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Flood impact won’t affect annual sardine run

Flood impact won’t affect annual sardine run


The impact of the recent devastating floods on the ocean will not affect this year’s sardine run in KwaZulu-Natal.


Dr Ryan Daly of the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban and the SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity said conditions were set for the arrival of millions of sardines.

“What we know about the sardines so far is that there appears to be a lot in the Western Cape with sightings in the Plettenberg Bay area. We know they’re in the Cape. The question is, will they come here? Though the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal caused a surge in water and debris into the Indian Ocean, the impact on the ocean has largely passed, and it shouldn’t impact the sardine run expected to arrive around May.

“Temperature is the main thing that dictates the timing and extent of the movement up the coast. It has been an unusual few years in that they’ve been very wet. However, 2020 and 2021 were relatively good sardine runs, both of which were similarly wet being La Niña years. It’s holding the same pattern so I think we are going to get another good one. We’ll have to wait and see,” he said.

Every winter‚ most often in June or July‚ millions of sardines leave the cold waters off Cape Point and make their way up the coast to KwaZulu-Natal.

Each year holiday-makers flock to the province to catch a glimpse of the spectacle, which is dubbed the Greatest Shoal on Earth, and includes sharks‚ birds and dolphins in a feeding frenzy as they prey on the sardines.


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A overview of the situation at Khokhoba in Resevoir Hills. Image: Sandile Ndlovu

SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAMS COMMENDED FOR BRAVERY IN FLOODED KZN


KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended the men and women in search and rescue teams who continue to look for 63 missing people in the aftermath of devastating floods in the province.

Campaigners hailed the ruling as a victory for ‘voiceless’ indigenous groups. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA

CAMPAIGNERS FORCE SHELL TO HALT OIL EXPLORATION ON SOUTH AFRICAN COAST


Court instructs company to stop tests along Wild Coast after concerns raised about wildlife and lack of consultation.

KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board operations manager Greg Thompson said monitoring would start in the second week of May.

“Our first few flights are normally through to East London to try to gauge how far north the sardines have moved. This is to ensure our shark safety gear is removed well before the first pockets reach KwaZulu-Natal waters.

“It’s fairly easy to monitor large quantities of sardines with associated predators in pursuit, but the small pilot shoals that pop up out of nowhere can be a challenge. Therefore we also rely on the information and sightings we receive from residents, fisherman and dive charters in the Eastern Cape,” he said.

Ugu South Coast Tourism CEO Phelisa Mangcu said the sardine run was a highlight on the south coast’s tourism calendar.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors who can experience this natural display after two years in lockdown and the devastating recent floods. Whether from the land, sea or sky, we have the best viewpoints for our many visitors who are looking for a unique family-friendly holiday.”

Source:

Nivashni Nair at Sowetan Live



Search and rescue teams commended for bravery in flooded KZN

Search and rescue teams commended for bravery in flooded KZN


KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended the men and women in search and rescue teams who continue to look for 63 missing people in the aftermath of devastating floods in the province.


KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka has commended the men and women in search and rescue teams who continue to look for 63 missing people in the aftermath of devastating floods in the province.

“We commend them for their bravery and commitment,” Hlomuka said on Monday.

The death toll stands at 443 with eThekwini recording 399 lives lost, iLembe district 30, King Cetshwayo five, Ugu seven and uMzinyathi two. The army is sending 10,000 members to help with relief, rescue and rebuilding the province.

“The tragedy unfolding in our province is one of the worst natural disasters in the recorded history of our country. The response we have seen from all sectors of society shows South Africans are united in overcoming adversity,” said the MEC.

The provincial disaster management centre has activated a toll-free helpline, 0800 000 953/954, for members of the public who need support. The number is manned 24/7 and bolsters capacity for the district disaster management centre.

“We wish to express our gratitude once more to all South Africans who continue to donate to relief efforts. Every piece of clothing, food and bedding donated towards the relief efforts makes a big difference to the lives of the victims of the disaster, many of whom lost loved ones and everything in moments because of the flooding,” said Hlomuka.

