changing Climate (Wits University Press)

Leonie S Joubert

Scorched is a vivid journey through southern Africa's mesmerising landscapes as climate change sets in. It wanders through the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to capture the last faltering calls of a rain frog that was named after the hobbit Bilbo Baggins. The author pauses for thought following an elephant stampede to consider how savannahs might shift in an altered climate. She trails the wading birds of the West Coast into the high Arctic tundra for their annual breeding season before returning to a Cape which is crisping over as drought continues to grip the province.

Another world exists somewhere beyond the global politicking of super powers and petrostates. This is the place where a solitary bee continues to pollinate the pale, demure flower of an orchid near Darling, or where the limey coral skeleton hosts its colourful algae on a Sodwana reef. These plants and animals – many of which are unique to the region – continue to do what their ancestors have done for millions of years. Yet the world is shifting its shape around them. In places it is warming and drying, elsewhere the rains come in greater deluges. Some are abandoned by the other plants and animals with which they have cohabited, as species retreat before the onslaught of rising greenhouse gases and altered weather patterns.

Scorched marvels at the world in which we live: the improbable balance of the air round us and the way it banks away the Sun's energy to keep us warm and thriving, the way life has evolved in this planetary incubator and how one species has risen up to become a potent geophysical force with the ability to shift a system which has evolved over 4 600 million years.

Scorched gives powerful local colour to a global problem. It ponders the morality of the changes humankind has wrought, and the future of life as we know it.

Leonie Joubert studied journalism and history at the universities of Rhodes and Stellenbosch. It was her enduring fascination with the human condition and its place in the natural order of things that led her to take up science writing from a small study in Wynberg, overlooking the Cape peninsula. She is the recipient of a Merit Award in the 2006 SAB Environmentalist Journalists of the Year Awards – Print Media "in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the field of environmental journalism".

1 86814 437 2
210x190, 264pp
November 2006
R180.00 / US$29.95
978 1 86814 437 2

Please send orders to:

Book Promotions, PO Box 5, Plumstead 7800
Tel: 021 707 5700
Fax: 021 707 5795

Transaction Publishers, 390 Campus Drive, Somerset, NJ 08873, USA
Tel: 732 445 1245
Fax: 732 748 9801

UK / Europe:
The Eurospan Group
Tel: +44 207 845 0803
Fax: +44 207 379 3313

Cape Nature Biodiversity Review ...

Today I'm attending the Cape Nature Biodiversity Review.

Here is a pic of the gathering

05 November, 2006

National People and Parks Workshop ...

Here is a link to a post on my other blog about the National People and Parks workshop that I attended recently

The Stern Report on the Economics of Climate Change ...

You can download the actual report and associated reviews here

04 November, 2006

12 October, 2006

New NEMA EIA Regulations workshops ...

The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (Western Cape Province), in conjunction with Strategic Environmental Focus (Pty) Ltd, cordially invites you, as an interested party, to attend an informative and expounding workshop on the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) (NEMA) and the new NEMA Regulations (GN No. R. 385, GN No. R. 386 and GN. R. 387 of 21 April 2006).

The intention of the two-day training workshop is to provide clarity on issues and/or concerns regarding the new NEMA Regulations and how they will be implemented in the Western Cape.

The target audiences for these workshops include municipalities (in particular, Councilors, Town & Regional Planners, Technical Services Engineers, Environmental staff and Project Managers), government departments, consultants, business and industry and members of public.

There will be a series of workshops throughout the Western Cape. However, the workshop that falls within your area will be held at the location as set out below:

Karoo (Prince Albert) 19-20 October (RSVP 12 October )
Overberg (Caledon) 31 October & 1 November (RSVP 23 October)
Cape Town 6-7 November (RSVP 30 October)
Boland (Stellenbosch) 8-9 November (RSVP 1 November)
South Coast (George) 13-14 November (RSVP 6 November)
West Coast (Piketberg) 16-17 November (RSVP 9 November)

Please ensure that you register before the RSVP date, by replying to the contact details as set out below, so that the necessary catering and logistical arrangements can be made.

Strategic Environmental Focus (Pty) Ltd
P. O. Box 1330
Tel: (021) 979 3822
Fax: (021) 979 3830
E-mail: Victoria@sefsa.co.za

You are urged to make use of this opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the new environmental regulations.

Draft Off-Road Route Guidelines ...

Dear Stakeholder

Draft Off-Road Route Guidelines that are now available for public review.

A detailed letter about the whole guideline process is available from the contact person detailed at the end of this post.

Unfortunately these document are too large to send as attachments, and you are requested to download them from either www.savannahSA.com or www.capegateway.gov.za/eadp

I have downloaded them on my dial-up system and it took a total of 18 minutes to download all three documents. I recommend that you 'right-click' on "View" and use "Save Target As" - this should facilitate the download process.

