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WWF Interactive Website: Explore Our World

6 January 2012

The world is an incredible place, even though we often get caught up in our own lives, and forget what an amazing planet we live on.

If you’re in need of a reminder though, WWF has curated an online platform that has links to galleries, videos and information about everything from conservation projects to statistics, as well as the very thing that keeps us together- life.

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Sustainability and Apiaries: Urban Beekeeping

5 January 2012

The plight of the world’s bees has become a great concern, as bees are essential for pollination, a critical element in the cultivation of certain crops for human food supply.

An interview with urban beekeeper Meg Paska in GOOD emphasizes the ability to live a sustainable lifestyle in a big city with the assistance of bees and honey- something that could become even more common in South Africa.

For more information on South African beekeeping, visit the Southerns Beekeeping Association website.

Southerns Beekeeping Association

Image: Southerns Beekeeping Association

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Do The Green Thing: Plug Out

4 January 2012

Do The Green Thing is public service based in the UK, that aims to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage people to live a greener life.

This video in particular emphasizes the importance of “plugging out” and not wasting electricity, for both a greener world and a more sane mind.

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A Life Underwater: Memories of a Diver

3 January 2012

Ray Ives is a diver, and an avid collector of marine artifacts which tell the story of his extensive career.

With an appreciation for the underwater world, Ray’s story also highlights our sometimes destructive relationship with the oceans- one of our most precious resources but one we often treat as a rubbish dump.

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Post-COP Durban: Art on the Streets

2 January 2012

It’s been almost a month since COP17 ended in Durban, but the buzz around the conference is no doubt still being felt within the city.

This artwork was done during COP, but is still a reminder of the sentiment of many of the people who protested outside the venue, and is representative of the kind of engagement with environmental issues that perhaps we should carry with us into 2012.

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Upcoming Cross-Country Initiative: The Expedition Project

1 January 2012

It’s no secret that South Africa is a diverse nation, with over ten official languages and a population that lives in varying degrees of wealth and poverty.

This diversity may be a positive aspect in many ways, but when it comes to addressing issues of sustainability, it’s important to know how we are dealing with various challenges.

This is why today, at the start of 2012, The Expedition Project begins, a year-long trip around the country that will uncover the environmental and social challenges that need to be addressed.

For more information, and to keep track of the journey, visit The Expedition Project website.

Road to Pofadder

Image: Cars

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A New Year’s Message: Say Something Nice

31 December 2011

It’s the last day of 2011 today, and we can all look back on an interesting year, to say the least.

To inspire some positivity for the year ahead, here’s a video that show’s a simple concept, but a philosophy that could have an exponentially positive effect in 2012.

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Showing Face: The Legacy of the Occupy Movement

30 December 2011

The protests that took place this past year had a ripple effect globally, with uprisings like the Arab Spring inspiring people in places like New York City to camp outside of Wall Street.

No matter how you feel about this kind of defiance, or whether you agree with it or not, it cannot be doubted that organised demonstrations like Occupy Wall Street have made an impact- the magnitude of which remains to be seen.

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WWF: Changing the Way We Think About Food

29 December 2011

The world is changing everyday, but are we?

This video from WWF raises the question of food security, and the importance of thinking about productivity differently to guarantee the sustainability of our resources.

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Berg en Dal: Permaculture Farming in the Karoo

28 December 2011

During their coverage of COP17, the Mail and Guardian featured an interesting article on a permaculture farm called Berg en Dal just outside of Ladismith in the Little Karoo.

As an arid region, it’s difficult to imagine the possibility of a fully self-sufficient food farm in this area, but this initiative shows that it’s possible.

It also shows how some people are choosing permaculture as an alternative way of sourcing their food, one that takes ecological relationships into consideration- an issue we raise in our film series on fracking in the Karoo.

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How Tourism Affects the Coastline: Kenyan Turtle Conservation

27 December 2011

The Green Renaissance team recently went to film the annual turtle nesting season near Ponta Do Ouro in Mozambique, where turtle populations are coming under pressure from increasing infrastructure.

According to an article by The Guardian, the situation in Kenya is much the same, as turtle populations have also been negatively affected by development along the coastline.