“The provincial government is under no illusion about the task that lies ahead as we set forward to build and repair critical infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and sanitation.”

The eThekwini metro and districts of King Cetshwayo and iLembe are the most affected areas in the province.


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SA MUST SPEND MORE ON CLIMATE ADAPTATION, SAYS RAMAPHOSA, AS KZN FLOODS BECOME NATIONAL DISASTER


South Africa needs to spend more money on climate adaptation in the face of climate change, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday night.

He announced the declaration of a national state of emergency after floods in KwaZulu-Natal, with the expectation of more bad weather in the North West and Free State.

CLIMATE CHANGE: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS ARE ‘THE NEW NORM’


Extreme weather events – including powerful heat waves and devastating floods – are now the new normal, says the World Meteorological Organisation.


“These municipalities have made great progress to restore the supply of electricity and water to areas where they were disrupted. There are areas that have suffered extensive damage which will take longer to repair.”

On Sunday premier Sihle Zikalala said government and social partners would provide support to bereaved families.

“The executive council has approved the provincial policy on government support funeral assistance to people who passed away as a result of the flood disasters. We will work closely with the affected municipalities, which also have their own policies to assist the needy and indigent and are currently conducting profiling in line with their policies. Partners such as AVBOB have also committed to supporting about 150 people,” said Hlomuka.

“During this difficult period faced by our province, we wish to once more commend the support our province continues to receive from all corners. The additional support has made relief efforts smoother.”

Source:

TimesLive



SA must spend more on climate adaptation, says Ramaphosa, as KZN floods become national disaster

SA must spend more on climate adaptation, says Ramaphosa, as KZN floods become national disaster


South Africa needs to spend more money on climate adaptation in the face of climate change, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday night.

He announced the declaration of a national state of emergency after floods in KwaZulu-Natal, with the expectation of more bad weather in the North West and Free State.

Some government relief funding will flow via the Solidarity Fund, Ramaphosa said, and a special structure is being set up to guard against corruption. 


South Africa needs to spend more money preparing for bad weather, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, speaking to the nation about the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal on Monday night.

“These floods are a tragic reminder of the increasing frequency of extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change,” he said. “We need to increase our investment in climate adaptation measures to better safeguard communities against the effects of climate change.”

This added spending must come even as South Africa reduces its emissions, he said, as part of global efforts to mitigate the extent of climate change.

In the meanwhile, money spent on recovering from the current disaster must be spent wisely, and without fraud, he said.

Ramaphosa announced the elevation of the KwaZulu-Natal floods to the status of a national disaster – just days after it had been formally classified as a provincial disaster. That moves responsibility for co-ordination of the response to the disaster, including high-level decisions on how money should be spent, from the KZN provincial executive and into the hands of Ramaphosa’s cabinet.

KZN Floods 2022

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“Given the extent and impact of the floods, the designation of a provincial state of disaster is inadequate to deal with the scale of the emergency, and the required reconstruction and rehabilitation measures, and responses,” he said, citing the importance of the Durban port to the national economy.

“With the heavy rains and flooding in the Eastern Cape, and indications from the South African weather service that the North West and Free State may also be affected by bad weather, it is clear that there are other areas of the country that need emergency intervention as well,” Ramaphosa said.



Ramaphosa spent a significant portion of his national address, of a type exceedingly rare outside of announcements on Covid-19, talking about measures to prevent corruption in the spending of disaster-relief funds.


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CLIMATE CHANGE: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS ARE ‘THE NEW NORM’


Extreme weather events – including powerful heat waves and devastating floods – are now the new normal, says the World Meteorological Organisation.

IMPORTANT CLIMATE CHANGE MEASURES FOR SOUTH AFRICA GET CABINET NOD


South Africa’s efforts to address the effects of climate change on people and the economy in a manner which leaves no one behind, recently received a firm nod from Cabinet.


