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WWF Report: The Importance of Conserving our Grasslands

23 November 2011

Today, WWF South Africa released a report entitled “Coal and Water Futures in South Africa: the case for conserving headwaters in the Enkangala grasslands.”

This report emphasizes the importance of the grasslands biome in South Africa, and how essential these “water engines” are to future water security- natural resources that are threatened by pollution caused by coal mining.

Green Renaissance made a film about the importance of grasslands for water distribution earlier this year- something that has been even more important to consider as we negotiate for a more sustainable future at COP17.

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From the Inside Out: Mountain Biking Film Premier

23 November 2011

Local film production company Sinamatella Productions works hard to bring the best in adrenaline-pumping outdoor sports films to South African screens.

The latest addition to this list of films is a Canadian mountain biking film called From the Inside Out, which will not only get your blood pumping, but also give you a glimpse of the incredible natural landscape in British Columbia, Canada.

The film premier takes place in Cape Town and Joburg on the 1st and 2nd of December respectively, so be sure to book your tickets now. For more information visit this link.

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Supporting Sustainable Futures: Living Beehive at COP17

22 November 2011

Several local organisations are attending COP17 next week, including the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

To showcase their sustainable thinking strategy, SANBI will be constructing a “Living Beehive” at the Durban Botanical Gardens, and a smaller version at the Climate Change Response Expo at COP 17 from 8 November to 9 December 2011.

This Living Beehive hut is based on the concept of traditional Zulu huts or iQukwane, and demonstrates the beauty and strength of people working with nature and technology to support sustainable futures.

To read more about the Living Beehive and “Beehive Thinking” visit this link.

Source: C.A.P.E

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Rare Natural Phenomenon: Diving with Sardines

22 November 2011

This past week, sardines have been trapped in areas along the Atlantic coast, including around Hout Bay and Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town.

According to a video shot by Animal Ocean on Sunday, the unexpected influx of these fish has created a feeding frenzy, and is an unusual natural phenomenon that has not occurred in recent memory.

The reason for this is not certain, but the theory is that sudden strong SE winds caused a cold snap in water temperature, and this thermal decline has put the sardines in a state of shock.

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Turtle Filming Update: Nesting and Climate Change

21 November 2011

The Green Renaissance team is currently out filming turtles in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, and have been getting up close to some of the local species that frequent our shores.

The team is also going to be involved in the monitoring of sand temperature along the shore over the next few days, as the temperature of the sand determines the sex of the hatchlings, and a rise in global temperature might mean that too many hatchlings will be born female.

With the threat of development in the park, and the added complications caused by climate change, turtle conservation in this area are going to face some difficult challenges- notwithstanding their already low rate of survival.

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Do The Green Thing: Creativity Versus Climate Change

21 November 2011

It’s one week until the COP17 conference begins in Durban, and we for one are eagerly anticipating the outcome of the globally significant event.

Although the conference is not expected to achieve a global consensus, it will realistically be an important step in the negotiation process.

To reiterate the positive aspects of this global event, here is a TEDx and WWF talk by James Alexander from Do the Green Thing, which reminds us how important our individual contributions and creativity are to creating a more sustainable world.

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Upcoming Event this Weekend: The Green Expo

18 November 2011

In the build up to COP17, various events are taking place throughout the country, to raise awareness about the importance of addressing climate change and living a more sustainable lifestyle.

This weekend, Cape Town will be hosting one of these events, namely The Green Expo at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), which starts today.

The event runs parallel to Climate Smart Cape Town‘s event at the CTICC, and will showcase a variety of sustainable organisations and businesses, and will also host the Enviropaedia Eco-Logic Awards.

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Living in Nature: Alone in the Wilderness

18 November 2011

As incredible as it is spend time in nature, it’s difficult to imagine making a permanent shift from urban living to complete reliance on nature for survival.

For someone like Dick Proenneke though, living in the Alaskan wilderness became his way life, and although extreme, is an inspiration for all of us trying to live more sustainably and in touch with the environment.

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Focus on Durban: Community Ecosystem Based Adaptation (CEBA)

17 November 2011

Durban is going to be in the international spotlight next week, as the highly anticipated COP17 approaches.

To make sure that the city walks the talk, local government and the Wildlands Conservation Trust have partnered to create a voluntary offset program for the event, which demonstrates a Community Ecosystem Based Adaptation (CEBA) approach.

Durban CEBA initiatives include an ecosystem restoration of the uMbilo River Catchment, a project which will be launched during COP17.

Read more about this project and CEBA on the website.

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Conservation Documentary: On Borrowed Time

17 November 2011

The Belum-Temengor Forest Complex in Malaysia has one of the largest concentrations of biodiversity in the world, and is home to a variety of fauna and flora.

