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