“It will be critical, as we undertake this work, that all the resources we mobilise are used for their intended purposes and reach the intended recipients,” he said.

“There can be no room for corruption. There can be no room for mismanagement or fraud of any sort.”

At least some government relief funding will flow via the Solidarity Fund set up to handle donations around Covid-19, Ramaphosa said. And an “oversight structure” will be set up to ensure that, with representatives from the office of the auditor general, business groups, religious organisations, as well as engineers and accountants. 

“We are determined that there must be transparency and accountability as the projects are costed and implemented, as well as how resources are deployed, right from the beginning, not after the money has either been wasted or stolen,” Ramaphosa said. 

Source:

Phillip de Wet at Business Insider



Campaigners force Shell to halt oil exploration on South African coast

Campaigners force Shell to halt oil exploration on South African coast


Court instructs company to stop tests along Wild Coast after concerns raised about wildlife and lack of consultation


Shell will be forced to halt oil exploration in vital whale breeding grounds along South Africa’s eastern coastline after a local court blocked the controversial project.

The court order calls for an immediate halt to Shell’s seismic tests which involve blasting sound waves through the relatively untouched Wild Coast marine environment, which is home to whales, dolphins and seals.

The community campaigners behind the legal challenge welcomed the court’s decision as a victory for “voiceless” indigenous groups living near the coast which hold customary rights to undertake small-scale fishing in the area, as well as a cultural and spiritual connection to the ocean.

Lawyers for the groups successfully argued that Shell had failed to meaningfully consult people who would be affected by the seismic survey and also provided evidence of the threat of harm to marine life.

Wilmien Wicomb, an attorney at the Legal Resources Centre, said the case held “huge significance” because it showed that “no matter how big a company is, it ignores local communities at its peril”.

“This case is really a culmination of the struggle of communities along the Wild Coast for the recognition of their customary rights to land and fishing, and to respect for their customary processes,” Wicomb said.

A river mouth on the relatively untouched South African Wild Coast.
The relatively untouched South African Wild Coast is home to whales, dolphins and seals. Photograph: Africa Media Online/Alamy

Sinegugu Zukulu, a senior campaigner for Sustaining the Wild Coast, added: “The voices of the voiceless have been heard. The voices of the directly affected people have at last been heard, and the constitutional rights of indigenous people have been upheld.”

The victory for local communities follows an unsuccessful 11th-hour legal challenge by environmental groups earlier this month to block Shell’s plans on the grounds that it could cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Critics of Shell’s presence on the Wild Coast argue its plans were approved using outdated legislation. Shell received the green light in 2014 from South Africa’s then minister of mineral resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, just months before new environmental legislation was put in place.


Related post:

IMPORTANT CLIMATE CHANGE MEASURES FOR SOUTH AFRICA GET CABINET NOD


South Africa’s efforts to address the effects of climate change on people and the economy in a manner which leaves no one behind, recently received a firm nod from Cabinet.


The oil company could be forced to comply with the tougher environmental regulation to move forward with its exploration plan for the sensitive ecological region, subject to a separate court hearing.

“This case reminds us that constitutional rights belong to the people and not to government,” Zukulu said. “And that the only way that we can [ensure] that the rights of indigenous people are living – and not just written on paper – is if we challenge government decisions that disregard these rights. This victory is hugely significant because we have made sure that the rights of indigenous communities are kept alive.”

A Shell spokesperson said: “We respect the court’s decision and have paused the survey while we review the judgment.”

Source:

Jillian Ambrose at The Guardian



Meet the South African teenager capturing award-winning wildlife images

Meet the South African teenager capturing award-winning wildlife images


If you were to ask a photographer the recipe for the perfect shot, you’ll likely get a list of ingredients that include time of day, lighting, framing and a dash of luck. South African wildlife photographer Skye Meaker sees things differently.


“For me, the perfect shot is one where I feel as if I’m not really there. It’s one where the animal is comfortable enough to behave as if I’m not there,” says Meaker. “I like to feel immersed in the moment and capture nature at its most natural.”