However, this biodiversity is under threat from poaching, which is threatening the survival of endangered species like tigers- a prominent international issue addressed in the WWF Malaysis-TRAFFIC documentary trailer below.

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Upcoming Event: Climate Smart Prepares to Inspire Change

16 November 2011

This weekend, Climate Smart Cape Town will be hosting a variety of events, which form part of their “Inspiring Change” campaign.

The weekend will begin with a “Carrotmob” (explained below) at Maria’s in Gardens, and continue to a weekend of Open Space discussions at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and end off with the Climate SmART market in Greenpoint Park.

The events aim to raise awareness about climate change, and get city residents involved in mitigation and prevention strategies that will ensure a more efficient and adaptable city for all of us.

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New Issue: Safari Interactive Travel Magazine

16 November 2011

Safari Interactive Travel Magazine is an online publication that uses web-based multimedia to share a variety of news and experiences, with a focus on travel in Africa.

Green Renaissance filmed an interview for the magazine with renowned conservationist Jane Goodall while she was in Cape Town a few months ago- a short clip of which is included in the latest issue.

You can view the clip here, as well as a number of different interactive feature articles that will no doubt inspire a future trip to somewhere on our vast and beautiful continent.

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TKAG: Donate to Help Save the Karoo

15 November 2011

It’s been a while since we filmed our Karoo Fracking Chronicles series, but the issue of “fracking” and renewable energy in the Karoo is still ongoing.

The Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG), the organisation that we collaborated with on the film series, is continuing to lobby against fracking as a non-renewable source of power, and have recently launched a new website.

The TKAG has also set up a “Donate” page on Given Gain, which allows you to make an online donation to ensure that they are able to continue lobbying for a future independent of fossil fuels.

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Mirage: Wave Sport From a Wider Angle

15 November 2011

It’s often difficult to really appreciate surfing from a distance, as we don’t get a comprehensive view of either the size of the wave or a full view of the surfer riding it.

In this latest video from Rip Curl however, a “30 camera Array” technique has been used to get a wider frame of reference, which gives us another perspective on the sport.

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The Turtles Return: Mystery in Maputaland

14 November 2011

The Green Renaissance team is en route to film the annual turtle nesting on the Maputaland coast, in the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine reserve.

Leatherback turtles return each year to these shores to lay their eggs, like in the video below. Although scientists have figured out that they use magnetic forces to find their way back each year, it’s still a mystery why they return to the same place.

Even more incredible is the hatchlings’ difficult journey to the sea. Baby turtles have an extremely low rate of survival anyway, but human development is a further threat - something that the team aims to address in our upcoming film.

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Earth: A View from the Outside

14 November 2011

It’s difficult to get a grip on the scale of the earth. When we fly in planes, or take long distance journeys we get a inkling of its enormity, but we never really get a full comprehensive view of our gigantic globe.

This incredible timelapse of Earth gives some indication though- a view from outside that reduces even the massive presence of 7 billion humans to patches of flickering electric light.

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Animal Adaptation: Surviving Drought

13 November 2011

In an earlier post, we mentioned how humans adapt to the desert elements for a long weekend every year at festivals like Burning Man.

For the most part however, animals are much more adept at adapting to harsh environments, including various species of fish, frogs and lizards, which use various fascinating physical adaptations to survive periods of drought.

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Burning Man: Enduring the Desert Elements

13 November 2011

Burning Man is an annual festival that takes place in the Nevada desert in the USA, an event that has also sparked our own local festival, Afrika Burn.

This festival is different to many others, as there is a complete lack of commerce, and is a time when people leave behind their lives completely, and endure the desert elements without urban interference.

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Happy News: Elephant Numbers Stable in India

12 November 2011

Green Renaissance has been amazed at the continuous increase in the viewing of our latest rhino conservation video, but also saddened by the news that a West African rhino species is almost extinct.

In happier international news though, a recent population count in a reserve in Kerala, India, showed that elephant numbers are stable, according to block counting methods, including a “dung count method”.

India faces massive conservation challenges, as many endemic Indian wildlife species continue to be highly endangered, including the Bengal tiger and the Indian elephant, a subspecies of the Asian elephant.

Image Source: The Hindu

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Saving Salmon: A Different Conservation Approach

12 November 2011

It might seem counterintuitive to cut down trees to conserve, but according to the Nature Conservancy, felling trees has played a huge part in conserving the endangered Coho salmon species in California.

This different conservation approach might be initiated by humans, but the felled trees naturally create shelter and deeper pools for the salmon, whose numbers have started to increase since the introduction of the logging programme.

Source: The Huffington Post

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