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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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Catchy Tune for COP17: Taking a Stand with Doo Be Doo

3 December 2011

Popular local band Freshly Ground has added their bit to climate change awareness by rewriting and recording their hit track “Doo Be Doo” to coincide with COP17.

This re-recorded track will also be performed next week live in concert at the Durban Botanical Gardens.

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Extreme Sports Combination: I Believe I Can Fly

3 December 2011

At a Sinamatella Productions screening in Cape Town last night, this film trailer was shown- one that made almost all the audience members gasp.

BASE jumping and high altitude slacklining are both extreme sports in their own right, but putting them together creates nothing short of exhilarating, or terrifying.

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More COP17 Activity: Global Day of Action Tomorrow

2 December 2011

While negotiations take place behind closed doors at COP17, civil society organisations will be taking to the streets of Durban tomorrow to emphasize the need for renewable energy, and a clear strategy for addressing climate change.

Organised by the C17 civil society committee, the Global Day of Action march will begin in Botha’s Garden/King Dinuzulu Garden at 8.30, and end at the Old Pavilion site at 2pm.

For more information and details about the logistics of the march visit this Greenpeace Africa blog post.

Global Day of Action

Image Source: Greenpeace Africa

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COP17 Cop-Out: Canada Debates Commitment to Kyoto

2 December 2011

It’s been a busy week in Durban, with negotiations about the future of binding treaties like the Kyoto Protocol keeping everyone on their toes.

From an international perspective, Canada has expressed doubts about committing to the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, which has led to disappointment on behalf of environmental organisations like WWF South Africa.

Is this just a cynical case of Canada wanting to back out before having to pay emissions penalties? Or could their abundance of energy reserves be taking precedence over their natural resources?

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Fun with Frogs: Conservation At Chrissiesmeer This Weekend

1 December 2011

Lake Chrissie in the Mpumalanga Lake District is the largest freshwater lake in South Africa, and home to a variety of frog species, which could soon be under threat from coal mining pollution in the area.

Although there is a moratorium on coal mining at present, it is still a potential issue, which is why the owners of Florence Farm are hosting the Chrissiesmeer Frog Night on Saturday 3 December, to raise awareness and contribute to conservation efforts.

For more information visit the Getaway event listing.

Chrissiesmeer Frog Night

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COP17: The Conference Condensed in 3 Minutes

1 December 2011

As anyone who pays even vague attention to the news will know, COP17 has been dominating headlines, Twitter streams and Facebook pages, as people all over the world anticipate the results of the negotiations.

But what exactly is this conference aiming to address? There have been several articles that breakdown the negotiations, but the video below is the most succinct one we have come across so far.

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Costa Rica: The Truth Behind Turtle Egg “Poachers”

30 November 2011

A seemingly disturbing photo essay has been doing the rounds for a while now, which insinuates that people are poaching turtle eggs in Costa Rica.

However, is this the truth? We’ve done some research, and contrary to what we first thought, these pictures actually show a successful conservation project.

Interestingly, “harvesting” the first batch of eggs actually allows for more turtles to survive, as too many turtles visit the small beaches every nesting season, which leads overcrowding, trampled eggs and even fungal growth.

For more information about this misrepresented turtle conservation project visit this link.

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The Joy of Collaboration: R&D-I-Y Window Farming

30 November 2011

Imagine the difference it would make if everyone grew even just a small portion of their own food.

This idea inspired Britta Riley, who has helped create a window farming collaboration called R&D-I-Y that also highlights the practicality and feel-good factor of knowledge sharing via social media.

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