And after countless photos, Meaker nabbed his version of the perfect shot when he was just 17 — featuring a leopard he calls “Limpy” that he had been following for many years and holds a special place in his heart. “I’ve grown alongside her,” he says.

Skye Meaker's award winning photography

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Skye Meaker's picture of Limpy, aka the "Lounging Leopard," won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award in 2018. "She is the calmest leopard around vehicles that I've ever seen," Meaker says. "She lets you get really close to her, which is how I managed to show the peace that she must have felt at that moment in time, just as she woke up."

That image, titled “Lounging Leopard,” won Meaker the 2018 Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, hosted by the Natural History Museum in London.

Meaker, now 19, began photographing wildlife at the age of seven on frequent family trips to local game reserves and nature parks. “As a youngster, I was always fascinated by my dad’s camera and how it could make the things I saw in front of me magically turn into a picture that you could look at on a tiny screen. I remember constantly asking him if I could take pictures with his camera,” he explains. “My parents eventually decided to give me a little camera which I referred to as the ‘pocket rocket.'”

Ten years later, after plenty of practice and patience, he would capture his award-winning image. Meaker says winning the prize has changed his life in more ways than one.

“I’ve been able to tell my story at the World Economic Forum in both Davos, Switzerland and in my home country of South Africa. I’ve been able to share my passions in photography and wildlife with the world,” Meaker says.

“I would hope my future would be something where I can take my own family to the bush and give them the chance to fall in love with nature, just like how my parents have done for me,” he adds. “I would like to give my children an opportunity to understand and see for themselves the beautiful nature that I love and appreciate.”

Source:

Daryl Brown at CNN



South Africans protest against Shell oil exploration in pristine coastal area

South Africans protest against Shell oil exploration in pristine coastal area


South Africans took to their beaches on Sunday to protest against plans by Royal Dutch Shell to do seimsic oil exploration they say will threaten marine wildlife such as whales, dolphins, seals and penguins on a pristine coastal stretch.


A South African court on Friday struck down an application brought by environmentalists to stop the oil major exploring in the eastern seaboard’s Wild Coast, rejecting as unproven their argument that it would cause “irreparable harm” to the marine environment, especially migrating hump-back whales. read more

The Wild Coast is home of some of the country’s most undisturbed wildlife refuges, and it’s stunning coastal wildernesses are also a major tourist draw.

At least 1,000 demonstrators gathered on a beach near Port Edward, a Reuters TV correspondent saw.

“It’s just absolutely horrendous that they are even considering this. Look around you?” said demonstrator Kas Wilson, indicating an unspoilt stretch of beach. “It’s unacceptable and … we will stop it.”

Shell officials were not immediately available for comment, but the company said on Friday that its planned exploration has regulatory approval, and it will significantly contribute to South Africa’s energy security if resources are found.

But local people fear the seismic blasting conducted over 6,000 square kilometres will kill or scare away the fish they depend on to live.

“I don’t want them to operate here because if they do we won’t be able to catch fish,” said 62-year-old free dive fisherwoman Toloza Mzobe, after pulling a wild lobster from the ground. “What are we going to eat?”

Environmentalists are urging Shell and other oil companies to stop prospecting for oil, arguing that the world has no chance of reaching net zero carbon by 2050 if existing oil deposits are burned, let alone if new ones are found.

Earlier this year, a Dutch court ordered Shell to reduce its planet warming carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2019 levels, a decision it plans to appeal.

South Africa’s environment ministry referred Reuters to a statement late last month that “the Minister responsible for environmental affairs is … not mandated to consider the application or to make a decision on the authorisation of the seismic survey.”

South Africans protest against Shell oil exploration in pristine coastal area

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A protestor joins a demonstration against Royal Dutch Shell's plans to start seismic surveys to explore petroleum systems off the country's popular Wild Coast at Mzamba Beach, Sigidi, South Africa, December 5, 2021. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

What is seismic blasting?

