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Coke Creates White Can for Polar Bear Conservation

28 October 2011

Polar bears are one of the most iconic examples of the threat of climate change, with retreating ice causing their populations to shrink, as this limits their ability to hunt seals.

But polar bears have also been an part of Coke’s international branding for a while now, most notably in their winter themed Arctic advertisements.

So in order to protect the species that forms such a big part of their brand, Coca Cola is releasing a limited edition white can in November, to help raise money for their Polar Bear Support Fund.

Source: The Huffington Post

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COP17 Climate Change Train Departs Today

28 October 2011

COP17 is almost exactly a month away, which means that organisations all over the country are busying themselves preparing for this significant global event.

Cape Town civil society in particular is gearing up for the event with a nationwide train journey, organised by Indalo Yethu, the South African Environmental Agency in collaboration with the British Council and COPART, and departs from Cape Town today.

The Climate Change train journey aims to highlight the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities, while documenting responses, expectations and solutions in the towns along the way.

To find out more about the Climate Change train visit this link.

Source: Green Talent

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Filming Update: Black Rhino Range Expansion Project

27 October 2011

The Green Renaissance team is now in the Limpopo Province, filming the latest wildlife relocation in the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, with 4 out of 20 black rhino moved successfully from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo.

Unfortunately a male rhino died on the second transportation due to complications, which reminds us how difficult it is to relocate a wild animal.

However, despite this loss, the project is still going to be a success, and one that we will keep you updated on- so watch this space.

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The Power of Water in Slow Motion

27 October 2011

The force of the ocean is something that humans can never really harness or control- even putting up concrete barriers can’t stop its relentless force.

So when surfers willingly submit themselves to the mercy of the powerful waves, they take a great risk, but also get to experience an unparalleled connection with nature.

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Upcoming Event: Banff Mountain Film Festival

26 October 2011

Every year, the Canadian-based Banff Mountain Film Festival screens a selection of outdoor/adventure sport short films, carefully chosen from submissions from all over the world.

The festival includes 9 short films, and will be screened at Ster Kinekor cinemas from Friday 28 October to 3 November in Joburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

If you’re looking for a vicarious adrenaline rush, or just to appreciate a hardcore side of nature and humanity, be sure to attend one of the screenings.

For more information, and to view the film schedule, visit the local Banff website.

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Saving a Life: Biker Rescues Calf from Drowning

26 October 2011

On Monday, a video was uploaded about a biker who was driving through the Gauteng countryside came across a stranded calf in a concrete irrigation aqueduct.

Instead of leaving it up to fate to decide, the biker stopped and managed to rescue the struggling and exhausted calf, and return it to his herd.

This incident is a heartwarming story of man saving an animal’s life, but also brings into question the safety of irrigation infrastructure, and how it should be designed so that no further animals are trapped.

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3 Things: Small Ways to Change The World

25 October 2011

Sometimes making a difference can be an accumulation of small things, a few minor changes that can add up to make a big difference.

3 Things, an Oxfam Australia social upliftment project, aims to create social change by encouraging people to do just three things- whether it’s buying organic food or Fair Trade, or just a random act of kindness.

The project also aims to encourage people to share their 3 Things, which you can view on the website.

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Coldplay Releases Music Video Filmed in SA

25 October 2011

The band Coldplay recently toured South Africa, and filmed a music video while they were here too- with familiar scenery mostly from the Western Cape.

The video has only been up for a week, and already has over 4 million views, an encouraging sign that people all over the world have had a chance to see the naturally beautiful “paradise” that we often take for granted in South Africa.

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COP17 Countdown: Climate Smart Cape Town

24 October 2011

It’s exactly five weeks to go until COP17 begins in Durban, and local organizations are preparing themselves for two weeks of discussions.

To read more visit this link.

This stall is just one example of the many stands that are going to be presented at this significant global conference, but this raises an important question- how many other organisations are sharing their plans for this event?

Image Source: Climate Smart Cape Town

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To Skin A Cat: Latest Trailer

24 October 2011

We’ve featured this important film on our blog before, but it’s now come to the point where your help is needed to make the rest of it happen.

To Skin A Cat is a film that addresses the issue of hunting leopards illegally for their pelts, which are an important part of traditional and ceremonial garments.

The team has worked hard to introduce an imitation leopard skin that can be used instead, but still needs further funding to finish the film and raise awareness about this important conservation issue.

To learn more about this film, visit the website.