Although tourism is an important element of the economy, this article emphasizes the need for ecotourism that actively monitors and reduces its environmental impact, something we hope will also be put into effect in Mozambique.

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Tracking How Funding is Spent: The Broccoli Project

26 December 2011

Have you ever donated to an organisation, but never had any real idea of where your money went, or how you really contributed?

The Broccoli Project is an initiative that aims to solve this, by offering donors the ability to track their donations using cloud computing, which offers a transparent platform to see how their money is spent.

This in turn encourages best practice in beneficiaries, and offers them incentives to improve their situation by rewarding positive efforts, including environmental projects.

To find out more about how the Broccoli Project works visit their website.

The Broccoli Project

Image: The Broccoli Project

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Celebrating a “Green” Christmas with Recycled Plastic Bottles

25 December 2011

It’s Christmas today, so here’s wishing everyone a wonderful day of celebration, for all those who are celebrating.

And what better way to celebrate than showcase a “green” Christmas tree, which was put up in a town in Lithuania, and made from 40 000 plastic bottles.

Lithuania Green Xmas Tree

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The Thrill of Skydiving: Endless Summer Skies

24 December 2011

The weightlessness of skydiving is supposed to be an incredible feeling, and something that seems to be addictive- especially considering the unparalleled view of the world below from above.

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Festive Season Outdoor Etiquette: Dealing With Baboons

23 December 2011

In South Africa, we’re lucky enough to celebrate the festive season during the summer months, which means many people will be spending more time outdoors appreciating nature.

With this privilege however, does come a degree of responsibility, especially when it comes to animals like baboons in areas like the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town in particular urges people not to feed baboons, and to take the necessary precautions when dealing with them, as they are wild animals and need to be respected.

For more information visit this post on The City of Cape Town website.

Baboons Cape Town

Image: Southern Crossroads

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The Road Uphill: The Schleck Brothers’ Story

22 December 2011

Taking time out to cycle outdoors is one thing, but dedicating your life to being an extreme long distance cyclist is a completely different way of life.

The trailer below shows the challenging journey that the two Schleck brothers went through while training for the Tour de France- no doubt an inspiration for avid or amateur cyclists alike.

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Latest Film: Isikhwama Reuseable Bags

21 December 2011

We’ve just released our latest film, about Magrieta Leeuwschut, the factory manager at Isikhwama, one of two reusable bag suppliers to Woolworths.

Located in Cape Town, Isikhwama is a BEE company which is 25% owned by two women and employs semi-skilled and unskilled people who were previously out of work.

The bags that they make aim not only to reduce the need for plastic, but the limited edition bags also raise funds for worthwhile causes, including the rhino bag which has raised over R700 000 for WWF rhino conservation.

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Mobile Technology and Dealing with Climate Change

20 December 2011

The fact that African farmers are going to be affected by climate change is something that was discussed repeatedly at COP17- a pressing challenge for agriculture on our continent.

Thankfully technology is able to assist to an extent, with projects like Sauti ya Wakulima (“The voice of the farmers”) in Tanzania.

Sauti ya Wakulima provides cellphones and internet access to farmers who can upload multimedia to a website, thereby creating a platform where they can share information on how best to deal with climate change and other challenges.

For more information visit the Sauti ya Wakulima website.

Bagamoyo farm

Image: Tripadvisor

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Living Himalayas Initiative: Cross-Border Conservation

20 December 2011

One of the disappointments at COP17 was that a global agreement to address climate change was not secured.

However, cross-border conservation agreements like the WWF Living Himalayas Initiative do give us hope that this kind of co-operation is possible.

This agreement will help conserve areas like the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal, a popular trekking destination.

For more information visit the WWF UK website.

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Birdwatching in Sierra Leone: Conservation and Emerging Ecotourism

19 December 2011

As conservation filmmakers, it’s always encouraging to read about other conservation initiatives on the continent.

In countries like Sierra Leone, the Gola Rainforest has been declared an important biodiversity hotspot by Conservation International, and the country is investing in ecotourism to protect endemic bird species like the rare White-necked Picathartes.

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