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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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TransparentSea: Raising Awareness about Ocean Issues

18 October 2011

TransparentSea is an initiative to raise awareness about issues facing the ocean, specifically along the California coast.

Using foot-powered ecokayaks, the team is sailing along the west coast of America to draw attention to issues of marine conservation too, by following the migration route of the endangered Grey whale.

To find out more about the TransparentSea voyage visit the TransparentSea website.

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Conservation Victory: Baby Gorilla Rescued

18 October 2011

In a victory for conservation, a poached baby gorilla was recently rescued by an undercover team in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Thanks to a tip-off, three rangers managed to rescue the baby gorilla by posing as interested buyers, and arresting the poachers.

The baby gorilla, named Shamavu after one of the rangers, is now being taken care of by gorilla handlers at the Virunga National Park.

Source: Treehugger

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Taking Green To The Streets

17 October 2011

In an effort to add some colour and life to often drab and concrete urban spaces, people all over the world are adding some green to their cities by “guerilla gardening”.

On a local scale, isabeaupeep recently featured some guerilla gardening that has been put up in the streets of Cape Town behind street signs, using recycled bottles.

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Occupy Wall Street Goes Global

17 October 2011

On Saturday, events inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City took place all over the world, including South African cities like Cape Town.

According to an article on the Daily Maverick, the “Occupy” movement is gaining momentum worldwide, which emphasizes the revolutionary potential for this shift in thinking to become a global phenomenon.

To see photos of the Occupy event in Cape Town, visit this link.

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The Reality of Ocean Pollution

16 October 2011

The ocean is so extensive that it’s impossible to keep track of everything in it, including the mass of pollution that ends up in our seas.

In this effective advertising campaign from Advertisers Without Borders highlights the reality of ocean pollution, and reminds us that there is so much rubbish in the sea that we’re not always aware of.

Source: Advertisers Without Borders

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Weekend Wanderlust: A Journey Through Bali

16 October 2011

For some more relaxed weekend viewing, and a reminder of the upcoming summer weather, here is a travel video that shows the beauty, life and landscapes of the Indonesian island of Bali.

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Exhibition: Postcards from the Road

15 October 2011

Photojournalists Don Pinnock and Justin Fox have worked for Getaway magazine for ten years, and taken their fair share of travel portraits.

They’ve captured images from all over the world, one that tell us stories of both hope and destruction, but also ones that show the amazing diversity and magnitude of nature and how people interact with it.

To see a selection of these epic photographs, which have been displayed as narrative postcards, visit the Postcards from the Road exhibition at the David Krut Gallery, which opens today and continues until 3 December.

Image Source: Books Live

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A Different Look at Lilies

15 October 2011

Since it’s the weekend, and there’s time to appreciate the smaller things, here’s a video that looks at nature from a more intricate perspective.

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Occupy Cape Town Tomorrow: Company Gardens

14 October 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement has gained momentum all over the world, with a worldwide event set to take place tomorrow morning.

According to the Occupy South Africa website, people will be occupying areas in cities all over the country, including the Company Gardens in Cape Town. For more information visit the Occupy South Africa website.

To find out more about the Occupy Wall Street movement in general, read this recent article published on the Mail and Guardian website, and watch the video below, which gives an indication of the community involvement on the ground in New York City.

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Sea Change: Two Oceans Aquarium Switches to Clean Energy

14 October 2011

The Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town is a popular attraction for both local and international visitors, but it’s more than just a place to admire underwater creatures in tanks.

The aquarium is also setting the standard for environmentally-consciousness construction, and was recently selected by Project 90×2030 as a green energy demonstration site.

In an effort to reduce their carbon emissions, and contribute towards a less polluted environment, the aquarium has just installed the first grid tied wind and solar PV system on their roof, the first in the City of Cape Town.

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New Seven Wonders of Nature: Vote for Table Mountain

13 October 2011

In a new bid to recognize the New Seven Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain is one of the nominees- an initiative supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Cast your vote to have this South African heritage icon recognized worldwide, by watching the video below and either casting your vote online or via SMS.

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Help Hold De Beers Accountable

13 October 2011

De Beers is planning to sell an unrehabilitated diamond mine near Hondeklipbaai in Namaqualand, before full disclosure and proper consultation with affected parties has taken place.

To hold De Beers accountable, and make sure that they honour their obligations to rehabilitate the area before they sell to Trans Hex, Green Renaissance has released our latest film, which follows the character of Dawid Markus- a community leader who is taking a stand against the corporations that have not consulted with the interested and affected parties.

Markus is adamant that this sale cannot take place until the community has been assured that the companies will honour their obligations, as the area is also an important area biodiversity hotspot, and one that needs to be returned to its former state to guarantee sustainable livelihoods in the future.

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Appeal to Coldplay to Help Save the Karoo

12 October 2011

Coldplay recently finished up their South African tour, and filmed a music video in Cape Town and the Klein Karoo.

Their choice of the Karoo as a filmic shot is testament to the beauty and value of the area, which is why Jonathan Deal, Chairman of the Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) has appealed to the UK band to bring attention to the threat of fracking in the area.

To read more about Deal’s appeal read this press release.

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When Nature Gets Too Close

12 October 2011

Just in case you missed it- a video about a mountain biker’s collision with a red hartebeest went viral yesterday, and to date has over 4 million views.

It’s incredible how this video has gone viral, and how moments like like can be captured and shared with people all over the world- very much a case of wrong place at the wrong time!

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Harnessing the Power of Nature: Building a Leaf

11 October 2011

Nature is unbelievably efficient, and leaves are no exception. They’re completely sustainable elements of a tree, and even produce their own energy through photosynthesis.

So it seems inevitable that humans would try to harness this efficiency, and it’s no surprise that a well respected institute like MIT has aimed to invent a fully functional leaf from artificial materials.

In this case though, they seem to have got it right, read more about it here.

Source: Wired

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