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Facebook Develops Energy-Monitoring App

23 October 2011

According to a recent post on Trendhunter, Facebook is developing an energy-monitoring app that allows you to track your household electricity consumption.

Although it requires you to share your personal details, something that may not de desirable to everyone, this kind of app development shows how easy it can be to track our energy expenditure, something that is becoming increasingly important in a time where pollution and climate change are pressing issues.

Image Source: Trendhunter

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Summer and Spending Time Outdoors

23 October 2011

Another weekend video that records the experience of spending time outdoors, and the escape from urban reality.

Shot in the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington, USA, this film gives just an indication of the similar South African summer activities to come.

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Upcoming Documentary: Nat Geo Films the Coelacanth

22 October 2011

Until 1938, no one knew that coelacanths still existed. The coelacanth was thought to be extinct for 70 million years, until a fisherman caught one near the Chalumna River mouth near East London.

The coelacanths live at great depths, which is probably why more people haven’t seen them, but to change this, National Geographic has announced that it will film a documentary about these prehistoric fish next year.

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Movement in Slow Motion: Stunt Poetry

22 October 2011

For some laid back weekend viewing, here’s a video that slows down the flips, twists and turns of a stunt actor, providing an unreal perspective to even the smallest range of movement.

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Oldest Orangutan in Captivity Dies: A Reminder of the Need for Conservation

21 October 2011

The oldest Sumatran orangutan in captivity, named Ginger, was recently euthanised at the Sacramento Zoo in California, after suffering from a range of age-related maladies.

Ginger was 57 years old, which is about twenty years older than the average lifespan of an orangutan in the wild, according to an article on Times Live.

Although their safe placement in zoos is an integral part of conservation, it reminds us that orangutans are still a critically endangered species, a plight aggravated by habitat loss due to deforestation in Indonesia.

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Mapungubwe Update: CoAL Water Use License Suspension Lifted

21 October 2011

Green Renaissance is very disappointed to announce that the CoAL Water Use License suspension has been lifted by Minister Edna Molewa, for reasons still unclear, according to Times Live.

The suspension of the water use license was one way that the Save Mapungubwe NGO Coalition had prevented mining from taking place until now, but although this is an obstacle, the fight against mining in the area is still far from over.

Interestingly, this announcement comes just after a press release detailing the release of a climate change policy document, also put forward by Minister Edna Molewe, something that seems contradictory with the granting of a mining license, which could pave the way for further destructive mining.

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First Sea Turtle Arrives on the Maputaland Coast

20 October 2011

Sea turtles are an endangered species, presumably due to the fact that their breeding habitats are often disturbed by human activities.

To conserve local sea turtle populations in South Africa, on the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast, conservationists set up the Maputaland Sea Turtle project in 1963 to monitor and protect the returning turtles.

Turtles return each breeding season to the same beach, sometimes the very same beach where they were born. In an exciting conservation development, according to the We Are Wilderness Facebook page, the first leatherback turtle has just been recorded at Rocktail Bay- very unusual for this early in the season.

To read more about the Maputaland Sea Turtle project visit this link.

Image Source: Africa Geographic

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Green Renaissance to Register as an NGO

20 October 2011

Green Renaissance is currently in the process of applying to become a public benefit Section 18A organisation, which means that we will soon be able to receive tax-deductible public donations to continue producing multimedia content.

We are very excited about this development, as it will allow us to crowdsource tax-free funding from you, the public, which will enable us to continue our environmental injustice and conservation work.

This new development also forms part of our overall philosophy, in that we’re not in this for the profit, but really want to contribute to making a difference through telling authentic stories.

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City of Cape Town: Investing in Green Electricity

19 October 2011

We all know that it’s time to make the shift from fossil fuels to renewables, but how do we actually take the necessary steps to make that happen?

One example of this shift is happening in Cape Town, as City of Cape Town has recently advertised the sale of Green Electricity Certificates (GEC’s) which allow you to invest in wind power from the Darling Wind Farm (DWF), without having to alter any infrastructure or metering devices.

If you have a business based in Cape Town, read more about how to buy green electricity here.

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Natural Phenomena: Iceland in the Midnight Sun

19 October 2011

Iceland is one of the most isolated places on earth, but according to this videographer, one of the most beautiful and unique.

During summer, some parts of the island never see darkness because of their proximity to the north pole, which means the stars never come out and there is more or less permanent light- an incredible natural phenomenon.

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