The process involves blasting the seafloor with highly powered airguns at intervals, and then measuring the echoes, which helps map out oil and gas reserves.

The process can continue for weeks or months at a time. The sound of the blasts can travel for hundreds of kilometers.

Ecologists believe the exploration technique could upset the behavior of marine animals including their feeding, reproduction and migration patterns, especially animals like whales who depend on their sense of hearing.

Why are people protesting?

There are fears the prospecting activity will have a devastating impact on marine life.

The area Shell is planning to explore is known as the Wild Coast along the country’s eastern coastline. It’s a popular tourist area and environmental groups regard it as an ecologically sensitive marine sanctuary. 

“It’s just absolutely horrendous that they are even considering this. Look around you!” said demonstrator Kas Wilson. “It’s unacceptable and… we will stop it,” he said.

“Seismic blasting on the Wild Coast will not only destroy precious ecosystems but will also impact local communities, all in the name of profit,” Greenpeace Africa said in a tweet.

Local fishermen believe the prospecting will have an impact on their livelihoods. “I don’t want them to operate here because if they do we won’t be able to catch fish,” said fisherwoman Toloza Mzobe.

Shell says discoveries will be good for South Africa

However, Shell has said that its exploration had received regulatory approval and that its activity would contribute significantly to South Africa’s energy sector if resources were discovered.

The oil company plans to spend four to five months exploring in the region. Speaking to AFP in November, a company spokesman said: “We take great care to prevent or minimize impacts on fish, marine mammals and other wildlife.”

But environmentalist contend that there will be no chance of meeting net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050 if prospecting for new reserves is allowed to continue.

Sources:

Siyabonga Sishi via Reuters

kb/jsi at DW News



Thirty South African white rhinos airlifted to Rwanda in the largest single translocation

Thirty South African white rhinos airlifted to Rwanda in the largest single translocation


The rhinos, consisting of 19 females and 11 males aged between four years and 27 years were translocated from South Africa’s Phinda Private Game Reserve to the new home in Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda as part of a program to replenish the species’ population


The rhinos, consisting of 19 females and 11 males aged between four years and 27 years were translocated from South Africa’s Phinda Private Game Reserve to the new home in Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda as part of a program to replenish the species’ population, decimated by poaching since the 1970s. The translocation was carried out through collaboration between the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), African Parks with funding from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

Rwanda Development Board, which manages the Akagera National Park along with African parks termed the relocation as a historical milestone.

White rhinos are classified as endangered with numbers declining across their natural habitats, largely due to poaching driven by demand for their horns. The southern white rhino, one of two subspecies of white rhino, is critically endangered with about 20,000 individuals remaining. The Northern white rhino, the other subspecies, has all but vanished, with only two females left alive.

African Parks’ CEO Peter Fearnhead said:

Introductions to safe, intact wild landscapes are vital for the future of vulnerable species like the white rhino, which are under considerable human-induced pressures.

Jes Gruner, Park Manager of Akagera national park said that the rhinos were slightly sedated to keep them calm and not aggressive during the journey.

The rhinos weren’t sedated on the plane in the sense they were totally lying down, as that’s bad for their sternums. But they were partly drugged, so they could still stand up and keep their bodily functions normal, but enough to keep them calm and stable.

The introduction of white rhinos to Akagera follows the reintroduction of lions in 2015 and 18 eastern black rhinos in 2017.

Source:

PolarBear on NewsBreak



Road to hell for marine life: Shell’s Wild Coast seismic assessment plans meet mounting public protest

Road to hell for marine life: Shell’s Wild Coast seismic assessment plans meet mounting public protest


‘Hell no, Shell must go’ — activists protest against the arrival of the Amazon Warrior in Cape Town on Sunday. This is the ship’s last stop before it carries out a seismic assessment in search of oil and gas off the Wild Coast, starting on 1 December.