The files are as follows:
* Planning and Managing Sustainable Off-Road Routes: A Guide for Route Planners and Operators - 3,196kb

* Assessment and Evaluation of proposed and existing Off-Road Routes: A Guide for Environmental Assessment Practitioners and Authorities, and Route Planners - 1,968kb

* Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Use of Off-Road Routes and Trails: A Practical Guide for Recreational Trail Users - 133kb

The letter also includes details of two public meetings that will be held to discuss comments regarding the guidelines.
They are as follows:

a.. Cape Town - Wednesday 25th October, 9.30am, Kirstenbosch Stone Cottages (2-3 hours as needed)

b.. George - Thursday 26th October, 10.30am, King George Protea Hotel (2-3 hours as needed)

Please reply to Kathy Leslie, wleslie@iafrica.com if you are able to attend
either meeting. Any other comments or queries can be forwarded to Kathy or
Karen Jodas of Savannah Environmental by 9th November 2006.

Kathy Leslie 083 325 5615 or 021 671 9350 (fax 088 021 671 9350)

All ISO certified companies - capacity building opportunity ...

A must attend for all ISO certified companies to keep you up to date with the latest information - 24 August at the Plastics Federation, Midrand.

You are invited to attend this highly informative workshop to be held at the Koeberg Visitors Centre in Koeberg on 26th October 2006. The programme is designed to inform on a range of important topics which currently challenge industry and are of particular importance to those who manufacture, fill, use, empty, dispose, reprocess or recycle industrial packaging and especially those who have ISO certification to keep them up to date with new legislation and best global industry practice.

Speakers include Provincial Government on the Green Scorpions approach to compliance, monitoring and enforcement and new Waste legislation, SANAS on what SANAS Accreditation means and why it is important to your certification body to several innovative ways for recycle of common waste streams including ewaste as well as feedback from the recent International Industrial Packaging Conference in San Francisco.

Secure your place by completing and returning the attached registration form by fax 032-942 8328 or email liz@rcmasa.org.za and do pass on a copy to anyone you know who should attend.

For more information on this stunning venue, please visit the Eskom Website on www.eskom.co.za.

Look forward to seeing you on the 26th.
Best regards, Liz and Lee-Anne

PO Box 894
tel: 032-942 8256
fax: 032-942 8328

Wetland service provider required ...

Dear wetlanders

SANBI is acting as the national focal point for a project on the
sustainable management of inland wetlands in southern Africa, funded
by the Global Environment Facility and implemented through International
Water Management Institute, IUCN and Food and Agriculture Organisation.

IUCN Regional Office for Southern Africa, which is responsible for the
component of the project dealing with assessment of needs for capacity
development, would like to appoint a service provider to undertake a
short study on policies, strategies, curricula and institutional
arrangements for wetland management in South Africa. A ToR is available for more information.

Anyone interested in undertaking this work should submit to me the CVs
of a proposed two person team before 18 October 2006.

Please note that the budget for this work is fixed and is included in
the ToR, so it is implicit that you will need to scale the intensity
of the study to fit the funds available.

Contact person:
John Dini
Programme Manager
Working for Wetlands
South African National Biodiversity Institute
Private Bag X101, Pretoria, 0001
South Africa
Tel: +27 12 843 5292
Fax: +27 12 843 5205
Cell: 083 420 7988
Email: dini@sanbi.org

24 September, 2006

Global ocean cooling ...

See this interesting post about a measured recent cooling in ocean temperatures - global warming with speedbumps!

Global Warming ! ...

Global warming is essentially caused by the energy that is normally reflected back off the earth's surface being absorbed by the polluted atmosphere rather than passing through unpolluted air back into space. This is due to the recent dramatic increase in carbon dioxide and methane largely caused by the burning of fossil fuel, coal and oil.

On 12 Sept I flew up to a meeting in Pretoria. The following pics are just three of a series that I took as I flew back from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I was hoping to illustrate the improvement in air quality as we flew south, intending to use the pics in a schools presentation on Climate Change that I am preparing. I was not disappointed.

This first picture was taken shortly after we took off from Johannesburg (now Oliver Tambo) International Airport. You can just see the airport through the smog on this fine spring day!

This picture was taken about half way through the two hour flight over the southern Free State, just approaching the Great Karoo. The poluted air mass, left, that covers the northern half of the country where all our coal fired power stations are situated can be clearly seen. The cloudy area on the right of the picture was the extreme northern limit of the cleaner unpolluted southern ocean airmass.

This pic is taken about 18h00, two hours after the first picture. It shows the mountains about 60km north of Cape Town. Compare the great visibility through the atmosphere with the first picture.

Eish, Im glad to live in Cape Town.

05 September, 2006

GEF Assembly 7 ...

