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Urban Sports: Taking Freeskiing to the Streets

13 December 2011

With the climate change challenges that we face, it has become increasingly important to shift towards low-carbon forms of transport.

For some, this means bicycles and public transport, but for JP Auclair, getting around in his Canadian town during winter is as easy as clicking into his skis.

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Animal Update: Seals on Cape Peninsula Beaches

13 December 2011

News that hundreds of dead seals have washed up along Strandfontein and Kommetjie beaches this week is a poignant reminder of the constant fight for survival in nature.

According to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, many of these were young seals or “yearlings” which had presumably died from drowning or exhaustion after rough weather.

As it is now the seal pupping season, the SPCA emphasizes that both live and dead seal sightings are going to become more common, and urges people not to disturb any “hauled out” seals, but to contact the SPCA if they come across any that are visibly in distress.

Seals Travelpod

Image: Travelpod

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Breakthrough Deal or COP Out: Perspectives on COP17

12 December 2011

Scanning the news headlines today, there seem to be differing perspectives on the outcomes of COP17, the UN climate change talks that took place in Durban over the last two weeks.

On the one hand, leaders are exultant that an agreement has been reached to work on legislation that is scheduled to be approved in 2015, and will come into effect in 2020.

However, environmental groups like WWF are disappointed, as we are, with the lack of urgency shown in preventing catastrophic climate change, which raises the question- will we be able to deal with the effects global temperature rise in time?

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Sad News: Rhinos in Our Films Victims of Poaching

12 December 2011

It is with sadness that we start the week, knowing that three of the rhinos we have filmed in the past few months have been killed.

First it was Tanner 2, the injured orphan rhino who barely survived a poaching incident, and had to be euthanised. Now, two more of the rhinos which we filmed at Fairy Glen for Woolworths have also been attacked by poachers.

According to the latest figures from SANParks, 405 rhinos have been killed in South Africa this year alone, a scary 22 percent increase from last year- please continue to support rhino conservation efforts to stop this madness.

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Weekend Escapism: Where the Trail Ends

11 December 2011

It’s been a busy last two weeks, with an overwhelming amount if information circulating about COP17, change and sustainability.

So to kick back, and in celebration of International Mountain Day, here’s a mountain biking film trailer that will at the very least get your heart rate up.

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Hero: A Picture Patiently Penned with Dots

11 December 2011

Often, it takes time to create something beautiful.

For Miguel Endara, it’s not clear how long it took to create “Hero”, but it is clear that his patiently crafted portrait is ridiculously impressive.

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Urban Pace: A Birds Eye View of City Traffic

10 December 2011

We live high-pressured crazy lives, often having to negotiate between hundreds of other people trying to do the same thing.

It’s the same in cities all over the world, but this timelapse of traffic in Ho Chi Mihn City in Vietnam gives a birds eye view on congestion craziness- a huge concern in a time where it is becoming imperative to switch to low-carbon forms of transport.

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The Importance of Branching Out for a Green Economy

10 December 2011

COP17 has re-emphasized the importance of addressing global environmental issues, including the imperative to move towards a low-carbon economy.

This animated film, narrated by the inimitable David Attenborough, highlights the necessity of a “green economy”, something that all of our future livelihoods depend on, in one way or another.

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Tipping Barrels: Saving Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest

9 December 2011

One unsettling development at COP17 was Canada’s unwillingness to sign up for a second commitment period as set out by the Kyoto Protocol.

In this video, two surfers experience the unspoilt nature of the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada, a pristine habitat that is under threat from oil exploration.

Can Canada really afford not to preserve this natural heritage?

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Last Day of COP17: An Appeal to World Leaders

9 December 2011

Today is the last day of COP17, and after two weeks of talks the world is eagerly awaiting the outcome of this event.

In the Cape Times today, Kumi Naidoo and Jay Naidoo’s open letter to world leaders has been published, which highlights the moral imperative for them to take responsibility for the potentially disastrous effects of climate change, and act with urgency.

This particular article is not available online at the moment, but in the meantime, this talk summarizes Naidoo’s urgent call for change, as director of Greenpeace Africa.

*Featured image: News24

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Animal Rescue: Giraffe Saved From Swimming Pool

8 December 2011

We’ve featured stories of animal rescue before, something that reminds us that wildlife management is often a formidable challenge.