Waving banners, beating drums and chanting, an array of protesters — including members of Extinction Rebellion Cape Town, Oceans Not Oil and the Green Connection — awaited the arrival of the Amazon Warrior, a 130-metre seismic blasting vessel hired by oil giant Shell, at Cape Town Harbour on Sunday morning. From the outset, their message was clear: “Shell can go to hell”.

“Hell no, Shell must go!” the protesters chanted. Placards with defaced Shell logos on them bobbed above the crowd.

Shell has appointed Shearwater GeoServices to conduct the survey, which will last from four to five months, and cover more than 6,000km² of ocean surface. The survey area is located more than 20km from the coast, with its closest point in water depths ranging between 700m and 3km, Daily Maverick reported.

Activists protest against Shell’s offshore exploration plan along the Wild Coast at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Sunday, 21 November 2021. Shell’s announcement that it will conduct a seismic survey to probe for oil and gas along the Wild Coast has drawn outrage from the public (Photo: Victoria O’Regan)

During this time, the seismic airgun blasts will increase the cacophony of sounds in the ocean, adding to those made by whales, dolphins and other marine life. Scientists and environmentalists alike have raised serious concerns about the “disastrous effects” of seismic assessments on the marine environment.  

shell protest
People protest at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Sunday, 21 November 2021 against Shell’s offshore exploration plan to probe for oil and gas along the Wild Coast. (Photo: Victoria O’Regan)

Climate activist organisation Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cape Town has said that there is increasing evidence that seismic blasting harms marine life. “Environmentalists are extremely concerned that seismic blasting of this scale will hurt our whales during breeding seasons, possibly separating mothers from their calves. But also fishing communities are sounding the alarm since the shockwaves will also scare off and harm their catch for unknown periods,” said XR Cape Town press coordinator, Michael Wolf.

In a statement on Saturday, XR Cape Town demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa urgently intervene and withdraw the exploration licence from Shell and its partners, and send the Amazon Warrior home. 

People protest against Shell’s offshore exploration plan off the Wild Coast and the arrival of the Amazon Warrior at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Sunday, 21 November 2021. (Photo: Victoria O’Regan)

Shell’s announcement has spurred widespread public outrage and ignited a petition campaign to stop the survey. 

The Oceans Not Oil coalition started a petition calling on Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy to withdraw approval of Shell’s application to probe for oil and gas off the Eastern Cape shoreline. By Sunday morning, the petition had received more than 147,500 signatories. 

About 100-150 protesters and activists were at the Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront when Daily Maverick arrived at around 5.30am on Sunday. From there, the demonstrators marched through the Silo District, eventually arriving at the edge of a pier near Shimmy Beach Club. 

Protesters demonstrate at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Sunday, 21 November 2021 against Shell’s offshore exploration for oil and gas along the Wild Coast. (Photo: Victoria O’Regan)

For about three hours the protesters waited to “unwelcome” the Amazon Warrior to Cape Town. The ship eventually arrived in the bay at about 8.15am, but remained outside the harbour.

“The reason why we’re here today is because we’re telling Shell to go to hell. We do not approve of their want to do seismic activity across the Wild Coast because it will not only affect marine life but will affect individuals and marginalised communities,” protester and youth coordinator at the African Climate Alliance, Gabriel Klaasen, told Our Burning Planet.

Klaasen said Shell’s plans for the Wild Coast will not only affect marine life, but will have social and economic impacts on communities in the area. 

“This needs to come to an end if we want to make sure our marine life is secure for future generations to benefit from. The ocean is one of the biggest carbon sinks in the world and if we don’t protect it, we are screwing humans over,” he said. 

Strategic lead for the Green Connection, Liz McDaid addresses protesters at Sunday’s action against Shell’s plan to carry out a three-dimensional seismic survey in search of oil and gas deposits from Morgan Bay to Port St Johns off the Wild Coast, starting on 1 December. (Photo: Victoria O’Regan)

Addressing protesters on Sunday, strategic lead for the Green Connection organisation Liz McDaid said that while there are currently groups of environmental lawyers trying to find ways to stop the project, public pressure on Shell is the way forward.  