Launch of a book on the GEF funded C.A.P.E. Programme - see here

The C.A.P.E. publication, Fynbos Fynmense – people making biodiversity work, was launched at the Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town on the 28th of August 2006. The event, which was held together with the 2006 EnviroMedia Conference, was well attended. Attendees included the Western Cape Provincial MEC for Environment, Planning and Economic Development, Tasneem Essop, as well as representatives from the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme and the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund.

The book is a culmination of the efforts of members of the C.A.P.E. Coordination Unit, Ally Ashwell and Sandra Turck and is the fourth volume of the SANBI Biodiversity Series. It illustrates the results of the C.A.P.E. partnership and provides examples of creative thinking in promoting biodiversity conservation in the context of sustainable development. It is hoped that the book will contribute to the dissemination of lessons learned from the C.A.P.E. Programme to other bioregional programmes.

Trevor Sandwith, co-ordinator of the programme at the podium, Ally Ashwell on his left (holding a copy of the book) the primary editor and others on the editorial team.

Minister Tasneem Essop (W Cape Prov Minister for Economic Affairs and Environment), and others receiving boquets after the book launch.

The Hoerikwaggo Table Mountain Trail Guides telling their moving story - see here for details.
They were all previously unemployed persons who were given a chance of a lifetime and seem to have grasped the opportunity with both hands.

Cape minstrels taking part in the opening ceremony. In my oppinion this ceremony was kitch in the extreme and exposed among the poorest cultural offerings Cape Town had to offer! But then I'm no expert in that field.

Formalities of the opening ceremony. Left to right, W Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool, National Environment and Tourism Minister, Martinus van Schalkwyk, National Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and GEF CEO, Monique Barbut.

04 September, 2006

GEF Assembly 6 ...

I won't bother to report all the formal stuff from the GEF Assembly but you can find the comprehensive IISD reports here and the Assembly documents here

When and if I get an evening free I'll post some of my own photographs of the event.

I also spent the weekend up the west coast with Nicolle Glineur of GEF and have lots of lovely photos of spring flowers.

International Day for Biological Diversity Theme - 22 May 2007 ...

The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity announced that the focus of the 2007 International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD), 22 May, will be on Biodiversity and Climate Change.

See here for details.

Spring flowers in the Bidou Valley, east of Clanwilliam, over the Pakhuis Pass through the Cedarberg. Western Cape Province, South Africa

28 August, 2006

GEF Assembly 5 ...

Registration for the GEF Assembly got underway today.
Gigi and I went down early to avoid the queues

Cape Town's International Convention Centre (CTICC) where the GEF Assembly will meet and most of the side events will take place

Banner above registration.

The registration desk before the mad rush

Display of crafts in the foyer of the CTICC

Street banner outside the CTICC - please excuse the alien invasive Cassurina/Beefwood on the left!

At 15h00 an informal reception was held at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
It was a warm sunny day, what we call berg (mountain) wind weather that preceedes a cold front! Tomorrow is going to be cold and rainy in the afternoon - that should surprise many of the delegates after todays perfect spring weather!

What a pitty that not a single member of our department, other than myself, attended this event. The only ones that were there were a few souls that had been roped in as volunteers, standing around handing out 'goodie' bags to the deleates. What a great opportunity to network with very influential international and and national luminaries involved in biodiversity funding. All the senior officials of the national department's international relations and biodiversity management divisions from Pretoria attended. Here we sit with two biodiversity hotspots of international significance in our province and all our .......... resists making career limiting statements .......... Ag shame - its only about biodiversity and ecosystem services!

The 'Silvertree' restaurant where the reception was held.

Some of us decided to walk in the garden in the beautiful spring weather. Nicole Glineur, right, is Programme Manager: Biodiversity of the GEF and Rachael S?? is with the GEF's small grant facility in New York. That's yours truely in the middle - the grey one not the dark brown one, thank you!

William Boshoff's 'Garden of Words III' - On the lawn above the visitor centre a local South African artist, Willem Boshoff, had put up an extremely interesting atistic installation. You can read all about it on the notice above (Click on the picture to enlarge it).

Below are a range of pictures that I took of the installation.

The installation comprises 15 000 'artificial flowers' representing 15 000 endangered species and has been set up in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden to bring to the attention of the visitors the plight of the worlds plant biodiversity.

The inspiration comes from the fields of gravestones at Flanders

The red cups represent poppies

The folded handkerchiefs represent sadness and as well as forming petals when pressed into the 'poppies'

Willem posing in front of his installation with Nursery Buttress behind.

The words are species names and localities of endangered plants. You can't really read them, folded as they are into the 'poppies'. This represents the fading of the species. Soon they will just be memories. Eventually they'll be forgotten!

I'm extremely tempted to nip into the garden late one evening and add an extra row of poppies with certain selected names of my own.

Willem Boshoff, the artist discussing his installation with a couple of visitors to Kirstenbosch