This story is no different either, as when it comes to manmade pools, many animals become trapped when they fall in. Thankfully for Lucy though, there was a demolition team at hand to help her.

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Sad News from Shamwari: Orphan Rhino Dies

8 December 2011

The Green Renaissance team was fortunate enough to spend time with two orphan rhinos at Shamwari last week, when they were there to film wildlife in the reserve.

Unfortunately, one of the orphan rhinos, Tanner 2, had suffered eye and tissue damage after his horn was hacked off after a recent poaching incident, and sadly needed to be euthanized on Tuesday.

The veterinarians who looked after Tanner 2 did all they could to treat and stabilise his condition, but the decision was made to end his suffering- a fate we hope will not affect any more of our rhinos.

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Kruger Park Chooses Not to Reveal Rhino Sightings

7 December 2011

In an effort to curb poaching, officials at the Kruger National Park have decided that they will no longer share information about rhino sightings.

As much as they have wanted to share this information in the past, so that visitors can appreciate these animals, the poaching situation has reached the point where it makes sense to do all they can to protect the species.

For more information, visit the News24 article.

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Current Exhibition: Wildlife Photographer of the Year

7 December 2011

Every year, Iziko Museums hosts the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition in Cape Town, an exhibition co-owned by the UK Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

The exhibition showcases some of the best wildlife photographers around the world, including some of our own local talent, like ocean conservation photographer Thomas Peschak.

Each year the event shows the diversity and beauty of our natural environment, as is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area- especially since it runs until March next year.

Taking Off Peter Chadwick

Image Source: Natural History Museum

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Give a Tweet: Fundraising for Non-Profits on Twitter

6 December 2011

Fundraising online for a non-profit organisation can be challenging, with a variety of different apps, tools and transaction software to choose from.

Fortunately, social media has made this process easier, with social media fundraising initiatives like Give a Tweet, which allow for philanthropic organisations to donate and “match” donations, thereby gaining exposure for their organisation.

To find out more about using Give a Tweet, visit their FAQ page.

Image Source: Twitter blog

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Durban Update: Keeping Up With The Daily COPpucino

6 December 2011

Keeping up with the daily COP17 updates can be overwhelming, especially since media outlets all over the world are adding their perspective to the process on a regular basis.

However, one broadcast that has made it easy for us to get a ground level experience of the conference is the Cambridge University and Nedbank Youtube collaboration called the Daily COPpuccino.

Although the short clips obviously don’t cover the entire conference in detail, they do provide a broad and more personal perspective- something that seems necessary considering the amount of competing coverage.

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Latest Film: What Makes a Store Sustainable?

5 December 2011

We’ve just released our latest film, about Woolworths’ flagship “green” store in Palmyra Junction, Claremont, Cape Town.

Woolworths is constantly trying to be more sustainable by cutting down on electricity and fossil fuel consumption in their stores and supply chain- all visible in the store’s implementation strategies to save energy, conserve water and manage waste better.

All these considerations form part of Woolworths’ Good Business Journey, which plans to make a difference in four key areas: transformation, social development, the environment and climate change.

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Destroying Life’s Balance: Disappointment with Mapungubwe Decision

5 December 2011

The Save Mapungubwe NGO Coalition announced last week on their website that it would be entering into negotiations with Limpopo Coal, after a protracted legal battle against the construction of the Vele colliery near the Mapungubwe National Park.

Green Renaissance strongly disagrees with this decision, as any kind of mining, even when regulated, will still have a potentially adverse affect on the area.

We assure you that we will do all we can to showcase how the area is affected, and hope that this decision does not set a precedent for other mining companies wanting to do the same in other culturally and environmentally significant areas.

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Something Fun for a Sunday: Baby Elephant Sneeze

4 December 2011

It’s an incredible experience to be close to nature, and wildlife, given the often urban-dominated lives that we live.

The everyday activities of animals are special enough to see, but every so often something humorous also happens that reminds us that in all walks of life, we don’t always need to take ourselves so seriously.

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Life at a Short Glance: The Beauty of a Second

4 December 2011

The upcoming week is no doubt going to be a busy one, just like the last, with everything from traffic, errands to information overload.

So sometimes it’s difficult to take time out, and appreciate what is going on around us, but it’s something that we can still do with even just a minute to spare.

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