“It’s us on the ground who have the best chance of public pressure building to stop them and to shut them down,” said McDaid.

McDaid said Sunday’s action was the first in a series of rolling actions planned before 1 December. There have been protests along the Wild Coast and pickets outside Shell petrol stations across the country, she said. 

A silent march from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay harbour to raise public awareness also took place at midday on Sunday. 

People gather at the Waterfront in Cape Town on Sunday, 21 November 2021 to protest against Shell’s offshore exploration plan along the Wild Coast. Demonstrators gathered to ‘unwelcome’ the ship commissioned to conduct the survey, which docked in Cape Town on Sunday. (Photo: Victoria O’Regan)

“What we are also planning to do — if we can raise the money — is hire a research vessel to shadow and monitor” the Amazon Warrior’s activity on the Wild Coast, said McDaid. 

“What we also think will put public pressure on Shell is to call on all the holidaymakers who are driving around to boycott Shell,” she said. 

“We were at the Paradise Motors Shell garage yesterday and it was very inspiring to see people look at the posters, drive in and then drive out without getting petrol,” she said.

“As long as we can resist and they know we are resisting, it makes their lives harder.”

Source:

Victoria O’Regan at Daily Maverick



Important climate change measures for South Africa get Cabinet nod

Important climate change measures for South Africa get Cabinet nod


South Africa’s efforts to address the effects of climate change on people and the economy in a manner which leaves no one behind, recently received a firm nod from Cabinet.


The meeting approved the revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the Climate Bill and South Africa’s negotiating position for COP-26. We have also brought forward the year in which emissions are due to decline from 2035 in the initial NDC, to 2025 in the updated NDC.

As a developing country, South Africa is committed to contributing its fair share towards a global low-emissions, climate resilient economy and society by mid-century. We recognise the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic for the world, and for South Africa, in particular, without global ambitious action to reduce emissions, and address adaptation.

The latest science makes it clear that in order to prevent these catastrophic consequences, an accelerated shift to a low-emissions society is required.

South Africa in partnership with the rest of Africa is on the front-line in the global struggle against climate change and is dedicating significant resources to adapt to the reality of an already-changing climate and address consequential loss and damage.

Kouga Wind Farm in construction near Oyster Bay, Eastern Cape

Our updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), was deposited with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recently. The submission of the updated NDC follows widespread consultation with business, organised labour, government, civil society and the Climate Commission.

South Africa has set an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution of 420- 350 Mt CO2-eq which is compatible with Paris Agreement goals. However, to achieve such an ambitious target, developed countries must meet their financing commitments made under the UNFCCC and reaffirmed in the Paris Agreement adopted at COP 21.

In the past decade developed countries have not kept to the level of commitments on climate finance, enshrined in the Paris Agreement. In particular there has been minimal assistance to emerging economies in this regard. Accordingly, we need certainty and predictability of the quantum of financing available to us, to embark on our Just Transition.

The Presidential Climate Commission appointed in February, is tasked with bringing together the government, private sector, organised labour and civil society to advise the government on just transition pathways that will ensure our transition to a lower carbon economy that will open up new opportunities for inclusive local industrialisation and growth, job creation and re-skilling.

Fundamental to the commission’s mandate is ensuring that those most vulnerable to the consequences of the transition, particularly workers and communities in the coal value chain, are not left behind.

Cabinet has also adopted the long-awaited Climate Change Bill, an important step in the development of our country’s architecture to manage and combat climate change. The bill, which will soon be tabled in Parliament, spells out that all adaptation and mitigation efforts should be based on the best available science, evidence and information. It further gives effect to South Africa’s international commitments and obligations in relation to climate change, and defines the steps to be taken to protect and preserve the planet for the benefit of present and future generations.

The bill sets in place a mechanism to co-ordinate the government response to the effective management of climate change impacts. Through the national adaptation response, we will strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change.

With regard to our country’s negotiating mandate for COP-26, South Africa is fully committed to a collective, multilateral approach to addressing the global challenge of climate change, with the UNFCCC at its centre.

