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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image: The Broccoli Project
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.
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.
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.
Image: Southern Crossroads
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
19 December 2011
It’s less than a week until Christmas, and in some parts of the world, it’s going to be a white one. Here in South Africa there won’t be much snow, but we can appreciate how fun it must be to able to play in it.
This video, although amusing, also draws attention to the still critically endangered status of the Giant Panda- the face of the WWF and symbol of continuing worldwide conservation efforts.
18 December 2011
This section of the Simonstown coastline is one of only two land-based penguin colonies in South Africa, and provides nesting grounds for a significant number of these endangered birds. This area was previously closed for rehabilitation.
To see another example of penguin conservation in the Western Cape, watch our award-winning film, The Guardian, which was shot on Dyer Island.
18 December 2011
South African Solo adventurer Kayden Kleinhans is cycling around the world, raising awareness about low carbon transport and climate change through his NGO, the Global Wheeling initiative.
This trailer gives some idea of the epic scale of his African journey, one that is continuing to take place in other parts of the world.
17 December 2011
As we face the seemingly insurmountable challenges posed by climate change, it’s enlightening to look back, and see an illustrated interpretation of where our reliance on fossil fuels began.
17 December 2011
According to Cormac Cullinan, climate change is a symptom of the dysfunctional relationship between humans and nature, and this is apparent in the way cities are built- designed to serve a model of industrial production.
However, if we look at our relationship with nature in a different way, cities can be built to serve a more organic model, one that sees humans as just a part of a greater organic and self-regulating system.