Our position on resource mobilisation is to secure new commitments of support by developed countries for implementation by developing countries, addressing both mitigation and adaptation. We need the COP to provide clarity on and commence the process for determining a new and more ambitious goal for long-term finance, increasing beyond the $100 billion (R1 498bn) per year from 2025.

As already explained, South Africa, and many other developing countries, require the means of implementation for its adaptation and mitigation actions. This funding could come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance.

With regard to adaptation, COP-26 should deliver an outcome that will enable practical progress, including launching a formal programme of work on the operationalisation of the Global Goal on Adaptation. The position that we will be taking to COP on the adaptation global goal is that we should aim to increase the resilience of the global population to climate change by at least 50% and reduce the global populations that are impacted by the adverse effects of climate change by at least 50%, by 2030 and by at least 90% by 2050.

It is particularly important that developed countries show leadership and come forward with massively enhanced support to developing countries, particularly at this time when sustainable development has been set back decades by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Source:



On the Web This Week, 7 November

On the Web This Week, 7 November

On the web this week, indoor farming takes a step forward, a volcanic eruption creates a new island, and Chile’s last circus elephant retires.

Picture credit: Bowery

If you live in the U.S., the last time you ate a salad, the lettuce inside it almost certainly came from California or Arizona. But the geography of leafy greens is very slowly starting to change as the trend of indoor farming—growing greens in large warehouses using artificial light and automated technology—expands. The latest farm to open is in Baltimore. It’s the largest, so far, from the New York-based, tech-heavy startup Bowery.

Picture credit: GeoNet

An undersea volcanic eruption in the Tongan archipelago has sunk one island and created another one that is three times larger, according to a report by geologists released on Thursday.

Taaniela Kula, of the Tonga Geological Service, said the new island is estimated to be about 100 metres wide and 400 metres long, and is situated about 120 metres west of its now-submerged predecessor, Lateiki island.

Companies seeking to cut plastic use are tapping a vast source of raw materials: ocean garbage.

Coca-Cola Co. recently unveiled a bottle made in part of recycled marine litter. Interface Inc., the world’s biggest maker of carpet tiles, is weaving rugs with yarns produced from discarded fishing nets. Startups are raising funds to fish for plastics and make new products.

Picture credit: Julian Stratenschulte / Getty Images

Electrifying transportation is one of the biggest keys to solving the looming climate crisis. With more electric vehicles on the road and fewer gas-guzzlers, drivers burn less fossil fuels and put out fewer planet-heating gases into the atmosphere. But as electric vehicles become more popular, they’re posing another environmental challenge: what to do with their batteries once they’re off the road.

Picture credit: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

This week in Los Angeles, 15,000 people will be attending one of the biggest creativity conferences in the world, Adobe MAX. It’s not the kind of event that is normally associated with conservation, but this year is different. The creative community is getting involved in coral reef conservation and it might just help save an entire ecosystem.

Picture credit: Gregory Zamell/Shutterstock

Ramba the elephant spent 50 years all alone in a circus. The Asian elephant was first forced into circus life in Argentina and later in Chile. In 1997, she was “confiscated” from a circus called Los Tachuelas because she was suffering abuse and neglect.

Despite being “confiscated,” she actually had to stay with the circus, just wasn’t able to perform anymore. After many years of hard work on behalf of Chilean NGO Ecopolis and elephant experts Scott Blais and Kat Blais, Ramba was rescued and it marks the official end of performing circus elephants in Chile.

Picture credit: Apple TV Plus

Two movies this year feature prolonged scenes in which a dung beetle pushes a piece of poop in the middle of the African savannah. One of them is an emotional journey about a leader coming to terms with the full cycle of birth, life, and death, which ends with a poignant moment in the rain. The other is the live-action Lion King.

Apple TV Plus’ nature documentary The Elephant Queen does what Disney couldn’t: imbue emotional depth to its animal subjects and crafting a sweeping narrative across the African plains.

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